Bollywood star is conferred the "Knight of the Legion of Honor" whose
past recipients include Indian film icon Amitabh Bachchan and the late director
Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan was conferred the French distinction of "Knight of the Legion of Honor" at a special ceremony in Mumbai Tuesday. French minister of foreign affairs and international development Laurent Fabius, who is on an official visit to India, pinned the medal on Khan at an exclusive event held at the iconic Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.
"The French people hail Shah Rukh Khan's talent and generosity, which arouse the enthusiasm of a vast audience across the world, transcending cultural and historical differences and bringing together people from all walks of life to his films," said Fabius.
"There are different moments in life that make you feel that you are on the right track. This is one such moment. I am truly humbled to receive this honor," Khan said in his acceptance speech. "This honor has further motivated me to take Indian cinema to the next level of acceptance, love and glory. And thank you France for being so loving and appreciative of Indian films. It's extremely encouraging." Khan ended his speech wishing France "all the best for World Cup glory."
This is Khan's second French honor after he was conferred the Knight in the Order of Arts and Letters in 2007.
Created in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte, the Legion of Honor is the highest award given by the French Republic for outstanding service to France, regardless of the nationality of the recipients. Other renowned Indian recipients of this honor include Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan, the late film director Satyajit Ray and the late sitar maestro Ravi Shankar.