The DMK on Friday demanded the nation's highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna, for party patriarch M. Karunanidhi who passed away in Chennai on August 7. The party said the award will be a real tribute to the late Tamil Nadu leader's outstanding and exemplary work which had left an indelible mark in history. Karunanidhi, who led the DMK for five decades, was the Chief Minister for 19 years spread over five terms. Raising the issue during Zero Hour in the Rajya Sabha, DMK's Tiruchi Shiva dubbed Karunanidhi the "tallest leader of the country and a Dravidian stalwart". "He lived five years short of a century, out of which he contributed 80 years to the public life, fighting for the cause of the downtrodden, backward and the suppressed people. "He was an outstanding orator, a prolific writer, a novelist, a short-story writer, a philosopher, a philanthropist and also a dramatist. He was an actor and also wrote scripts for 80 movies," Shiva said enumerating the achievements of Karunanidhi. He said that Karunanidhi was "unparalleled" and made a mark in all walks of life. "His life cannot be described in words. He was a staunch and untiring soldier. He was fighting till his last breath, for social justice, secularism, state autonomy and self respect. "I would urge the government to confer upon him posthumously the Bharat Ratna, which will be a real tribute to his outstanding and exemplary work which had left an indelible mark in the annals of history," the DMK lawmaker said.