Shashi Tharoor conferred France’s Highest Civilian Medal

On February 21, 2024, French authorities awarded Indian Member of Parliament and author Shashi Tharoor the distinction of ‘Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur’ (Knight of the Legion of Honour) – the highest French civilian honour. It recognizes his long-standing contribution in fostering Indo-French ties.

About the Award Winner

Dr. Tharoor is an acclaimed writer, former diplomat and currently a parliamentarian affiliated to Indian National Congress party representing Thiruvananthapuram constituency in the Lok Sabha.

His Achievements

He has authored over 20 fiction and non-fiction literary works with a recent political book on Hindu nationalism sparking intense debates. As former Under-Secretary General of United Nations, he has championed humanitarian causes internationally.

France’s Most Prestigious Decoration

The Legion of Honour medal created in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte as a military order was later expanded to cover eminent services advancing French interests globally. It is the highest civilian award given by the French Republic for outstanding service to France, regardless of the nationality of the recipients.

The President of the French Republic is the Grand Master of the Order of the Legion of Honour. The prestigious order bears the motto “Honneur et Patrie” (Honour and Fatherland).

Shashi Tharoor’s France Connect

In his illustrious career, Tharoor has engaged extensively with several French leaders and advanced bilateral strategic ties. He also admires French values greatly. Chairman of the French Senate said that ‘Dr Tharoor is also a true friend of France, a Francophone with a keen understanding of France and its culture’.

In the course of his career at the United Nations, Sr Shashi Tharoor has worked with a large number of French foreign ministers.

Award Announcement and Ceremony

The award for Tharoor was actually declared in August 2022. But French Senate Chair Gerard Larcher formally conferred it upon Dr. Tharoor on 21st February at the residence of French envoy to India based in New Delhi.

In his acceptance speech, Tharoor expressed humility upon this recognition of his modest contributions and appreciated how the honor also celebrated deep India-France solidarity and shared universal ideals beyond just individual glory.

Notable Indian Recipients

The list of distinguished Indians who have been honored with the Legion of Honour includes influential figures such as JRD Tata, Satyajit Ray, Pandit Ravi Shankar, Zubin Mehta, E Sreedharan, Amitabh Bachchan, Lata Mangeshkar, Shah Rukh Khan, and many others.


1 Comment

  1. Dr.Cajetan Coelho

    February 23, 2024 at 1:34 pm

    Hearty congratulations to Dr. Shashi Tharoor Ji.

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