"Ezhundhu Vaa Thalaivaa" (Awake, our leader) and "Vaa, Vaa, Gopalapuram Polaam Vaa" (Come, Come, let's go to Gopalapuram) were among the slogans raised by the emotionally-charged crowd, referring to the locality where the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister has a house.
Karunanidhi, who wrote scripts for Tamil cinema before entering politics, faced allegations of corruption and nepotism. Therefore, the vacuum he leaves behind isn't just political but also ideological.
"In the early years of the party, film was used to promote the message of social reform and Dravidian "self-respect", themes arising out of the earlier non-Brahmin movement and especially from the Self-Respect Movement, with whom the DMK leaders had been associated before breaking away to form the political party". In the two decades since, both parties and their respective leaders have traded power every five years. After the state government declined the DMK's request, the party appraoched the Madras High Court for permission to bury Karunanidhi at Marina Beach.
After DMK's first election, Karunanidhi was promoted as the treasurer of the party in 1961 and became the deputy leader of Opposition in 1962.
Karunanidhi's government was dismissed twice. In the 2009 Lok Sabha Elections, he led the UPA in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, to win 28 seats, even with a significantly smaller coalition.
In his long political career, if there could be one single issue that has continued to trouble Karunanidhi and his party, politically, it is corruption charges. Many of his close family members served as lawmakers and his son M. K. Stalin is his de facto successor.
The funeral is due to take place on Wednesday (Aug 8) and the state government has declared a seven-day mourning period.