What’s common between Amitabh Bachchan, Shabana Azmi, Shilpa Shetty and Shah Rukh Khan? Apart from Bollywood, it’s also honorary doctorates from international universities.
While the first three have already being honoured, King Khan will receive his honorary doctorate in Arts and Culture on July 10 from the University of Bedfordshire, UK.
Khan, currently in San Francisco, California said, “I am honoured and proud to be an Indian to be awarded this doctorate in London. I am really looking forward to personally receiving it from the vice chancellor of the university. ”
On a pensive note, Khan told Hindustan Times in an email, “While this honour is bestowed on me, I wonder if the deserving but poor and underprivileged children from India can also pursue their higher education in such illustrious universities. And maybe earn a doctorate as well. This thought has been weighing heavily on my mind and I’m hopeful that I’d be able to contribute to the cause in the future.” Khan is shooting for Karan Johar’s My Name is Khan in San Francisco and will be going to the UK on July 7.
Delhi-based NGO Routes for Roots was approached by the university to nominate an Indian for conferring a doctorate on. The five-year-old NGO has been working on enhancing people-to-people contact across the world, especially in the SAARC countries. It is also a member of the World Association of Non-Governmental Organisations that works closely with universities and educational trusts in various countries.
Gupta said, “The impact and following of Bollywood is unmistakable. Plus, apart from SRK’s achievements as an actor, he has also done a lot of work for the underprivileged.”
Ashraf Jawaid, the deputy vice chancellor (external relations) of the University of Bedfordshire, said, “We are absolutely delighted to confer the honorary doctorate on Shah Rukh Khan. He has made an outstanding contribution to the arts, culture and media which is recognised around the world.”