Author and New Yorker Salman Rushdie is now a knight [this photo shows him winning the India Abroad lifetime achievement award in March 2007; photo by Jay Mandal/On Assignment]. He and cricket player Ian Botham, as well as CNN's Christiane Amanpour were among those beknighted as part of Queen Elizabeth II's Birthday Honours (which means it was her birthday, I take it; in any case Rushdie's birthday is June 19). Shami Chakrabarti, a British human rights activist, was also awarded the title of Commander of the British Empire (CBE).
Rushdie has been awarded for his services to Literature in the Queen's Birthday Honours List, which recognises the achievements of 19 other NRIs as well. "I'm thrilled and humbled to receive this great honour, and I am very grateful that my work has been recognised in this way," Rushdie said. [PTI]
The correct way to refer to him has now changed, as the lead sentence in The Hindu story (front-page, above the fold) put it: "Move over Mr. Rushdie. Welcome Sir Salman."
According to the BBC, Chakrabarti is 38 and the director of Liberty, a human rights group. She used to be a barrister. She's been highly critical of the UK's "constant erosion of personal freedoms."
Ms Chakrabarti, who has been director of Liberty for four years, said: "I'm not exactly the most predictable choice, no-one was more surprised than me.
"I hope it will send a timely signal that democratic dissent is not disloyalty, it is a positive civic duty. This is an official Royal invitation to do more, and I will take that invitation on behalf of people punished without trial and barred from protest in Parliament Square."
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