Remembering ‘Captain’ Vijayakant (1952-2023)

This folder is a compilation of The Hindu’s coverage on the demise of actor-turned-politician Vijayakant

Updated - December 30, 2023 01:56 am IST

Published - December 28, 2023 05:34 pm IST - CHENNAI:

Tamil actor and DMDK founder Vijayakant

Tamil actor and DMDK founder Vijayakant | Photo Credit: X / @mammukka

Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) founder Vijayakant who was admitted to a private hospital in Chennai for pneumonia, passed away on Thursday, December 28, 2023. He was 71.

Also read:DMDK founder Vijayakant’s death updates

The news of his death was confirmed shortly after the party issued a statement that he was put on ventilator support due to breathing difficulties after being diagnosed with COVID-19.

Born Vijayaraj in Madurai, the dark skinned and well-built young man, became popular initially as Vijayakant, a screen name given by M.A. Kaja, the director of his first film Inikkum llamai.

He came to be affectionately called ‘Captain’ following his stellar portrayal of the title role in the superhit film Captain Prabakaran loosely based on the life of dreaded forest brigand Veerappan. Vijayakant was last seen in the 2010 Tamil movie Virudhagiri. Interestingly, he contested from Virudhachalam constituency where the presiding deity is Viruthagireeswarar.

Vijayakant took a political plunge once he decided and launched DMDK and rattled stalwarts M. Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa by emerging as a third force in 2006.

He burst into the political scene by polling an impressive 8.38% vote share as an independent player taking on the alliances led by the mighty DMK and the AIADMK in the 2006 Tamil Nadu Assembly elections. The vote share increased to over 10% in the 2009 parliamentary elections.

In 2011, he tied up with the AIADMK and emerged as the second largest party in the Assembly, pushing the DMK to the third spot. Vijayakant, with 29 MLAs, became the Leader of the Opposition.

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