Bollywood actor Kader Khan and former chief justice of Delhi High Court Rajinder Sachar have been conferred the honourary citizenship of the city of Houston.
Mayor Bill White honoured the duo with special proclamation certificates at the 17th annual convention of the American Federation of Muslims of Indian Origin.
In his keynote address, Sachar, who headed the panel that looked into the social, economic and educational status of Muslims in India, said Muslims should not feel any inferiority complex in India.
"This great country belongs to all Indians and Muslims should voice their legitimate concerns with complete confidence to achieve their most justified rights. Education is for all and access to education should be provided for all," he said.
US Congressman Nick Lampson and Al Green lauded AFMI's efforts to eradicate illiteracy.
The decision makers of the world should learn from AFMI's efforts, said the Congressmen, rather than dividing the world population on the basis of sects and leaving the masses uninformed.
Kader Khan said that after looking at the AFMI and the passion of non-resident Indians, he has concluded that NRIs are more concerned with the issues facing India than the Indians living there.
Khan added that he intends to start an Arabic Institute to bring the true message of Quran to the people of the world. He would help the AFMI reach out and educate the people.
Speaking about the increasing number of terror attacks in India, Khan said that people take money to commit acts of terrorism. The menace of starvation leads to such problems, he added. Khan pleaded with Muslims to remain united
"God will remove poverty and hunger in the world, if we, the people, eradicate ignorance from the world and make our people educated...what we really need is to reach the roots of ignorance and remove them," said Khan.