Badshah Khan aka Shah Rukh Khan became the second Bollywood actor after star of Millennium, Amitabh Bachchan to be bestowed with the ‘Knight of the France Legion’, one of the France country's highest civilian awards. Shah Rukh Khan was given the award at a special event held at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Mumbai by the hands of visiting French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius for his outstanding contribution to cultural diversity across the world.
Incidentally the award was presented to Shah Rukh Khan on his mother’s birthday hence he became more emotional. Remembering his mother, he said, “Today is my mother’s birthday and if my mother would have been alive to witness this prestigious honor given to me, she would really been happier.”
Giving credit to the filmmakers because of whom he was able to make his presence felt in Bollywood Shah Rukh Khan while accepting the award said, “I accept this award not as an individual but on behalf of hundreds of filmmakers," He added, "It makes me feel proud to be recognized for the field I am passionate about. This award has motivated me to take Indian cinema to the next level of acceptance, love and glory. I thank the President of France for this honour."
Prior to this honor Shah Rukh Khan has also been bestowed with ‘Ordre des Arts et des Lettres’ by the government of France in 2007 for his contribution to cinema.
Few may know that this award was instituted by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 saluting exceptional service to France regardless of the nationality. Besides Bollywood superstars Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan, this award has also been bestowed upon two legendary Indians late director Satyajit Ray and late sitar maestro Ravi Shanker.