France conferred the award of Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur on Shri Muthusamy Varadarajan : April 01, 2010
The Ambassador of France to India, Mr Jérôme Bonnafont, conferred the award of Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour) on Mr Muthusamy Varadarajan, President, Alliance Française de Delhi, on Thursday, 1st April, at the Residence of France. The evening also saw a santoor recital by maestro and music composer, Shri Abhay Rustum Sopori.
The French government bestowed the award on Mr M Vardarajan in recognition of his contribution to the development of Indo-French cooperation in the field of academia and culture. The French government confers several distinctions amongst which the Order of the Legion of Honour is the highest national distinction. The Order of the Legion of Honour was instituted in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte.
The awards ceremony was attended, amongst others, by Bharatnatyam dancer Malavika Sarrukai, Sufi singer Zila Khan, eminent painter Anjolie Ila Menon and former Attorney General of India Soli Sorabji.
Born in 1933, Mr Muthusamy Varadarajan joined the IAS in 1956, holding various important posts until his retirement in 1991. Among these, he has been posted as “Minister” at the Indian High Commission in London, appointed as Director General of the India Supply Mission, Secretary in the Ministries of Culture, Environment, and Sports and Youth Affairs. Mr Varadarajan has also served as member of the Board of Directors of numerous Indian PSUs.
Apart from these, other notable posts include: Member, National Commission for Minorities; Executive Director, Indian Council of Child Welfare; Chairman, Experts’ Committee, National Museum of India; Special Adviser, Osian’s Connoisseurs of Art.
His inclination for art and culture is reflected in his publications, comprising Nadopasana One, a collection of essays on traditional Indian dances and music (Editor); Handcrafted Indian Enamel Jewellery (co-authored with Rita Devi Sharma); Wisdom — 365 Thoughts from Indian Masters (publication coordinator); Traditions & Rituals (on Indian rituals and traditions, part of the Incredible India collection).
About the artist:
Mr Abhay Rustum Sopori, the youngest santoor maestro and classical musician to compose and conduct orchestras and folk ensembles, is also the youngest artist from the country to have been awarded the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Award - Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar (2006), amongst others.
For photos, please visit the photogallery.