Queen Elizabeth honours 'Bhangra godfather' Channi Singh  

Written by: Pti
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Channi Singh
London, Jun 16: Channi Singh, who moved from Punjab to England in 1975 and went on to be considered the "godfather of Bhangra" in the western world, has been honoured by Queen Elizabeth with an Order of the British Empire (OBE), one of the highest civilian awards.

Channi Singh, whose full name is Harcharanjit Singh Rapal, was born in Salar village in Punjab and studied in Malerkotla and Jalandhar. He is the founder, lead singer, producer, director of Alaap, a music group based in London.

The Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2012 released today says that he has been honoured for "services to Bhangra Music, Charity and to the community in Hounslow, West London".

Channi Singh is among several Indian-origin individuals from different walks of life to be honoured in the List. For the first time in 20 years, the British Empire Medal (BEM), which was abolished by former Prime Minister John Major, has been revived and included in the List.

The BEM has been revived by Prime Minister David Cameron to encourage "big society" and reward volunteering. Also honoured with OBE are Dr Cornelia Sorabji (deputy chief of the Assessments Staff, London), Prem Goyal (for services to the Economy and Promoting Charitable Giving, London), Manjir Rai (headteacher, North Beckton Primary School, Newham, for services to Education).

Dr Venkataswamy Narayana, who gained his medical qualifications from Bangalore in 1971, and is a general practitioner in Burnley, Lancashire, has also been honoured with an OBE "for services to General Practice".

Other OBE honourees are Santokh Singh Nijran (for services to community cohesion in Nottingham), Dr Natubhai Shah (for services to the Jain community and inter-faith relations, Vishwas Shetty (for public service, London), Dr Narendra Singh (for services to the community in Lancashire) and Dr Yogesh Virmani, (for services to community relations in Greater Manchester).

Indian-origin individuals awarded the BEM are: Satish Chimanlal Kakkad (for services to the rail industry, Buckinghamshire), Narendra Mehta (Records Office, Ministry of Justice), Manju Nagji (for services to education) and Sobhag Narshi Shah (for services to further education).


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