I have read many blog posts during the last few weeks about Ms. Jayalalithaa. All of them addressed her as Dr. Jayalalithaa. Many leaders, actors, and others who were condoling her passing away, addressed her as Dr, Jayalalithaa. Watched them in Youtube.
Her arch rival (or should I call her bête noire) in Tamil Nadu is always addressed as Dr. Karunanidhi.
I was wondering which medical school these people attended. Ms. Jayalalithaa was a high school graduate. Mr. Karunanidhi did not even enter high school. They both were given honorary doctorate degree from some university.
According to the book, Honor & Respect, the Official Guide to Names, Titles & Forms of Address, recipients of honorary doctorates are not entitled to be addressed as Dr. except at the granting university.
I don’t know why these important well known people are given honorary doctorate degrees. They don’t need this degree to advance their career. Funny thing is you don’t even need to be a human being to get an honorary doctorate degree. In 1996, Southampton College in New York awarded an honorary doctorate degree to Kermit the Frog.
Hope the Indian politicians who are given honorary doctorate do not start wearing stethoscope around their neck.
Hope they do not compel the party members to come to them if they need medical advice or any surgical procedure.
It is also illegal to use the Padma awards (Padmashri, Padma Bhushan, etc.) as a title in front of one's name. But almost everyone in India who received these awards are addressed with these titles. I have seen many many tamil movies "starring Padmashri Sivaji Ganesan" (title credit at the beginning of these movies).