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Calicut University confers D.Litt. on Mammootty

Staff Reporter



Top honour:Governor R.S. Gavai conferring the honorary D.Litt. degree on actor Mammootty on the Calicut University campus on Thursday.

MALAPPURAM: The University of Calicut on Thursday conferred honorary Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.) degrees on three preeminent personalities, including Malayalam film actor Mammootty.

The others to get the topmost honour of the university were freedom fighter Captain Lakshmi Sehgal and historian Irfan Habib.

Mr. Mammootty accepted the degree from Governor R.S. Gavai, who is Chancellor of the university, while the other two were represented by their nominees.

G. Chandrasekharan, cousin of Dr. Lakshmi, and V. Kunhali, historian and friend of Prof. Habib, accepted the degrees on their behalf. The degrees were awarded at a special convocation held on the campus.

A special meeting of the Senate, which preceded the convocation ceremony, ratified a proposal made by the Syndicate to award D.Litt. degrees to Dr. Sehgal, Prof. Habib and Mr. Mammootty in honour of their contributions to society.

The Senate meeting, which lasted 20 minutes, was followed by a procession led by Registrar T.K. Narayanan. Members of the Syndicate, Senate and the Academic Council followed the Registrar. Vice-Chancellor Anwar Jahan Zuberi and Chancellor Gavai followed them.

The Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, Registrar and Mr. Mammootty were in academic robes. Mr. Mammootty arrived in the hall along with his wife Sulfaath 30 minutes before the convocation.

The convocation began with the Chancellor announcing the conferral of D.Litt., followed by the Vice-Chancellor reading the citation of honour. Dr. Lakshmi, Prof. Habib and Mr. Mammootty were conferred in order. The crowds cheered as Mr. Mammootty came forward to accept the honour.

He said the university was paying tribute to the Malayalam film world by honouring him. “Universities are the breeding ground of culture,” he said.

“Universities have a pivotal role to play in the transfer of culture across generations, because educational success is always meditated (mediated) by cultural factors and the importance of culture lies in the fact that it is a link between people and their value systems,” he said during his acceptance speech.

He said the world of the art was the only world where people think and live beyond limitations of beliefs and ideologies. Art and artists, he said, are harbingers of unity and solidarity. “Art transcends boundaries.”

During his convocation address, Mr. Gavai said the university was honouring itself by conferring its top degrees on Mr. Mammootty, Prof. Habib and Dr. Sehgal. The young generation would look up to them for guidance and inspiration, he said.

Calicut University, till now, had conferred D.Litt degrees on 12 persons. They were educationalists M.M. Ghani, Arun Nigavekar and Amrik Singh; writers K.P. Kesava Menon, S.K. Pottekkad, Vaikom Mohammed Basheer, N.V. Krishna Warrier, M.T. Vasudevan Nair and Kamala Suraiyya; jurist V.R. Krishna Iyer; Ayurveda guru P.K. Warrier; and artist M.F. Hussain.

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