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    Shashi Tharoor to get Legion of Honour, France's highest civilian award — here's why

    Shashi Tharoor to get Legion of Honour, France's highest civilian award — here's why

    Shashi Tharoor to get Legion of Honour, France's highest civilian award — here's why
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    By CNBCTV18.COM IST (Published)

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    The Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur or the Legion of Honour is a French order of merit that was established in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte. It is awarded for excellent civil or military conduct.

    The French government is honouring Congress leader Shashi Tharoor with its highest civilian honour, 'Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur' Emmanuel Lenain, French Ambassador in New Delhi wrote to the Thiruvananthapuram MP. The recognition comes after Tharoor surprised the officials of the embassy, consulates, Alliance Francaise and military attaches by delivering a speech in French last year.
    According to the French government, the award is being conferred upon Tharoor in recognition of his writings and speeches. The two-term Lok Sabha MP is also a celebrated author with several fiction and non-fiction books under his belt.
    Tharoor tweeted, "As one who cherishes our relations with France, loves the language and admires the culture, I am honoured to be recognised in this way. My gratitude and appreciation to those who have seen fit to award me this distinction."
    What is the Legion of Honour?
    The Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur or the Legion of Honour is a French order of merit that was established in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte. It is awarded for excellent civil or military conduct. The award is given without regard to birth or religion provided that the individual swears to uphold the values of liberty and equality. All previous orders were reserved only for Christians.
    The award is given to people with 20 years of civil achievement in peacetime or those who display extraordinary military bravery in times of war. The badge of the Legion has the inscription "République Française" (Republic of France) while the reverse side has a set of crossed tricolours with the motto “Honneur et Patrie” (Honor and Country).
    The first Indian to be awarded with the Legion of Honour was Maharaja Pratap Singh of Idar in 1918. Since then, more than 40 Indians have been honoured with the award. The list of the recipients includes JRD Tata (1983), Satyajit Ray (1987), Pandit Ravi Shankar (2000), E Sreedharan (2005), Amitabh Bachchan (2007), Lata Mangeshkar (2007), Shah Rukh Khan (2014), Kamal Haasan (2016), Ratan Tata (2016), and Azim Premji (2018), among others.
    Earlier, in 2010, Tharoor had received a similar honour from the Spanish government. He was awarded the ‘Encomienda de la Real Order Espanola de Carlos III’.
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