New Delhi: A number of hockey greats of India gathered at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Sunday and demanded India’s highest civilian award ‘Bharat Ratna’ for one of the greatest players in Indian hockey, Major Dhyan Chand.
On Saturday, demonstrators had submitted a memorandum to the President demanding the highest civilian favour for the hockey legend.
It is also expected that the demonstrators will also be approaching to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to demand the same.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio address to the nation, paid tributes to the legendary hockey player and said that he was a live example of “sportsman spirit and patriotism”.
“Tomorrow (Monday) August 29 is legendary hockey player Major Dhyan Chand’s birth anniversary which is celebrated as national sports day. I pay him tributes and want you all to remember his contribution,” Modi said in his radio address.
“Major Dhyan Chand was a live example of true sportsman spirit and patriotism. He helped India in securing gold medals in Hockey in three Olympic games in 1928, 1932 and 1936,” the Prime Minister said.
Supporting the demand of Bharat Ratna for Dhyan Chand, former hockey player Dilip Tirkey said, “It’s a good thing that PM Modi has thought about sports and talked about Dhyan Chand. It’s the country’s demand that he (Dhyan Chand) should be honoured with Bharat Ratna.”
Activist Abha Singh said, “The government should apologise to his family for not giving him the Bharat Ratna during his lifetime.”
Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit said, “If any sportsman deserves it, it is him. It is really for the government to decide, but I think it will be a very welcome move.”