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Shashi Tharoor Awarded France’s Highest Civilian Award

Shahshi Tharoor awarded Chevalier de la Legion d’honneur

Shashi Tharoor, an eminent author and politician representing the Congress party from Thiruvananthapuram, was bestowed with the prestigious “Chevalier de la Legion d’honneur,” France’s highest civilian honour. The award, announced by the French government in August 2022, was officially conferred on Tharoor at a ceremony held at the French Embassy, presided over by French Senate President Gerard Larcher.

Tharoor’s multifaceted career spanning diplomacy, literature, and politics has been characterized by a profound commitment to fostering Indo-French ties and promoting global cooperation and peace. Larcher lauded Tharoor’s intellectual prowess and dedication to India’s service, highlighting his role as a bridge between cultures and his deep understanding and appreciation of French culture.

Cultural Exchange & Diplomatic Ties

Expressing his gratitude, Tharoor emphasized his admiration for France and its cultural richness, seeing the award as a testament to the enduring warmth between India and France. He viewed the honour not only as recognition of his individual achievements but also as a celebration of the evolving friendship and collaboration between the two nations. Tharoor underscored the importance of cultural exchange and diplomatic ties in strengthening bilateral relations and advancing shared values on the global stage. He pledged to continue his efforts in nurturing this friendship and enhancing cooperation between India and France for the betterment of humanity.

Reflecting on his interactions with French leaders and his experiences at international forums, Tharoor expressed profound respect for French democracy and its foundational principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity. He highlighted the common goals of India and France in building alliances to navigate the complexities of the contemporary world.

Literature and France

Tharoor also recounted a poignant moment during his visit to France, where he witnessed the country’s reverence for its literary figures, drawing parallels to the recognition bestowed upon Indian writers. He concluded by affirming the significance of the Legion d’honneur as a symbol of appreciation for outstanding contributions to France, irrespective of nationality.

Instituted in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte, the Legion d’honneur is the highest civilian award given by the French Republic for outstanding service to France, regardless of the nationality of the recipients. The ceremony, attended by dignitaries from both countries, served as a reaffirmation of the enduring friendship and shared values between India and France, encapsulating the spirit of cooperation and mutual respect that defines their relationship.

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