One more feather to the cap: The Chevalier Award – Kamal Hassan to receive France’s Prestigious Civilian Honor
Multifaceted Actor Kamal Hassan would be granted the French Government’s Legion D’Honneur ‘Chevalier L’Ordre Arts et Letters’ for his immense contribution towards the field of arts and movies. The actor’s career spawning 6 decades started as a child artiste in the Tamil Movie Kalathur Kannama (1959). Recently (March 30), the veteran actor was bestowed with The Henry Langlois award for his contribution to Cinema.
Memorable films of Kamal Hassan include 16 Vayathinilae, Sigappu Rojakkal, Ek Thuje Ke Liye, Sagara Sangamam, Moondram Pirai, Nayagan,Michael Madana KamaRajan, Devar Magan, Avvai Shanmughi, Hey Ram, Anbe Sivam and Dasavatharam. Rajaparvai, the actor’s 100th movie saw him venturing into movie production under the banner ‘Raaj Kamal Films International’. Aside from acting and producing movies, Kamal Hassan frequently involves in directing, playback singing, writing screenplays, dialogues & music lyrics. His popular directional ventures include Hey Ram, Virumaandi and Vishwaroopam.
Legion D’Honneur is the French Government’s highest honor for military and civilian excellence. Based on distinction, the honor is divided into 5 degrees (in increasing order) : Chevalier (Knight), Officier (Officer), Commandeur (Commander), Grand Officier (Grand Officer) and Grand Croix (Grand Cross). The First Indian to receive the Chevalier award was Durga Charan Rakshit from Chandannagar in 1896. Kamal Hassan will be the third artist from the state of TamilNadu after Sivaji Ganesan and Balamuralikrishna to be conferred the honor.
The actor is also a legatee of Indian Government’s Civilian Honors, The Padma Shri awarded in 1990 and The Padma Bhushan in 2014. On receiving the news, the actor thanked the French Government and dedicated the award to the audience and his admirers. His full statement read as follows
“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 intimated me of this honor.
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.”