Legendary hockey player Major Dhyan Chand might soon be conferred with BharatRatna (posthumously) as Union sports minister Vijay Goel has requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to fulfill the long-pending demand.
This has come four years after cricketing maestro Sachin Tendulkar became the first sportsperson to be conferred with India’s highest civilian honour. Dhyan Chand, who died in 1979, guided India to three gold medals at the Olympics (1928, 1932, and 1936).
“Yes, we have written to the Prime Minister about Bharat Ratna for Dhyan Chand. Conferring him with the honour posthumously will be a fitting tribute to his exceptional service to the country,” Goel said on Wednesday. He added that he is confident PM Modi would give his consent.
“Dhyan Chand will be the best sportsperson to receive the award. His credential as a legendary hockey player is unmatchable. His selflessness in popularising hockey is unquestionable,” he said.
Former hockey captains Ajit Pal Singh, Zafar Iqbal, Dilip Tirkey, and Dhyan Chand’s son Ashok Kumar have been running a campaign ever since Tendulkar was awarded the Bharat Ratna.
Awarding Bharat Ratna to Major Dhyan Chand has been long overdue considering he guided India to three Olympic golds (1928, 1932, 1936).
Honouring the hockey wizard might prove to be a timely shot in the arm for the sport in the country.