Amidst an overwhelming support for a Bharat Ratna for cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, there is a demand gaining ground to confer the first Bharat Ratna in sports on hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand.
Minister for state for rural development, Pradeep Jain Aditya, met Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, on Thursday and submitted a request for Bharat Ratna to Dhyan Chand.
Aditya, who represents Jhansi — Dhyan Chand’s hometown —, said it is the wish of the people of Bundelkhand and hockey fans. “This is a well justified demand. The award would bring back glory to Indian hockey apart from enthusing the young generation to take up hockey as a sport,” Jain said.
Sports minister, Ajay Maken, had written to the home ministry asking it to include ‘sports’ as a category for the award the highest honour of the country. The proposal is now with the Prime Minister's Office.