A call has been made for a park in Leicester to be named after Bollywood mega star Amitabh Bachchan by former Leicester East MP Keith Vaz who hosted the film star on his two visits to the City.
Mr Bachchan celebrates his 79th Birthday today. He should also be honoured by Britain for his international work as he has been in France and numerous other countries said Vaz.
Born on 11th October 1942 Amitabh Bachchan is the superstar of Indian Cinema. Mr Bachchan has been honoured by the Government of India with Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhusha and many other awards. He has also been honoured internationally by the Government of France with the highest civilian honour, Knight of the Legion of Honour in 2007. He was voted the greatest star of stage or screen by BBC News Online users. He was the first living Asian to have been modelled in wax at London’s Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in London.
Vaz said, “I had the honour of hosting Amitabh on two of his visits to Leicester the city which has more people of Indian origin living here than any City in Europe. Most superstars of his stature only visit London, but he came to Leicester and thousands came to see him. I think it would be appropriate if we name one of are large parks after him and it has been suggested that Rushey Fields in Rushey Mead would be a great place although others may have different ideas. He is known for his humanitarian work, and he has personally helped by way of donations to clear the debts of the poor farmers in India.
“He has also supported the cause of Diabetes awareness by taking a diabetes test in Leicester, which I am pleased to say was negative, but this encouraged many others to do so.
I find it disappointing that successive British Governments have failed to honour him even though other countries like France have done so. It would be good to have a piece of artwork not a statue but maybe a sculpture in the shape of Amitabh’s face. If we name a park after him, I there will always be a part of England that is forever Amitabh,” Vaz said.
Pradip Dullabh the Chairman of the Bharat Football Club added, “I fully support this idea. I remember the visits he made to Leicester people could not believe he was actually here. Bachchan Park will be visited and enjoyed. It’s a great tribute to an absolute legend.”
Parks in Leicester have been named after Civil Rights Leader Revered Jessie Jackson and South African President Nelson Mandela.