Internationally acclaimed author Salman Rushdie was awarded knighthood on Saturday by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, who also honoured 19 other NRIs in recognition of their contribution to various fields.
Rushdie has been awarded for his services to Literature in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, which recognises achievements of 19 other NRIs as well. "I’m thrilled and humbled to receive this great honour, and I am very grateful that my work has been recognised in this way," Rushdie said.
The litterateur, who will celebrate his 60th birthday on Tuesday, spent almost a decade in hiding following a decree by Iran’s spiritual leader for his assassination after publication of his controversial book, Satanic Verses.
The booker Prize winner, who was was knighted along with former English cricketer Ian Botham, now spends much of his time in the US. Rushdie went to school in Mumbai and at Rugby in England, and read History at King’s College, Cambridge where he joined the Cambridge Footlights Theatre company. His second novel, Midnight’s Children was judged to have been the ‘Booker of Bookers’ in 1993.
Indian-origin Shami Chakrabarti, director of human rights group Liberty, who has been one of the most persistent critics of the UK government, was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. The 38-year-old barrister said "I’m not the most predictable choice."