Several celebrities from the film industry, including two of Tamil cinema’s top stars — Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan — congratulated Isaignani Ilaiyaraaja on being nominated to the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his happiness over Ilaiyaraaja’s nomination to the Rajya Sabha in a tweet in which he said: “The creative genius of Ilaiyaraaja Ji has enthralled people across generations. His works beautifully reflect many emotions.
“What is equally inspiring is his life journey — he rose from a humble background and achieved so much. Glad that he has been nominated to the Rajya Sabha.”
Superstar Rajinikanth tweeted, “My hearty congratulations to my dear friend Ilaiyaraaja who has been nominated to the Rajya Sabha.” He and Ilaiyaraaja are going to reunite after 28 years for R. Balki’s next film with Rajinikanth in the lead.
Khushbu Sundar, actress and influential BJP member, was among the first to react to the news.
She tweeted: “The greatest. The magician. The Maestro. Illayaraja gets nominated to the Rajya Sabha. What more can we ask for! The most happiest craziest fan like me can’t ask for more. Vaazthukkal (congratulations, sir).”
Kamal Haasan, who shares a very close bond with Ilaiyaraaja, also congratulated the Maestro. But his tweet was not a simple one.
Writing in Tamil, Kamal Haasan put out a tweet that said, “If it is to honour the incomparable and greatest Ilaiyaraaja for his art, he could be offered the post of the President unanimously. Even then, let us congratulate him for his nomination to the Rajya Sabha.”
Telugu Mega Star Chiranjeevi also wholeheartedly congratulated Ilaiyaraaja. He tweeted: “Heartiest congratulations to Shri Ilaiyaraaja, the unparalleled music genius. Your presence in the Rajya Sabha would certainly add the touch of genius to the Upper House.”
On a personal note, he added: “A matter of personal delight for me as I had the good fortune of you composing music for several of my films.”
Chiranjeevi went on to thank the Prime Minister for nominating Ilaiyaraaja. “Grateful thanks to Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji for bestowing the well-deserved honour of Presidential nomination as Rajya Sabha members on extremely deserving stalwarts from the film Industry — Shri K.V, Vijayendra Prasad garu and Shri Ilaiyaraaja garu.”
K.V. Vijayendra Prasad, incidentally, was most recently in the news for being the ‘RRR’ screenwriter.
One of the greatest music composers of the country, Ilaiyaraaja hails from a small village called Pannaiyapuram in the Madurai district of Tamil Nadu. He has scored music for more than 1,400 movies and composed over 7,000 songs, many of which have gone on to emerge as chartbusters and timeless classics.
Winner of five National Awards, Ilaiyaraaja was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2010 and the Padma Vibhushan, the country’s second highest civilian award in 2018.