iconimg Saturday, May 30, 2015

Vijay Dutt, PTI
London, December 27, 2003
Professor Sushantha Kumar Bhattacharya, director of the Warwick Manufacturing Group, University of Warwick, has been knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours List. Apart from him there are 12 other Indian-origin persons who have been awarded OBEs and CBEs. Roger Moore, the former James Bond, who has appeared in 68 movies, has become the second 007 star after Sean Connery to become a knight. Anita Roddick, the founder of Body shop, the products of which are very popular in India as well, has been made a Dame. Singer-writers Sting and Dave Gilmour, former Pink Floyd guitarist head the pop industry figures, each getting a CBE.

David Beckham's OBE is the pick of the honours in the sports world. He said he was "privileged" to receive the award. England wicketkeeper and former Test Captain Alec Stewart also got OBE.

The "pucca" chef Jamie Oliver, who has trained a number of young for the lucrative career in restaurants and hotels, and readymade sauce king Lloyd Grossman are also in the MBE roll of honour. 

But what is most significant is that in the last few Honours List, an Indian-origin person has invariably figured among those knighted, unlike in the past. The Mumbai-born Ghulam K Noon, head of the largest frozen Indian food manufacturer in the UK was knighted nearly two years ago after almost a decade and a half during which no Indian-origin person got into the Knights Bachelor's list.

Most Indian-origin persons who are recipients of OBE, CBEs and MBEs have been honoured for services to the community, education and nursing. This year's list of around 1000 awardees is quite radical. Nearly, half of the recipients were nominated by members of the public.