Shri. K.Karunakaran, being a stalwart in the political arena, occupies leading role in the contemporary political history of the state of Kerala. Shri. K.Karunakaran was born on July 5, 1918 at Chirackkal in Kannur District to Shri.Thekkedathu Ravunni Marar and Smt. Kannoth Kalyani Amma with birth star “Karthika”, which blessed him with its inherent characteristics of good health and dynamism, and also unstinted support, in plenty, from people. He brings with him a long parliamentary experience spanning over seven decades.
Shri.K.Karunakaran gave up his school education at an early age and started his political career through the Indian National Congress. A staunch patriot, he had zealously participated in the freedom struggle as well as in trade union activities, right from the beginning of his political career, and was arrested and jailed on many occasions. His political life was seldom peaceful. It was full of imminent storms and challenges warranting immediate retrieval. His ability to face and deal issues spontaneously in the best manner , is praise worthy. He rose to the top in politics and has been acclaimed as the senior most Leader of the Indian National Congress because of his studiousness and untiring dynamism.
Shri. Karunakaran was elected to Trichur Municipality way back in 1945, and subsequently to the Cochin Legislative Assembly in 1948 and Travancore –Cochin Legislative Assembly three times, i.e. in 1949, 1952 & 1954. He has been elected to Kerala Legislative Assembly from Mala Assembly Constituency seven times consecutively, i.e. in 1967, 1970, 1977, 1980, 1982, 1987 & 1991.
He was the Chief whip of the Congress Legislature Party in the Travancore –Cochin Legislative Assembly from 1952-1953 and the leader of Congress Legislature Party in the Kerala Legislative Assembly for a very long period from 1967 to 1995. He was elected to 7th Kerala Legislative Assembly simultaneously from Mala and Nemom constituencies in 1982. However he resigned his Nemom seat on 1.6.1982. He was the Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Legislative Assembly from 1967 to 1969, 1980 to 1981 and from 1987 to 1991. He is a founder member of Indian delegation to ILO in 1957.
He has served in a number of Committees in the Kerala Legislative Assembly and was the Chairman of the Committee on Public Accounts from 1968 to 1970.He chaired the Committee of Privileges from 1982 to 1986. Shri. K. Karunakaran has been a member of the Congress Working Committee since 1969 and the Member of Parliamentary Board from 1970 onwards.
Shri.K.Karunakaran is the founder of United Democratic Front (UDF) in 1970. He evinced utmost care in ensuring cordiality, unity and understanding among the constituent parties, and he commanded absolute control and due respect from them.
His closeness to the Nehru family begins from Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and culminated and pinnacled during the tenure of Smt. Indira Gandhi and Shri. Rajiv Gandhi. The leading role he played in enthroning Shri. Rajiv Gandhi as the Prime Minister of India within hours after the assassination of Smt. Indira Gandhi is part of the History of India. This opportune action helped to call upon the world that people of India are committed to democracy and are capable of protecting it without any iota of doubt and threat.
Shri. K. Karunakaran could add another feather to his cap by repeating the role of King Maker in finding out a successor to Rajiv Gandhi; but for him it would have been normally delayed and made difficult; or perhaps even changed the destiny of India. Being the senior most leader of Congress, he convened its parliamentary party meeting and got elected the late Shri. P.V. Narasimha Rao as the next Prime Minister of India. Shri. K. Karunakaran could manage it only because of his prompt intervention, political acumen and invaluable treasure of experience, and above all, the respect, the regard and the reputation he owned in the party and among the Congress Members of Parliament, as well as the eminent leaders of other prominent political parties of India. This envious position he made use of, again, while he successfully managed to ensure majority to the Confidence Motion to Narasimha Rao Ministry. Shri. K. Karunakaran was the Chairman of the committee constituted for amending the Constitution of Indian National Congress. He was also the head of the Committee for revamping the Congress Party. It was he, who proposed the tangible solution for reservation, at a time, when this sensitive issue rocked the Nation. His ability to prompt proposition of apt panacea to iron out the burning issues and stalemate and to give spontaneous replies to disquieting questions are unparalleled.
Shri. Karunakaran was the Home Minister from 25..09..1971 to 24..03..1977 in the Ministry headed by Shri. C. Achutha Menon. While the emergency was declared in 1975, he took utmost care in administering the state without giving any room for complaint of any excess of the emergency powers and this was recognized by the people of Kerala when they returned the UDF to power with record majority in the ensuing elections of 1977.
Shri.K. Karunakaran has been the Chief Minister of Kerala four times. He took charge as Chief Minister for the first time on 25-3-1977. However he tendered his resignation on 25-4-1977, immediately following certain references by the Kerala High Court in what came to be known as ‘Rajan case’. He took charge as Chief Minister again on December 28, 1981. However, this ministry did not last long. He resigned on 17th March 1982, following the withdrawal of support by a member of the Kerala Congress (M). Midterm elections to the 7th Kerala Legislative Assembly was held on May 19, 1982. The Ministry with Shri. K.Karunakaran as Chief Minister assumed office on 24th May 1982 and continued till 1987. On June 24, 1991, Shri.K.Karunakaran took charge as Chief Minister of Kerala for the fourth term, and resigned on March 16, 1995, making way for Shri. A.K.Antony to take up the Chief Ministership.
As a veteran Parliamentarian, whose career stretches over five decades, Shri. K. Karunakaran has been elected three times to Rajya Sabha and to Lok Sabha twice. He was a member of Rajya Sabha during 1995-97, 1997-98 and 2004-2005. He has been elected to Lok Sabha from Thiruvananthapuram in 1998 and from Mukundapuram Constituency in 1999. Shri. K. Karunakaran served as the Minister for Industries in the Union Cabinet for one year in 1995.
Widely respected within the country as ‘leader’ and administrator, Shri. K. Karunakaran has contributed much to the development of the state. The Kerala State Film Development Corporation, Nedumbassery Airport, Gosree Project, Guruvayoor Railway Line, Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium and NTPC Kayamkulam are among them. It was during his Chief Ministership that two districts viz Kasargod and Pathanamthitta were formed. During his tenure as Chief Minister from 1982-87 he retained the portfolio of SC/ST Development Department and this period was considered as golden days for them.
Shri. K. Karunakaran has been a mentor of plethora of leaders of younger generation, irrespective of caste, creed or community. They could fortunately hold prominent position and play vital role in political arena of Kerala & India.
Shri. Karunakaran, a true Gandhian throughout his personal and political life, has been respected and praised by all as an ardent secular leader both in words and deeds.
Smt.KalyanikuttyAmma was his wife and they have 1 son and 1 daughter. The son, Shri. K. Muraleedharan, former KPCC President and former Minister for Electricity is now the President of the Democratic Indira Congress. The daughter, Smt. Padmaja Venugopal was Chairperson of Kerala Tourism Development Corporation.
Keralites have proved their deligence and extra ordinary brillience through out the world. Keralites are well known for their honesty and efficiency in all fields. In the list of Prominent Personalities we have tried to include all famous personalities from Kerala. We are trying to collect the details of the rest. If you have the details of any such personalities, please send to us.