LONDON (COUNCIL): Salman Rushdie, the Mumbai-born author of the Booker Prize-winning novel ‘Midnight’s Children’, tops a list of more than 40 Indian-born professionals and community champions to be honored in the list Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Rushdie is named Companion of Honor, an exclusive club with membership limited to 65 people at a time, for his services to literature in a list released Wednesday night as Jubilee Honors to mark the 70-year platinum jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. service in the UK.
“It is a privilege to be included in such an illustrious company, past and present,” said the 74-year-old author, who received a fatwa from Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini for his novel controversial “The Satanic Verses” over 30 years. years ago.
The Companion of Honor is a special award given to those who have made major contributions to the arts, science, medicine, or government over a long period of time.
Very few receive this high honour, which has been conferred on figures like former British prime ministers Winston Churchill and John Major and famous physicist Stephen Hawking in the past.
“Born in Bombay, he later attended Rugby School and King’s College, Cambridge, where he read the story,” reads the quote from Rusdhie, author of 14 novels.
“‘Midnight’s Children’ has twice (1993 and 2008) been voted Best of the Bookers by the public. He was knighted for his services to literature in 2007. He is also a non-fiction author, essayist, co-editor and recognized humanist,” he notes.
Others honored with some of the highest royal awards coinciding with celebrations of the 96-year-old monarch’s 70-year reign, include a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for Avnish Mitter Goyal, chairman of Care England, for his services. social welfare and philanthropy.
Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) include Hotelier Kishorkant (Vinu) Bhattessa for charitable and voluntary services, particularly during covid-19, and Liverpool manager Rohit Naik for services to the ‘education.
Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) recognize a large number of British Indians who have contributed to their local community, including councilors Pranav Bhanot and Ameet Jogia.
In the health sector, Prof Indranil Chakravorty of the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) and orthopedic surgeon Prof Srimathi Rajagopalan Murali are among those to receive an MBE.
Dr. Chila Kumari Singh Burman, Sandeep Mahal, Prof. Daljit Nagra and Dr. Chithra Ramakrishnan are among those honored by MBEs in Arts, Culture and Literature.
“I am delighted and honored to receive this important recognition for my academic and voluntary work,” said Dr Nikita Ved, researcher and lecturer in medicine at the University of Oxford and co-founder of the 1928 Institute dedicated researching British Indians, who was awarded an MBE for services to the covid-19 response.
“Although I and others have reservations about the term ‘member of the British Empire’, I accept this award in the spirit of recognition, particularly at my age, as I have the feeling that many young people are being overlooked for their hard work,” said the 32-year-old academic.
Further down the list, Varsha Kumari Mistry – medical examiner at Scotland Yard – received an Order of the British Empire (OBEM) medal for his service to diversity and inclusion in policing and the community Hindu.
As a tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, recipients were recognized for their outstanding contributions across all sectors, but in particular for sustained public service, environment and sustainability, and youth engagement.
“This historic platinum jubilee is not just a celebration of the monarch but of the qualities she possesses,” said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
“The honors she is presenting this week reflect many of those qualities which have been invaluable in all walks of life and in communities across the UK. I pay tribute to all of this year’s winners. Their stories of courage and compassion are an inspiration to all of us,” he said.
A total of 1,134 candidates have been nominated for honors in different areas by the UK Cabinet Office – which compiles the list, with 13.3% of successful candidates from an ethnic minority background.
Other winners include crime writer Ian Rankin’s knighthood and actor Damian Lewis and fashion designer Stella McCartney’s CBEs.
The Honors List is published annually to coincide with the Queen’s official birthday celebrations in early June. This year is marked by extra pomp and ceremony as the Platinum Jubilee of Britain’s longest-serving monarch.