Mamata earns Taekwondo black belt

Seoul-based KUKKIWON, the apex body of Korean martial art Taekwondo, will confer an honorary black belt on the Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Bannerjee in February 2013 in a bid to honour her fighting spirit and enthusiasm for sports.

According to state government sources, KUKKIWON has expressed their desire to bestow the honour on Mamata Banerjee, and the move has been okayed by the Chief Minister. The title with not only put Bannerjee in the same bracket as US President Barack Obama and British soccer star David Beckham, but she will be the first Indian on whom the apex Taekwondo body will come and bestow the honour.

Rare feat

“Previously two other Indians, Bollywood star and brand ambassador for West Bengal Shah Rukh Khan and Mizoram’s 73-year-old chief minister Pu Lalthanwala received the title but they were conferred the degree through franchisees or members of KUKKIWON. But this will be the first time that KUKKIWON will come to India to bestow the degree on an Indian,” former Taekwondo world champion from India Pradipto Roy said.

“After the ceremony, Mamata will become a Taekwondo grandmaster,” he affirmed.
“KUKKIWON is handing over the degree in an effort to pay respect to her fighting spirit and enthusiasm for sports. In fact, the state government and KUKKIWON are planning to open a Taekwondo university in the city,” said Roy, who is also the first Indian to enter the Taekwondo Hall of Fame.”

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