University of Delhi (DU) has somewhat belatedly decided to confer Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan with an honorary doctorate.
Sixty-four-year-old Bachchan, who will be honoured on November 4 along with eminent scientist Prof CNR Rao, author and Jnanpith Award winner Mahasweta Devi, historian Romila Thapar, cartoonist RK Laxman, Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, was felicitated with a Doctorate of Arts degree by De Monfort University in Leicester in July this year, making him the first Indian star to be feted by a foreign university.
Both Bachchan and Dikshit are alumni of the university. This is the first time that the institution will be conferring an honorary doctorate on a film personality, DU Registrar AK Dubey said.
Asked whether the decision to honour Bachchan was in anyway influenced by the example set by De Monfort University, Registrar Dubey said, "The decision was taken a year back in 2005 but was shelved for unavoidable reasons. In fact, we were the first to decide on honouring Bachchan, even before De Montfort University."
Bachchan has excelled in his field and is a figure of inspiration for generations to come, he said.
Honours and laurels have been pouring in for Bachchan in recent times. In October the French government honoured him with the country's highest civilian award, the Legion d'Honneur, for his contribution to Indian and international culture.
About the decision to honour the Delhi CM, Dubey said the university would honour Dikshit for her good governance and innovative style of working. "She has done exceptionally good work for the people. For example, Delhi was the first state to implement the RTI Act (Right to Information Act) in October 2, 2001."
Bachchan has confirmed his participation in the special convocation ceremony. However, Ratan Tata and Prof Thapar have excused themselves as they are currently abroad.