Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan will be honoured with one of the prestigious civilian awards by the French government for his contribution to Indian cinema.
France has decided to honour Khan with Legion of France (National Order of the Legion of Honour), the highest decoration - civilian or military- in France.
The award will be presented next week by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. Fabius will arrive in India for a three day tour on 29 June. He will first meet External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on 30 June and 1 July in New Delhi. After that, Fabius will travel to Mumbai where he will honour King Khan with the award.
"After his meetings in Delhi on June 30 and July 1, the Minister will travel to Mumbai for business meetings and give the highest French honour, the Legion of Honour, to actor Shah Rukh Khan,'' a source told The Times of India.
SRK will be the second Bollywood actor who will be conferred with this highest civilian awards. Amitabh Bachchan became the first actor to receive this award in 2007 for his contribution to Indian cinema.
Apart from them, Oscar winning Indian director Satyajit Ray and 'Nightingale of India' Lata Mangeshkar were also honoured with the award in the year 1987 and 2009 respectively.
"France has a tradition of supporting artists from all over the world. Bestowing the insignia of Officer of the Legion of Honour on Lata Mangeshkar, is a recognition of her incomparable singing career, and to a personality who has stayed at the top range in her field for over 60 years," Jerome Bonnafont, Ambassador of France to India, told Press Trust of India in 2009.
Other Civilian Awards
In 2013, France honoured filmmaker Anurag Kashyap with Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters (Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) award for his efforts in promoting the Indian cinema across the world.
French Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti presented the award to the director and screenwriter last year during the Cannes Film Festival.
In 2012, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was presented with Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters in Mumbai during her 39th birthday for her contribution in the field of arts. The actress received the award in the presence of her family including husband Abhishek Bachchan, daughter Aaradhya, father-in-law Amitabh and her parents.
"I want to thank the French government for honouring me with this award. It is truly overwhelming," Aishwarya told reporters during the event, according to PTI.