Bollywood star delays French award due to blasts
Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan asked for a delay in being honoured for her work promoting cinema ties between India and France because of the Mumbai blasts, the French embassy said Friday.
The actress, who is pregnant with her first child, had been due to be made a knight of France's order of arts and letters at a ceremony in New Delhi on Wednesday.
But the former Miss World asked for the event to be postponed after three explosions shook India's financial hub during earlier in the day, killing 17 people and injuring more than 130.
The 37-year-old actress, who lives in Mumbai, asked for the ceremony to be held at a later date out of "solidarity and sympathy" with the victims of the blast, an embassy official said.
The award was to have been presented in "recognition of her contribution to the world of cinema and to the development of Franco-Indian co-operation in the film industry", the embassy said.
Rai Bachchan, who won the Miss World title in 1994, has starred in more than 40 Hindi-language films and a number of English-language films, including the Steve Martin remake of the "Pink Panther".
She is married to leading actor and producer Abhishek Bachchan, 35, whose father Amitabh, is one of Bollywood's biggest stars.
Amitabh Bachchan was given France's highest civilian award, the Legion of Honour, in 2007.
No new date for the the ceremony for Rai Bachchan to receive the French honour has been announced.
Indian investigators are scrambling to identify who was behind the blasts which came just two-and-a-half years after Mumbai was still emerging from the 2008 attacks by Pakistani Islamist militants that killed 166 people in 2008.
© 2011 AFP