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Shashi Tharoor Awarded Top French Honor for Strengthening India-France Ties

Shashi Tharoor, Congress politician, received the top French civilian accolade, ‘Chevalier de la Legion d’honneur,’ during a ceremony in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Tharoor was awarded the honor, also known as the ‘Knight of the Legion of Honour’, by Gérard Larcher, Chairman of the French Senate, on behalf of the President of the French Republic, for his efforts to strengthen ties between India and France, commitment to international peace and cooperation, and as a long-standing friend of France, according to a statement issued by the French embassy.

Larcher described Tharoor as a “true friend of France” and said the honor recognized his achievements, friendship, love of France, and dedication to a more just world.

“Through his outstanding career as a diplomat, author and politician, Shashi Tharoor has embraced the world with a thirst for knowledge and an intelligence that has led him to live several lifetimes in one, and all of them in service to India and a better world,” he noted.

Tharoor accepted the honour, stating that he was deeply humbled. “As someone who admires France, its people, their refinement, their language, and their culture, especially their literature and cinema, I am deeply humbled to be conferred your country’s highest civilian honour.”

“To my mind, the conferral of this award to an Indian is an acknowledgement of the deepening of Franco-Indian relations and the continuity of the warmth that has been a feature of this relationship for a very long time,” Tharoor said.

What is the Legion of Honour Award?

The Légion d’Honneur (Legion of Honour) was established in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte and is awarded by the French Republic to individuals for their contributions to the country, regardless of citizenship.

The Legion of Honour award is split into five degrees: Knight, Officer, Commander, Grand Officer, and Grand Cross. The Grand Cross is the highest rank.

Notably, French President Emmaneul Macron awarded Prime Minister Narendra Modi the ‘Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour’ during his visit to France last year.

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