On December 28, 2023, Tamil Nadu was enveloped in sorrow as Captain Vijayakanth, a renowned figure both in cinema and politics, passed away. His demise came after battling pneumonia, with an added complication of a positive coronavirus diagnosis.
Affectionately termed “Captain” due to his notable on-screen military roles, Vijayakanth’s journey spanned from being a celebrated actor in 154 films to making a significant mark in the state’s political landscape. His influence was evident when he founded the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) in 2005, aspiring to offer Tamil Nadu an alternative to the dominant Dravidian parties.
The DMDK’s emergence was swift and impactful. By its debut in the 2006 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly elections, the party showcased its potential, and by 2011, it eclipsed the DMK, positioning itself as the primary opposition party in the state assembly.
Outside the medical facility where he was undergoing treatment, a wave of sorrow swept across DMDK supporters and fans. Their palpable grief painted a picture of the profound impact Captain had on their lives and the political fabric of Tamil Nadu.
World leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, paid their respects. Modi’s sentiments echoed the nation’s feelings, acknowledging Vijayakanth’s dual legacy: a captivating cinematic journey and a transformative political career dedicated to public service. In his passing, Tamil Nadu has lost a stalwart, but Captain Vijayakanth’s legacy as a cinematic legend and a political trailblazer will forever be etched in the annals of the state’s history.