With Mumbai reeling under another terrorist strike, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan on Wednesday requested the French government to postpone an award ceremony scheduled in the capital later in the evening. The 37-year-old Bollywood actress was to receive the Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters (Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) from the French government.
The felicitation ceremony organized by the French embassy was dramatically cancelled at the last minute. After a delay of over an hour – unusual for events organized in diplomatic circles – Aishwarya and Abhishek Bachchan made an appearance at the venue around 9pm accompanied by Jerome Bonnafont , the French ambassador to India, and Farooq Abdullah. Expressing his “condolences and condemnation”, Bonnafont said France stood with India and the victims of the blasts and that out of respect for the victims of the tragedy it had been decided to postpone the ceremony to a later date.
Aishwarya said, “We are very shocked and saddened by this incident… And keeping in mind what’s happened, we didn’t deem it prudent to celebrate. My family and I felt it would be prudent to request that the ceremony be postponed, and we thank the French government for understanding our sentiments in the current situation.”
The Bachchans and Rais were expected to be present in full force to cheer Aishwarya. The event was highly anticipated since it would have marked only her second public outing since her pregnancy was made public. Economic Times