Ilaiyaraaja awarded the Padma Vibhushan
The veteran composer had already received the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award, in 2010.
On Thursday evening, the Government of India announced the full list of Padma awardees for this year, and Ilaiyaraaja has been conferred with the Padma Vibhushan award for 2018, the country's second-highest civilian honour. The veteran composer had already received the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award, in 2010. He will be presented with the honour at the Republic Day celebrations today by the President of India.
In a press conference held at his residence late Thursday evening, Ilaiyaraaja said he was contacted by an official from the Information and Broadcasting ministry, who gave him the news and asked if he would accept the award. "When I told him I would accept it, he replied that it was the award that was honoured by my acceptance of it. He also asked if I would attend the award ceremony and I told him I would," said the composer.
"By conferring this award on me, I believe Prime Minister Modi's Government is honouring all of Tamilnadu and Tamil people everywhere," added Ilaiyaraaja, who has composed the music for more than a thousand films across languages, and is also the recipient of five National Awards.
Last year, this award was conferred on acclaimed singer KJ Yesudas. Other prominent Padma Vibhushan awardees include Rajinikanth, Amitabh Bachchan and Dilip Kumar.