Writer and former UN under Secretary General Shashi Tharoor has been honoured with the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award, the highest award for overseas Indians.
The award was conferred on Tharoor by the Indian Ambassador to the United States Ronen Sen at his official residence in Washington on Tuesday evening.
The official citation of the award recalled not only Tharoor's "brilliant record as an international civil servant" but also his contribution as a writer on contemporary social and political themes.
The award was conferred "in recognition of his valuable contribution in promoting the honour and image of India and in fostering the interests of overseas Indians".
Accepting the honour, Tharoor pointed out that the Award was given in 2004 but he was unable to accept it at the time because of the rules of the United Nations that prohibited accepting decorations by foreign governments.
"For me this evening is very special for all sorts of reasons," Tharoor said adding that he had the distinction of being able to carry the Indian standard in the race to succeed Kofi Annan as the Secretary General of the United Nations.
"It didn't work out... But we were able to stand up to certain values and principles in the international system for which India has always stood" Tharoor said.
"I wear this badge with pride and honour," he said.
The function was attended by members of the Indian American Community, the Co Chairs of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans Democrat Jim McDermott and Republican Joe Wilson and senior Congressional staffers.