Stating that Anna fully deserved to be honoured with the highest civilian award, Karunanidhi requested that the late leader be "conferred the award during the ensuing Republic Day."
Far from being the founder of DMK, Annadurai (1908-69) was the ideological fountainhead of major Dravidian parties including AIADMK and MDMK and the tallest Dravidian leader in Tamil Nadu.
Fondly addressed as "Anna" (elder brother) he was the brightest disciple of reformist leader Periyar E V Ramasamy (1878-1973).
He founded the DMK in 1949 after differences of opinion with his mentor. Acclaimed as one of the best orators of Tamil, he was a master orator in English as well.
He mesmerised the masses through his impeccable and flowery speeches in Tamil.
Under his leadership, the DMK stormed to power in 1967 ousting the then powerful Congress in Tamil Nadu.
He was the Chief Minister of the then "Madras State" between 1967-69 and he changed the name of the State to "Tamil Nadu" through legislation.