The statement added that the government will also confer the 'Bharathiyar award" to renowned writer Jayakanthan and the Balasaraswati award to danseuse Bharathanatyam guru Padma Subramaniam.
The government announced to honour the eminent personalities from the field of music, dance and drama in 2009 budget session. These personalities will be chosen based on their contribution at the national level.
The state government has definitely taken a novel step by making this announcement as Ilaiyaraaja is considered to be one of the greatest music composers in India. He is also a songwriter, conductor and an instrumentalist. In his career spanning more than 3 decades, Ilaiyaraaja has composed more than 4500 songs and given music to over 950 Indian movies in different languages. The legendary musician has also received 'National Film Award" for his music direction in the 1986 Tamil film Sindhu Bhairavi.