Sports ministry nominates Dhyan Chand for Bharat Ratna once again

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Sports ministry nominates Dhyan Chand for Bharat Ratna once again

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SportsCafe Desk

06/07/2017

Sports Minister Vijay Goel confirmed that the ministry has written to the Prime Minister's office requesting to bestow the Bharat Ratna on late Dhyan Chand. In 2013, the ministry had chosen cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar over the hockey wizard for the highest civilian honour of the nation.

"Yes, we have written to the Prime Minister about Bharat Ratna for Dhyan Chand. Conferring the honour posthumously will be a fitting tribute to his exceptional service to the country," Goel told PTI.

However, it is not the first time the Hockey wizard has been nominated for the highest civilian order. In 2013, during the administration of the UPA government, the sports ministry had chosen Sachin Tendulkar after he announced his retirement from international cricket.

Goel, when questioned about the incident, replied, "I would not want to get into this and it is not fair to comment about sportspersons of such legendary stature.You can't measure Dhyan Chand's achievements with any award. He is beyond that."

"As I said, the Prime Minister will take the final call on this subject. He wants India to emerge as a sporting power and that is why he has been giving a lot of emphasis to sports. We want him to consider this. We feel Bharat Ratna to Dhyan Chand will not only give a huge boost to Indian hockey but also to other sports," the sports minister added.

The ministry wrote to the Prime Minister earlier this week in the context of the award. Ashok Kumar, Dhyan Chand's son and other former hockey players have been constantly demanding Bharat Ratna for the legendary sportsman.

The latest protest that was staged was held in 2016 when 100 former players including the likes of Ashok Kumar, Ajit Pal Singh, Zafar Iqbal and Dilip Tirkey came together to question the government on ignoring Dhyan Chand for the award.

A similar protest was held in 2011 when 82 parliament members backed Dhyan Chand's nomination for Bharat Ratna which was eventually overlooked.

Dhyan Chand passed away in 1979 and is considered to be one of the greatest hockey players that the world has ever witnessed. The Wizard was born on 29th August which is celebrated as the National Sports Day of India on which the President of India honours the top athletes of the country.

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