Veteran musician Illaiyaraja, who was selected for the Padma Vibhushan award, said it was a honour bestowed by the Narendra Modi government on Tamil Nadu and Tamil people.
"I think that through this award, Prime Minister Modi-led central government is honouring Tamil people and Tamil Nadu," he told reporters here.
A joint Secretary level official from the Information and Broadcasting ministry had telephoned to inform him about the award, Illaiyaraja said in his brief media interaction.
One of the highest civilian Awards of the country, Padma Awards are conferred in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.
The 'Padma Vibhushan' is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service; 'Padma Bhushan' for distinguished service of high order and 'Padma Shri' for distinguished service in any field.
The Awards are given in various disciplines/ fields of activities, viz.- art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc.