Marked by a sense of detachment ‘like a saint’, the late DMK Patriarch and his father M Karunanidhi turned him over to the police during the infamous emergency, the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, MK Stalin, reminisced in his autobiography. Regarding his entry into the Central Prison here after his arrest in 1976, Stalin in his autobiography described the imprisonment as a “torture camp” that echoed with wails.

Though shocking, it gave ‘Sakthi’ (strength) to an ideologically committed person to face everything. “That day I gained the strength to face anything,” said Stalin.

The state of emergency was established in 1975 by the then government of Indira Gandhi and lasted until 1977. The period was notorious for the widespread arrests of opposition political leaders and the curtailment of civil liberties.

Stalin’s 334-page autobiography in Tamil, ‘Ungalil Oruvan’ (One of You) Volume I, was recently released here by Congress leader and MP Rahul Gandhi.

Hours after the DMK government in Tamil Nadu led by Karunanidhi was dismissed on January 31, 1976, Stalin recalled that the police arrived here at their Gopalapuram residence in search of him. However, he was in a nearby town Mathuranthakam at the time.

When police officers said they had an order to search the house to determine whether Stalin was available or not, Karunanidhi told them “by all means” and informed them that his son was out of town and would be back home the next day. to be. Karunaidhi has also ‘offered’ himself to be arrested.

The Chief Minister recalled that he and others feared that ‘Thalaivar’ (party leader Karunanidhi) could be arrested, but the ‘prison breeze was blowing at me’.

When he returned home the next day, February 1, 1976, Stalin said as his mother Dayalu Ammal and wife Durga wept, Thalaivar’s stentorian voice advising that one should be prepared for all kinds of sacrifices in public life, calmed relatives .

“Be ready, the police are looking for you,” Stalin quoted his father and party chief Karunanidhi as saying. Later, police officers arrived after Karunanidhi informed them by phone about Stalin’s return home. “Stalin is here, take him,” Karunanidhi told police.

The Chief Minister said that since he was arrested under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA), he was not sure how long the incarceration would last.

Stalin said that although his father had been the prime minister of the state for many years until the resignation of the government, there was not even a trace of authority when dealing with the police.

As an ascetic, with a sense of detachment, his father Karunanidhi sent him to prison, Stalin said. Karunanidhi had absolutely no regrets about his son going to jail, the chief minister said.

Karunanidhi’s face at that moment expressed the feeling that, like many DMK members at the time, his son Stalin has also gone to prison.

He described many armed personnel standing guard at the entrance to the fortified prison as he was led to the prison, saying that in that scenario one would question whether the person being captured was a terrorist.

“I’ll narrate the wails, the blood-curdling scenes (from prison) in the second part (of his autobiography). I’ll take you to jail too. I’m waiting at the prison entrance! You too wait!” Stalin dramatically said the end of the first part of his autobiography.

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