Minority rights activist Teesta Setalvad gets reputed Honorary Doctorate from University of British Columbia

She is among 10 prominent personalities from the world set to receive the honour in 2020

Minority rights activist Teesta Setalvad
Minority rights activist Teesta Setalvad
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NH Web Desk

Prominent social activist and minority rights crusader Teesta Setalvad is among 10 prominent personalities from the world set to receive the prestigious Honorary Doctorate degree from the University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada in 2020. The activist was supposed to be present at a ceremony at Vancouver in the end of May to physically receive the honour. Since the COVID-19 crisis upset international travel, the university has chosen to announce the names later tonight and hold the ceremony at a later date.

UBC described Teesta Setalvad as a “civil rights activist, author and award-winning journalist in India who played a prominent role in the campaign for justice for the victims of the 2002 massacre of thousands of Muslims in the state of Gujarat. As a secularist, she has worked in the field of human rights and law to expose majoritarianism and religious fanaticism, both in India and in other parts of the world, and has been influential on issues related to the rights of women, religious minorities, Indigenous persons and the LGBTQ community.”


The nine others chosen in 2020 include Tantoo Cardinal, C.M, a celebrated Canadian actor of Cree and Métis descent. Tantoo Cardinal has a remarkable record of performance on stage, television, and film and has been widely recognised for her contributions to the growth and development of aboriginal performing arts in Canada.

One of Canada’s most respected authors, Lawrence Hill will receive the award. He has twice been a winner of the CBC Canada Reads prize and a recipient of the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Commonwealth Writers Prize. Known best for his fiction, including The Book of Negroes (2007) and The Illegal (2015), he has also received accolades for his non-fiction work, including Blood: The Stuff of Life, the source of his 2013 Massey Lectures.

Another prominent name is musician Doug Johnson. A member of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, Doug Johnson is a pianist and composer whose body of work ranges from an extensive catalogue of film and television soundtrack composition to multiple Juno Awards as a founding member of Lover boy, one of the most successful recording groups in the history of the Canadian music industry. While continuing to perform 60-70 shows per year with Lover boy, Doug also composes soundtracks for productions concerning humanitarian, environmental and aboriginal issues in Canada and other parts of the world.


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