Dhyan Chand should receive Bharat Ratna: Olympian Harbinder (IANS Special)

New Delhi, 13 January (IANS). Former Indian captain Harbinder Singh Chimney has said that former captain and Major Dhyan Chand, known as hockey wizard, should definitely get the country’s highest civilian honor – Bharat Ratna.

The 1964 Olympics gold medalist Chimney told IANS, Dhyan Chand must receive the Bharat Ratna posthumously. He was the first Indian player to make a special place in international hockey.

He said, he won three Olympic gold medals. I don’t think there is anyone more worthy of him than Bharat Ratna.

Dhyan Chand was part of the Olympic gold medal winning team in Amsterdam (1928), Los Angeles (1932) and Berlin (where he was captain). Dhyan Chand, who retired from international hockey in 1948, played many matches and scored hundreds of goals.

In 2014, legendary Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar was the first and only player to be awarded the Bharat Ratna. However, even earlier, there has been a demand to honor Dhyan Chand with the country’s highest civilian award.

Chimani, who was part of the Indian team that won bronze medals at the 1968 and 1972 Olympics, pointed to his efforts to pressurize the central government to award Bharat Ratna to Dhyan Chand.

“We have been requesting governments for some time now,” he said. But I do not know why governments are not heeding our requests. I remember that after honoring Tendulkar, I, Zafar Iqbal and many other former hockey players took out a procession from the statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh at the Barakhamba Road crossing at Jantar-Mantar in Delhi, where we remind the government Just sat there for some time.

Asked about the possibility of Dhyan Chand being awarded the Bharat Ratna, Chimney said, “I don’t know.” It all depends on the government, their criteria and their thought process.

National Sports Day is celebrated in his honor every year on 29 August in the country on his birth anniversary.

Center forward Dhyan Chand was a selfless man and sportsman. On the field, if he thought another player was in a better position to score, he would pass the ball to others rather than keep it to himself.

After watching Dhyan Chand, a head of the British Indian Army at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Adolf Hitler offered him German citizenship and a higher army post, although Dhyan Chand politely turned it down.

Dhyan Chand was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1956 by the Government of India. He died in AIIMS, Delhi in 1980.

–IANS

EZA / ANM

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