Hockey wizard Dhyan Chand is probably the most deserving sports activities persona for the Bharat Ratna award, says former captain of the Indian males’s hockey group Zafar Iqbal.
“So far as sports activities is worried, Dhyan Chand is probably the most deserving candidate for Bharat Ratna,” Iqbal advised IANS in an unique interview.
In 2014, legendary Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar grew to become the primary and the one sportsperson to be conferred with the Bharat Ratna. Nonetheless, even earlier than that, calls have been made through the years to award Dhyan Chand with the nation’s highest civilian award.
“Sachin Tendulkar has been given the Bharat Ratna award. At the moment additionally, we had requested the federal government to bestow the celebrated award to Dhyan Chand. Actually, we’ve got been requesting the federal government for many years. I nonetheless keep in mind after Sachin was conferred with the honour, we had taken out a procession from the statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh at Barakhamba visitors crossing to Jantar Mantar and we additionally sat down on the Jantar Mantar additionally for fairly a while simply to remind the federal government,” mentioned Iqbal, who himself has been awarded with the Padma Shri and Arjuna Award.
“Even earlier than Sachin was thought of for Bharat Ratna, Dhyan Chand’s file had moved from sports activities ministry to the PMO. However his file couldn’t be processed additional. I keep in mind there was an opinion ballot to determine which sportsperson needs to be given the Bharat Ratna. And a majority of the individuals voted for Dhyan Chand. Actually each him and Sachin might have been conferred with the award. It could not have created any controversy,” he added.
Dhyan Chand was a part of three gold medal-winning Indian groups on the Olympics — in Amsterdam (1928), Los Angeles (1932) and Berlin, the place he was the captain. For 20 years till he bid goodbye to worldwide hockey in 1948, Dhyan Chand’s title was synonymous with the game as he performed quite a few matches and scored tons of of targets.
The Nationwide Sports activities Day is noticed in his honour yearly within the nation on August 29.
Iqbal, underneath whose management India received bronze medal on the Champions Trophy 1982 in Holland, mentioned Dhyan Chand — although he did not get the Bharat Ratna — will nonetheless stay a legend recognized for his “magical sport”.
“My private feeling is that although he did not get Bharat Ratna, he’ll nonetheless stay a legend. His contribution to the nation within the discipline of hockey is immense and one thing which we’re very happy with. He’s recognised by his sport and never by Bharat Ratna,” mentioned Iqbal.
“Similar is the case with Sachin. He’s recognized for his sport, not by simply Bharat Ratna. Sportspersons are recognized for his or her sport not by awards,” he added.
Requested concerning the possibilities of Dhyan Chand getting Bharat Ratna within the close to future, Iqbal mentioned: “I do not know. It may be executed inside seconds. If somebody sends a message to the Prime Minister that Dhyan Chand deserves the award, it may be executed inside seconds. In any other case, similar to previously, it may well go on for years.”
“We’re nonetheless attempting and we’ve got been proposing his title for the Bharat Ratna from totally different sources. Nonetheless, typically our emotions do get harm and we surprise what’s using requesting the federal government,” he added.
The 64-year-old additional mentioned that Dhyan Chand, who died in 1979 on the age of 74, was a quite simple, humble and right down to earth man who did not run after cash.
“He was the only man I might say in sporting historical past. He by no means requested for any cash or boast about himself. I used to be fortunate to have a chat with him. We used to remain in the identical colony in Vasant Vihar. We frequently chatted.”
Recalling an incident from 1978, Iqbal revealed how Dhyan Chand, his son Ashok Kumar and he travelled in a common compartment of the Indian railways from Delhi to Jhansi.
“In 1978, we travelled with him from Delhi to Jhansi. Ashok was additionally there. We needed to play a match there. We received right into a third-class (common compartment) and it was absolutely packed. There was no place to take a seat. Dhyan Chand, nevertheless, saved standing and did not say something to anybody. After a while, we requested an individual to supply us a spot to take a seat. Such was his simplicity,” mentioned Iqbal.
“We did not manage to pay for to journey by top quality. However Dhyan Chand by no means created any fuss,” he added.