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Sports Min for Dhyan Chand for Bharat Ratna

July 19
03:32 2013

Sports Min for Dhyan Chand for Bharat RatnaNEW DELHI: The clamor may have been for India’s cricketing star Sachin Tendulkar but the sports ministry has recommended hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand’s name for India’s highest civilian honor – the Bharat Ratna.

“The letter recommending Bharat Ratna for Dhyan Chand has already been sent to the prime minister,” Sports Secretary P K Deb said.

“The ministry has only recommended Dhyan Chand’s name for the highest honor,” he added.

The recommendation, sent to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, will be studied further before it goes for approval of President Pranab Mukherjee, for the hockey wizard to get the award posthumously.

A six-member delegation, led by Dhyan Chand’s son Ashok Kumar, met Sports Minister Jitendra Singh on July 12. The delegations also included former India cricket captain Bishan Singh Bedi and Dhyan Chand’s grandson Gaurav Singh.

“Irrespective of whether the award is given or not, it is an honor for our family that his name has been recommended by the Sports Minister for Bharat Ratna,” Ashok Kumar said.

“The minister assured us that he would try his best to get Dhyan Chand’s name considered for the honor. Since no other name has been recommended, so there is no conflict. We are hopeful he will get Bharat Ratna this year posthumously,” he added.

Kumar also praised Bedi for pressing hard for Dhyan Chand’s name during their meeting with Jitendra Singh.

Dhyan Chand won three gold medals at the Olympics – 1928 in Amsterdam, 1932 in Los Angeles and 1936 in Berlin. He passed away in 1979.

The government in 2011 had ignored the plea of 82 Members of Parliament, who recommended Dhyan Chand’s name for Bharat Ratna but in January 2012, the ministry itself forwarded his name along with Olympic gold medalist shooter Abhinav Bindra and mountaineer Tenzing Norgay for the award.

However, Tendulkar’s name was not given as the Board of Control for Cricket in India had not recommended him. -PTI

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