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Former star hero, DMDK founder Vijayakanth is no more


Former Tamil actor and Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) founder Vijayakant (alternatively spelt as Vijayakanth) is no more. He was undergoing treatment for Covid-19 at a private hospital in Chennai. The doctors said that he was diagnosed with pneumonia and was put on ventilatory support on Wednesday. He breathed his last on Thursday morning. He was 71.

Narayanan Vijayaraj Alagarswami was his birth name. It was in the late 1970s that he became an actor. It was with a 1981 movie named 'Sattam Oru Iruttarai' that he attained stardom. Incidentally, it was directed by SA Chandrasekar, the father of Thalapathy Vijay. Captain and Puratchi Kalingar (meaning 'revolutionary artist') are his monikers.

His cinema career was prolific. "In his heydays, Vijayakanth used to give two or three call sheets in a single day. In 1984, he released 18 films. He introduced many debut filmmakers in the industry, especially film institute students and directors from villages who approached Vijayaknth for their debut films," wrote Rajasekhar, a senior Kollywood observer.

In politics, Vijayakanth met with unexpected success now and then. Becoming the Leader of the Opposition in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly from 2011 to 2016 was the high point of his political career. His fans and supporters hoped that he would one day become a kingmaker.

Ragalahari condoles the demise of the iconic actor-turned-politician. May he attain Sadgati!