Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan has been honoured with the Global Diversity Award 2013 at the State Room of Britain's House of Commons here.
Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt Hon John Bercow MP
presented the ornately sculpted glass Award to the 71-year-old
actor describing him as "a Bollywood icon and the most famous
Indian film star of all time."
Describing Mr Bachchan as a role model, Speaker Bercow said,
"You have been a role model and Amitabh you deserve the
British actor Hugh Grant was present at the award ceremony
which was chaired by Rt Hon Keith Vaz, MP, Chairman, Home
Affairs Select Committee.
The citation noted that "Amitabh Bachchan first gained popularity
in the early 1970s as the 'angry young man' of Hindi cinema,
and has since appeared in over 180 Indian films in a career
spanning more than four decades. Amitabh Bachchan is regarded as one
of the greatest and most influential actors in the history of
"He is a Global patron for the diabetes charity Silver
Star and last year was presented with a Mobile Diabetes Unit
for his home city Mumbai named 'Amitabh' in his honour," the
Receiving the award, Mr Bachchan said he was overwhelmed to
receive the "extremely historic award."
"I have been extremely overwhelmed by the love and
affection of the people of Great Britain," and thanked his
parents and family for their support in achieving what he did.
He said when Keith Vaz introduced him to the Diabetes
awareness campaign, "It has been a great privilege and honour
to visit various cities in helping people to tackle diabetes."
The actor thanked Vaz for naming one of the Mobile
Diabetes Units in his name in Mumbai and welcomed the
announcement to start yet another mobile unit in Delhi, named
after his father Harvanshrai Bachchan.
"My father taught English in Allahabad University and in
1952 he was the first Indian to get a Doctorate in English
Language at the Cambridge. He completed his Doctorate in two
years instead of the normal 4 years."
Referring to Bollywood, he said, "There are very few
institutions which can boast of such unity as the Film
Asked about his future plans, Mr Bachchan said, "I just did a
film called Satyagraha which dealt with socio-political
issues. There are several other films in the pipeline
including Bhootnath 2. I am also currently busy with the
latest Hindi version of Who wants to become a Millionaire.
In his brief address, actor Hugh Grant said, "It is truly
a great pleasure meeting Amitabh Bachchan. He is a gigantic
actor, super star who is hugely popular. He is also like a
saint in some way because of his charity and animal welfare
work. If ever anyone who deserves the Global Diversity Award,
it is Amitabh Bachchan. Congratulations.