Once again the debate regarding Bharat Ratna to major Dhyanchand have gained voices as the former hockey greats Ashok Kumar, Zafar Iqbal , Ajitpal Singh, MK Kaushik, AB Subbaiah, Mohammed Riaz, Ashish Ballal, Mukesh Kumar and Dilip Tirkey will assemble at Jantar Mantar on August 29 which is the birth date of Major Dhyanchand. The former greats will demand Bharat Ratna for the Major Dhyanchand.
The group will also submit memorandums to President Pranab Mukherjee, P.M. Narendra Mod and Sports Minister Vijay Goyal.
This is not the first time that voice has been raised to honour Dhyan Chand with Bharat Ratna as earlier voices have been raised before. Its effect was seen in 2013 when UPA government led by Manmohan Singh decided to honour Dhyanchand with Bharat Ratna but the legend was snubbed at the last moment as Sachin Tendulkar who retired from the international cricket the same month was chosen over him at the last minute. This story was revealed by government sources.
Sachin Tendulkar along with CNR Rao was honoured with Bharat Ratna on February 4, 2014.
The government of India led by Narendra Modi on December 24 announced Bharat Ratna for Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Madan Mohan Malviya. Dhyanchand was again ignored.
This delegation of former legends aims gets Bharat Ratna for the legend as he is the one who deserves the highest honour of the country.
“We have been trying to get the honour for the man who is acknowledged for his greatness as a sportsman. It’s sad that we are still demanding for an honour which he should have got long back,
“All Indian sportsmen and the Indian people want him to get the honour. We tried hard in the past and he was close to getting it. But he did not. It’s an irony that his greatness is acknowledged everywhere but not in his own country,” Dileep Tirkey, the former hockey captain and Member of Parliament told TOI.
Dhyan Chand won three Olympic gold medals in hockey – in 1928 (Amsterdam), 1932 (Los Angeles) and 1936 (Berlin). Inspired by his skills, Führer of Germany of Egypt Adolf Hitler even offered Dhyanchand a citizenship of Germany but the hockey legend declined the offer.