New Delhi, Jan 8 (IANS) Hockey fans in the national capital held a rally Wednesday appealing to the central government to confer the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award, on hockey wizard Dhyan Chand posthumously.
The rally started at 2 p.m. from the Barakhamba Road-Tolstoy Marg intersection and passed through the Tolstoy Marg with a demonstration at Jantar Mantar – the new rallying point in New delhi tehse days – before submitting a memorandum at the Prime Minister’s Office.
After the rally, the fans under the banner of Hockey Citizen Group, submitted a letter to the prime minister to expedite conferment of Bharat Ratna on Dhyan Chand. The rally was attended by Olympians, former hockey internationals and school kids.
“We, a volunteer based NGO, Hockey Citizen Group, appeal and urge to confer top civilian award Bharat Ratna on hockey legend Dhyan Chand. Government of India has already declared his birthday as Annual Sports Day when the sporting excellence award such as Arjuna and Dronacharya are given away by the president of India.
“Dhyan Chand’s contribution in building our nationhood does not just lie solely on the three Olympic Gold medals India obtained in pre-colonial India due to his great game, but the idea and the impetus his very game and persona gave it to the Indian Olympic Movement itself, is more important,” the letter said.
The sports ministry last year recommended Dhyan Chand for the Bharat Ratna after norms were changed to accommodate sportspersons for the prestigious award.
But the central government surprisingly conferred the award on cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, who will also be the youngest ever recepient for the Bharat Ratna. The government’s announcement came moments after Tendulkar retired from cricket in Mumbai in November.
With Tendulkar, the Bharat Ratna will this year also be conferred on world renowned scientist Prof. C.N.R.Rao.