• Monday, July 15, 2024

An overview of the Kalaignar Centenary Library in Madurai

Chief Minister MK Stalin inaugurated the Kalaignar Centenary Library on July 15 to celebrate the 100th birth anniversary of former Dravidian patriarch M Karunanidhi.
on Jul 18, 2023
An overview of the Kalaignar Centenary Library in Madurai | Frontlist

Chief Minister MK Stalin inaugurated the Kalaignar Centenary Library on July 15 to celebrate the 100th birth anniversary of former Dravidian patriarch M Karunanidhi.

On Sunday afternoon, July 16th, the Kalaignar Centenary Library on Natham Road in Madurai was busy. The library was opened the day before by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin to honor the 100th anniversary of former CM and Dravidian patriarch M Karunanidhi, who is also Stalin’s father. By Sunday, people from across the city came to the library to browse the endless shelves of books, looking through titles that caught their attention.

The entrance of the building features a statue of Karunanidhi sitting with his legs crossed, wearing his iconic black glasses and a smile, holding a writing pad in his left hand and a pen in his right. Behind the statue, the yellow-tinted words Kalaignar Nootrandu Noolagam (Kalaignar Centenary Library) stand out starkly against a red clay exposed brick wall. Caricatures from Sangam literature works, and a recurring motif of the rising sun — the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) symbol adorn the entrance. A chandelier hangs from the center of one such "sun", and three escalators to different library sections lend the building a stately, extravagant tone.

The ground floor includes a section named ‘Kalaignar Pirivu’ that showcases the works of Karunanidhi. The section also contains books on the history and evolution of the Dravidian and self-respect movements. Additionally, there is a special gallery featuring pictures and paintings of the colonial Madurai, the former capital of the Pandya Kingdom. Furthermore, a life-size sculpture depicting a man taming a jallikattu bull is on display.

The Anna Centenary Library-inspired building spans 2.13 lakh sq ft and costs Rs 120.75 crore. The library, which was inaugurated with HCL founder Shiv Nadar and chairperson Roshini Nadar as the chief guests, has a kids screening theater, a science lab, and a conference hall, and is fully air-conditioned. Tamil Nadu has over 4,000 libraries, but many are in a dismal state despite the government's decision to build a new one, prompting calls to renovate existing ones.
 

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