Actor Kamal Haasan has been chosen by the French ministry of culture and communication for the prestigious Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts Arts et Lettres (Knight in the National Order Arts and Letters)
The first question that would come to anyone’s mind is – What is Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts Arts et Lettres?
The award is to recognize eminent artists and writers, as well as people who have contributed significantly to furthering the arts in France and throughout the world.”
The Order has three ranks – chevalier (knight), officier (officer), commandeur (commander) – and two high offices.
The actor who boasts of over 50 years in the field of film making contributing through various means such as acting, producing, directing, writing, singing etc has already donned many awards including the Padma Bhushan from the Indian Government. This prestigious recognition from the French Government comes as feather on his cap.
Other Indians who have been conferred the Chevalier Order include veteran musician Balamuralikrishna, and actors like Sivaji Ganesan, Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Nandita Das and Shah Rukh Khan.
Here is his full statement:
“The French Government has kindly conferred the Chevalier award for Arts and Letters on me. On this occasion, I bow before my more deserving forerunners, Mr. Satyajit Ray and Mr. Sivaji Ganesan, who made even the common man realise the value of the Chevalier award. I thank His Excellency, the Ambassador of France in India, Mr. Alexandre Ziegler, who inimated me of this honour.
“This award humbles me rather than stiffen me with pride.
“I realise my journey in my chosen field has not been alone. Teachers and admirers abounded around me. With motherly care they have applauded my every little step forward. The melancholy of my parents not being alive to see this day is allayed by the fact that the elders and the young are still around in my family to enjoy it. I dedicate this award to my admirers and audience, who give me the tenacity of purpose to pursue, to this day and moment, my arts and letters. Thank you.”