Soumitra Chatterjee Current Affairs - 2019

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Father Franois Laborde conferred with Légion d’Honneur

Father Franois Laborde a 92-year-old priest from Bengal was conferred with Légion d’Honneur (Legion of Honour) in recognition of his work for specially-abled and destitute children. Father Laborde has his roots in France and is the citizen of India now.

Father Laborde has set up an organisation called Howrah South Point which works for the development of specially-abled children, the destitute and the most deprived sections of the society.

Father Franois Laborde is the third person from the state of West Bengal to have been awarded the Legion of Honor. The honour has already been bestowed upon film maestro Satyajit Ray and actor Soumitra Chatterjee. Both of them also hails from the state of West Bengal.

Légion d’Honneur (Legion of Honour)

Légion d’Honneur (Legion of Honour) officially National Order of the Legion of Honour was instituted by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 as a general military and civil order of merit conferred without regard to birth or religion provided that anyone admitted swears to uphold liberty and equality.

The honour has been retained by all later French governments and regimes. It is the highest civilian award given by the French government for outstanding service and excellence in any field regardless of the nationality of the recipients.

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Soumitra Chatterjee presented with France’s Legion d’Honneur

Legendary Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee (83) was awarded France’s highest civilian award, Legion d’Honneur. He was presented the medal by French Ambassador Alexandre Ziegler at a function in Kolkata, West Bengal.

Chatterjee was awarded in recognition of his remarkable career and his outstanding contribution in promoting Indian cinema in France and his long-standing attraction for our country.

Soumitra Chatterjee

He was born on 19 January 1935 in Mirjapur Street, Calcutta in West Bengal. In his acting career spanning almost six decades, he has acted in more than 200 films. He had debuted in his mentor Satyajit Ray’s film Apur Sansar (1959) and went on to work with director in 14 films.

Besides acting, he has also dabbled in painting, written and directed plays, composed poems, edited Bengali magazine and is also a much-acclaimed elocutionist.

He has been awarded Padma Bhushan (2004), India’s highest award in cinema Dadasaheb Phalke Award (2012). In 1999, he became first Indian to be awarded with Commandeur de l’ Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France’s highest award for artistes.

Legion d’Honneur

Officier de la Légion d’Honneur (Officer of the Legion of Honour) was created in 1802 by first emperor of France Napoleon Bonaparte. It is the highest civilian award given by the French government to person for his outstanding service to France, regardless of the nationality. Actors Amitabh Bachchan and Shahrukh Khan were also awarded in 2007 and 2014. Other Indians who were also awarded are Amartya Sen, Ravi Shankar, Zubin Mehta, Lata Mangeshkar, JRD Tata and Ratan Tata among others.

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