Kolkata: The Rabindra Bharati University (RBU) has removed the name of Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan from the list of D Litt recipients this year, following a directive from Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi, vice-chancellor Sabyasachi Basu Ray Chaudhury said today.
Tripathi has asked the varsity to not bestow the honorary award on any person in absentia, Chaudhury said.
Bachchan had earlier said that he would be unable to receive the D Litt at the RBU’s 43rd convocation on May 8, due to prior shooting commitments.
The other eminent personalities who would be conferred the D Litt (honoris causa) at the convocation are writer Nabanita Dev Sen, painter Jatin Das and classical vocalist Pt. Amiya Ranjan Bandyopadhyay, the vice-chancellor said.
The convocation programme will be held at the Jorasanko campus of RBU, the ancestral home of Rabindranath Tagore, a day ahead of the bard’s birth anniversary.
Veteran painter Rabin Mondal will be given the Hirachand Dugar Memorial Award, while singer Ruma Guha Thakurta and sculptor Niranjan Pradhan will receive the West Bengal State Akademi of Dance Drama Music and Visual Arts awards.
Danseuse Purnima Ghosh and theatre personality Pankaj Kumar Munshi will be the other recipients of the Akademi Award, Chaudhury added.
The university had decided in February that it would confer upon Bachchan the honorary D Litt degree. The executive council of the State-run university had taken the decision.
Governor Tripathi received the proposal to this effect. The governor of West Bengal suffices as the chancellor of the varsity. The degree was supposed to be awarded to the actor during the university’s 43rd annual convocation scheduled for 8 May.
The actor, who has been a regular guest at the Kolkata International Film Festival in recent years, has had a long association with Kolkata, beginning with his first job as an executive with a Kolkata based firm Bird & Co. in the 1960s.
Established in 1962 and named after Rabindranath Tagore, Rabindra Bharati University was set up by the West Bengal government to mark the birth centenary of the Nobel laureate. Actor-director Amol Palekar was given the honorary D Litt during last year’s convocation by RBU.