In the half yearly announcements about knighthoods MBEs and OBEs…
SEVERAL Asians from the world of the arts have been recognised in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Among the most prominent is author Salman Rushdie. Already a Sir (a knighthood), he is made a Companion of Honour for his services to literature.
This accolade is reserved for only 65 people at any one time and is a special award to those who have made very significant contributions to the arts, sciences, medicine or governance over a substantial period. The author of the path-breaking ‘Midnight’s Children’ (1981) and Booker of Bookers in 1994, reacted: “It was with great surprise and delight that I learned of the extraordinary honour. It’s a privilege to be included in such illustrious company, both past and present.”
Visual artist Chila Kumari Singh Burman is now an MBE.
She has had a long career and received universal acclaim for her Tate Britain Winter Commission in 2020/21. She decorated the façade with her trademark neon – the neon Bengal tiger and ice cream van being particularly memorable. She spoke to acv’s Associate Editor Suman Bhuchar in one of the first post-lockdown videos on our Youtube channel.
Her MBE award is for these “uplifting” installations. She also decorated a suv (sports utility vehicle) for Netflix in a film promotion for the title, ‘The White Tiger’ and more recently a display Covent Garden with the neon tiger very much on show.
Professor Daljit Nagra, one of the Britain’s best-known poets, is also an MBE now. The author of ‘Ramayana – A reading’, ‘Tipoo Sultan’s Incredible White Man Eating Tiger Toy Machine’ and his first full collected work, ‘Look we have coming to Dover’, is professor of creative writing at Brunel University and Chair of the Royal Society of Literature and spoke to www.asianculturevulture.com quite early on in our creation.
Dr Chithra Ramakrishnan, founder director of the British Carnatic Choir also received an MBE – for her services to the promotion of South Indian classical music and dance. She is a well-known Carnatic vocalist and set up ShruthiUK with an aim to making the classical Indian arts more accessible. She is based in Birmingham.
Another MBE, Sandeep Mahal has been involved in promotion of literature, diversity and accessibility for many years and is a leadership associate of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC).
She said on Twitter: “Honoured, proud & still a bit stunned. Thank you for all the kind and generous messages, they’re much appreciated. Grateful too for the support and inspiration I have received over the years from Nottingham City of Literature and Nottingham Council.”
She was the founding director in 2015 for the Nottingham Unesco City of Literature – a response to the library closure programme at that time. She worked as director until 2021.
Patrick Limb, chair of Nottingham Unesco City of Literature, praised Mahal’s contribution in light of her award.
“The accolade of such an honour reflects Sandy’s outstanding contribution to the arts and culture in and around Nottingham over the succeeding five years.
“In particular, it recognises and respects her active championing of equality of opportunity by seeking to ensure that as diverse a range of voices as possible are equitably raised up, heard and represented.”
Vippen Paul Sagoo, better known as just Paul Sagoo, is also another MBE – for his services to the Asian community and diversity and inclusion. Sagoo founded the Global Asian Awards. He spoke to acv in 2016 about these awards.
Sanjeevini Dutta, the director of Kadam dance and editor of dance magazine pulseconnects.com receives an MBE for her services to dance. Pulse said: “Those who put her name forward and those who work with her appreciate her creativity, approachability and the sheer love of the dance forms and music that inspires her dedication in these roles.”
Rozina Ahmed, principal policy officer, Mayor of London’s office receives an MBE for services to equality, diversity and inclusion in education, culture and sport.
Gurvinder Singh Sandher, chief executive officer Cohesion Plus also receives an MBE for services to the arts and to the community in Kent.
Among the other prominent Asians to receive awards are England cricketer Moeen Ali – made an OBE, fragrance entrepreneur, Chair of Care England and joint-operator of Hallmark Care Homes Avnish Goyal a CBE for his services to his industry and philanthropy; fragrance entrepreneur Sanjay Vaedra, an MBE and a number of those working in the NHS. Just over 13 per cent of the awardees on this list are from an ethnic minority background. Around 40 South Asians are thought to have been presented awards this time around.
These awards were announced on June 1.
More on general award winners here: https://www.easterneye.biz/birthday-honours-sir-salman-rushdie-moeen-ali-and-sanjay-vadera-recieve-honours/