Demise of Actor-Politician Vijayakanth at 71: Ventilator Support Amidst Covid-19 Positive Diagnosis

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Chennai: In a poignant turn of events, actor-turned-politician Vijayakanth, the founder-leader of the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK), breathed his last in Chennai at the age of 71 after battling an illness. The news came after the party revealed, through its official X handle, that Vijayakanth had been admitted to the hospital and placed on ventilator support due to breathing difficulties.

Vijayakanth’s Illustrious Career: A Legacy in Cinema and Politics

Known widely as ‘Captain,’ Vijayakanth’s life journey was a tapestry woven with success in the Tamil film industry and a significant foray into politics. His cinematic brilliance shone in 154 movies before he ventured into the realm of politics.

Earlier in November, the veteran actor-politician faced health challenges and was admitted to MIOT Hospital in Chennai. Battling cough and throat pain, he underwent a 14-day observation under the care of doctors.

Revolutionizing South Indian Cinema

Vijayakanth’s impact extended beyond his on-screen presence. While holding a position at Nadigar Sangam (officially known as the South Indian Artistes’ Association), he ushered in revolutionary changes in the South film industry.

The Political Odyssey: DMDK’s Rise and Challenges

In 2005, Vijayakanth founded the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK). The party faced its initial electoral challenges in 2006, securing a modest 10 percent of the total vote share. However, a turning point came in 2011 when the DMDK, in alliance with the AIADMK, won 26 out of 41 constituencies, making Vijayakanth’s party the principal Opposition Party.

Vijayakanth served as the Leader of the Opposition in the Tamil Nadu Assembly from 2011 to 2016, a period marked by historical achievements for the DMDK.

However, political dynamics shifted, leading to the DMDK severing ties with the AIADMK and subsequent resignations of DMDK MLAs, causing the party to lose its status as the main Opposition party.

Despite facing health complications, Vijayakanth continued to serve as a Member of the Legislative Assembly twice, representing the Virudhachalam and Rishivandiyam constituencies.

The Last Chapters: 2014 Onwards

The political landscape saw fluctuations for the DMDK in subsequent elections, with defeats in the 2014 parliament elections, and a decline in vote percentage. Health concerns plagued Vijayakanth in the 2016, 2019, and 2021 elections, impacting the party’s electoral performance.

As we bid farewell to Captain Vijayakanth, we remember not just a cinematic icon and a political leader but a trailblazer who left an indelible mark on both realms. His legacy will endure through the chapters he wrote in South Indian cinema and the political landscape of Tamil Nadu.


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