According to latest reports, actor Kamal Haasan will be awarded the Chevalier de L’Ordre Arts et Lettres (The Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) by the French government. The order is part of France’s premier league award, The Legion of Honor. This order of merit is awarded to recognize eminent writers and artists and their significant contribution in the field of culture and performing arts in France and all around the world.
Kamal Haasan thanked everyone and was most grateful to his supporters. In his exact words-
“The French Government has kindly conferred the Chevalier award for Arts and Letters on me. On this occasion, I bow before my more deserving forerunners, Mr. Satyajit Ray and Mr. Sivaji Ganesan, who made even the common man realize the value of the Chevalier award. I thank His Excellency, the Ambassador of France in India, Mr. Alexandre Ziegler, who inimated me of this honour.
This award humbles me rather than stiffen me with pride.
I realize my journey in my chosen field has not been alone. Teachers and admirers abounded around me. With motherly care they have applauded my every little step forward. The melancholy of my parents not being alive to see this day is allayed by the fact that the elders and the young are still around in my family to enjoy it. I dedicate this award to my admirers and audience, who give me the tenacity of purpose to pursue, to this day and moment, my arts and letters. Thank you.”
The order has three ranks- Chevalier(knight), Officer and Commandeur(commando) and two high offices and we were fortunate enough receive this award not once but multiple times..Other Indians who have been the recipients of this Chevalier award include veteran musician Balamuralikrishna, and actors like Sivaji Ganesan, Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Nandita Das and Shah Rukh Khan.