Bollywood actor recognized for his “extraordinary contributions to the world of art, films, and culture”
Hindu University of America has awarded an honorary doctoral degree to Bollywood actor Anupam Kher in recognition of his “extraordinary contributions to the world of art, films, and culture, and in particular, to world cinema.”
Kher was awarded the degree along with 12 students who were awarded Master of Arts in Sanskrit Degrees, and other Masters and Doctoral Degrees in Hindu Studies and Yoga at a Graduation Ceremony at the Marriott Marquis, New York, on Sept 18, according to a media release.
Conferring the honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree in Hindu Studies on Kher, Dr. Jashvant Patel, member of the Board of Trustees and Chair of the Finance Committee of HUA, spoke of Kher’s courageous and righteous stand for Hindu philosophy and thought.
“The world may not know this, but Anupam Kher began his life in great adversity when he and his family had to leave Kashmir valley under difficult circumstances and start life afresh in a new town,” he said.
“And his journey from Shimla to Chandigarh, to Mumbai, and then to USA, is a true inspiration for millions of people worldwide,” Patel added.
Kher, who attended the event in person, accepted the degree “with pride” saying, “I am a proud Hindu, because in thousands of years, Hindus have never invaded any other country – India has never colonized any other country through military dominance.
“And even though many hundreds of thousands of my fellow Kashmiris were forced to live in refugee camps, it is due to the Hindu philosophy of nonviolence that no one picked up a gun or any weapon to settle any scores through violence,” he said. “We believe in resurrecting our lives by resurrecting our minds.”
Earlier addressing the students, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Prof. Ved Nanda said that America was very receptive to Hindu ideas and thought, and that he was confident that Hindu University is on its way to fulfilling the expectations of not only the immigrant Hindu community, but also of many other Americans.
Swami Sarvapriyananda, the resident Swami and head of the Vedanta Society of New York City, spoke about the need for the “Hindu community to build institutions that can transmit Santana Dharma systematically to the next generation of Hindu Americans.”
The HAU President Kalyan Viswanathan, read out the Mission and Vision of the University, laying out the need for protecting this small emerging university.
Established in 1983, Hindu University of America is a School of Theology, offering a Master’s and Doctoral Program in Hindu Studies, and a Master of Arts in Sanskrit. In addition, it offers a variety of certification and continuing education courses.