DHAKA: Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan has been honoured with the Global Diversity Award 2013 at the State Room of Britain`s House of Commons.
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 Bachchan as a role model, Speaker Bercow said, "You have been a role model and Amitabh you deserve the award."
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 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. Bachchan is regarded as one of the greatest and most influential actors in the history of Indian cinema."
Receiving the award, Bachchan said he was overwhelmed to receive the "extremely historic award."
"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 normal 4 years." Referring to Bollywood, he said, "There are very few institutions which can boast of such unity as the Film industry."
Asked about his future plans, 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 deserve the Global Diversity Award, it is Amitabh Bachchan. Congratulations."
BDST: 0005 HRS, SEP 13, 2013