Akshay Kumar Conferred PhD by Canada University

News & Pics: Rediff

Ontario, May 13: It was a roller coaster for Akshay Kumar when he was conferred a PhD degree at the 46th convocation of Assumption University in Ontario, Canada. 'Dr Akshay Kumar' is what the University President and Chancellor, Dr Paul Rennick, said repeatedly while addressing him.

It couldn't have been more emotional for the Bollywood star. "I can't believe this has happened," he told "I didn't even pass my college. I don't have any words."

In his acceptance speech, Akshay conceded, "When I was young, I used to pray every night - please, God, let me pass my exam. Then, I realised God doesn't help like that. So I cheated [in my exams] and asked for God's forgiveness."

But Akshay told the South Asian students assembled at the convocation, "Please don't cheat. It doesn?t work, as [despite cheating] I failed."

University President Rennick explained that when Akshay's name came before their Committee, they brought the name forward to the Senate of Assumption University after review, who gave their approval.

Besides Akshay, Carl S Cohen and Aubrey Dan were conferred PhD degrees.
Amongst other things, Dan produces plays on Broadway and Toronto. Cohen, as a lawyer, "is an example of integrity: a characteristic too often neglected and too seldom rewarded."

"We have here tonight one member of the Hindu community [Akshay], and two members of the Jewish community, who are all receiving honours from a Catholic Christian University (Assumption)," Rennick summed up, explaining that the three recipients have an 'inter-religious' overtone.

During his acceptance speech, Akshay repeated talked about his parents, and his values that helped him succeed. "My father taught me that believing in God is living life with confidence," he said. "Those words gave me strength to follow my dreams. Here I am standing with my esteemed colleagues, and it is right to say one thing and that is we all have a dream. My parents laid the foundation of my every achievement and represent calendar of my life".

"This honor is even more important than getting an Oscar," Akshay added. "Only today, I spoke with my five-year-old son, and I was happy to hear that he received his 'blue ribbon' today [like his father, Aarav is also learning martial arts]. Today, I have received the honourary doctorate. So both of us have lot to share with each other when I return to Mumbai."

Ajay Virmani, Akshay's host in Toronto, had also received an honourary degree from the same University two years back. Explaining why Akshay was given an honourary degree, he said "Akshay Kumar is an actor whose very name inspires the youth. He is [one of] Bollywood's hottest properties now."

Virmani went on to explain how Akshay "has been lauded as everything from India's version of Jackie Chan to one of the Sexiest Men Alive."

He also called him India's version of Brad Pitt, thanks to "his rugged good looks and dare devil personality, who has incorporated martial arts into the cinema, making him Bollywood?s first true action hero."

"He has always done his own daredevil stunts. No wonder he is hailed as King Kumar in Bollywood. But all said, it is his positive ethic and dedication that truly makes him the King."

Assumption University President Rennick lived in India for six months, several years back. "When I made that trip, it was a formative event in my life and to this day, I retain a great appreciation of the Indian culture, a warm affection for the Indian people and a deep gratitude for the spiritual heritage that comes from India to the benefit of the whole human community."

So he was grateful to see Akshay travel all the way from India to receive the honourary degree.

When the degree was awarded and the traditional sash was worn, there was a standing ovation for the star.

When Akshay entered the University reception room, a large number of his fans were waiting. Virmani contracted two police officers to serve as tough bodyguards to prevent Akshay from being physically mobbed.
Yet, Akshay unhesitatingly went close to the fence, and shook hands with students and fans, and signed autographs.

One woman even jumped from to hug him, and yet another planted a kiss on his cheek.

To his credit, Akshay smiled through it all and even seemed to enjoy his celebrity status in Windsor, a city with 300,000 inhabitants on Canada-US border with the city of Detroit on the other side. There are about 3,000 Indians living in this city.

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Comment on this article

  • tarun, brampton

    Tue, Nov 2 2010

    i m a big fan of akshay n want tu meet him him soon
    i m totally mad about him
    plz make my wish come true sir

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

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