Dhyan Chand's greatness is acknowledged everywhere but not in his own country : Dilip Tirkey

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Dhyan Chand's greatness is acknowledged everywhere but not in his own country : Dilip Tirkey

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SportsCafe Desk

08/27/2016

A group of former Indian hockey players are set to gather at the Jantar Mantar in Delhi on Sunday in a bid to demand the Bharat Ratna to hockey legend Dhyan Chand. Dilip Tirkey has expressed his sadness at the fact that they still have to demand an award which should have been bestowed long back.

"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," Tirkey, a former Indian hockey captain, and a member of the Rajya Sabha, told TOI.

Former hockey stars like Ashok Kumar, Zafar Iqbal, Ajitpal Singh, Zafar Iqbal, MK Kaushik, AB Subbaiah, Mohammed Riaz, Ashish Ballal, Mukesh Kumar, and Dilip Tirkey will meet at the capital on Sunday afternoon to present their demand for the Bharat Ratna to be awarded to “The Wizard”.

Tirkey has expressed his sadness at the fact that Dhyan Chand's greatness is still not widely acknowledged in the nation. He said, "All Indian sportsman 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.”

Dhyan Chand, who is one of the greatest sportsmen the country has ever produced, guided India to three Olympic golds during his illustrious career. He brought India to the sporting map and established the nation as a superpower in hockey. The Allahabad-born legend has received accolades from the likes of Adolf Hitler and the British government, but he is yet to receive the Bharat Ratna in India.

Back in 2013, the then Sports Minister, Jitendra Singh, had recommended Dhyan Chand's name for the award. He wrote, "Late Major Dhyan Chand is the most deserving sportsperson for Bharat Ratna, as he fulfils the criteria of exceptional service performance of highest order in the field of sports which made the country proud. It was for his amazing performance that he was nicknamed "hockey wizard", in a letter to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. However, the PMO decided to award to honour to Sachin Tendulkar and Scientist CNR Rao that year.

Also read:How the 1976 Olympics changed Hockey and how HIL's new rule could take India back to its glory

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