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PM does it again, names 'Khel Ratna' Award after hockey magician Dhyan Chand

WebdeskAug 06, 2021, 01:07 PM IST

PM does it again, names 'Khel Ratna' Award after hockey magician Dhyan Chand

                                                                                                                                                                Nirendra Dev

 

Known as the 'hockey magician', Dhyan Chand was known for his extraordinary goal-scoring feats and earning three Olympic gold medals in 1928, 1932 and 1936, during an era when India dominated hockey on grass grounds. 

 

New Delhi: In the season of hockey wins and Olympic medals, here is another major breaking news related to India's best-known hockey maestro.

 

In a major decision, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday (August 6) announced that the highest sports award, the 'Khel Ratna' award named after Rajiv Gandhi, would be now named after hockey wizard Dhyan Chand.

 

"I have been getting many requests from citizens across India to name the Khel Ratna Award after Major Dhyan Chand. I thank them for their views. Respecting their sentiment, the Khel Ratna Award will hereby be called the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award! Jai Hind," the Prime Minister tweeted.

 

It could be a case of taking it away from 'dynasty,' and showing the countrymen and women the power of democracy where the writ of the people's wishes are being respected.

 

"Major Dhyan Chand was among India’s foremost sportspersons who brought honour and pride for India. It is fitting that our nation’s highest sporting honour will be named after him," Mr Modi wrote in another tweet.

 

Born on August 29, 1905, Dhyan Chand expired on December 3, 1979.

 

Known as the 'hockey magician', Dhyan Chand was known for his extraordinary goal-scoring feats and earning three Olympic gold medals in 1928, 1932 and 1936, during an era when India dominated hockey on grass grounds.

 

Dhyan Chand was part of the Indian armed forces during the colonial era, and it is said that he had declined to 'honour' Hitler for his dictatorial and autocratic styles.

 

However, it has also been reported that the German leader Hitler was so impressed with Dhyan Chand's skills that he offered him German citizenship and a position of Colonel in the German Army. Dhyan Chand declined the offer nevertheless.

 

Between 1936 and the commencement of the War in 1939, he largely confined himself to army hockey, with one visit to Kolkata to participate in the Beighton Cup tournament in 1937.

 

Dhyan Chand was born in Allahabad on August 29 1905, to a Rajput family.

 

He played international hockey from 1926 to 1949 and scored 570 goals in 185 matches, according to his autobiography, 'Goal.' The Government of India awarded Chand India's third highest civilian honour of Padma Bhushan in 1956. His birthday, August 29, is celebrated as National Sports Day.

 

The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award was instituted in 1991-92. months after Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated.

 

The award was given for the performance by a sportsperson in a year. However, based on the suggestions provided by the 2014 award selection committee, the Spots Ministry revised the criteria in February 2015 (under the NDA government) to consider the performance over four years.

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