Hockey wizard and triple Olympic gold medallist Dhyan Chand ought to positively be conferred the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour, as he was the primary participant to get recognition for Indian hockey globally, says 1964 Olympic gold medallist Harbinder Singh Chimni.
“Dhyan Chand ought to positively get the Bharat Ratna posthumously. He was the primary Indian sportsperson to make a particular place for himself in worldwide hockey,” Chimni, a former India captain, advised IANS.
“He received three Olympic gold medals. I do not suppose there’s a extra deserving sportsperson than him for the Bharat Ratna,” emphasised the 77-year-old former centre ahead who was as soon as coached by legendary hockey ahead.
Dhyan Chand was a part of three Olympic gold medal-winning Indian groups — Amsterdam (1928), Los Angeles (1932) and Berlin, the place he was additionally the captain.
For twenty years, till he bid goodbye to worldwide hockey in 1948, Dhyan Chand’s identify was synonymous with the game, each in India and globally, as he scored a whole bunch of objectives throughout continents.
In 2014, legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar turned the primary sportsperson to be conferred with the Bharat Ratna after the federal government modified its guidelines that allowed athletes to turn out to be eligible for the nation’s highest civilian honour. And until date, Tendulkar stays the one athlete to be bestowed the Bharat Ratna.
Chimni, who was additionally a part of the Indian group that received bronze medals on the 1968 and 1972 Olympics, identified a few of the quite a few efforts made through the years to impress upon successive central governments to honour Dhyan Chand with Bharat Ratna.
“We have now been requesting the governments for fairly a while now, however I do not know why the governments will not be paying heed to our requests. I bear in mind after Tendulkar was conferred with the honour, we, alongside Zafar Iqbal and plenty of different former hockey gamers, had taken out a procession from the statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh at Barakhamba Street crossing in Delhi to Jantar Mantar, the place we additionally sat down for fairly a while simply to remind the federal government,” recalled Chimni.
Requested concerning the probability of Dhyan Chand being conferred upon Bharat Ratna, Chimni mentioned: “I do not know. All of it relies on the federal government, their standards, and their thought course of.”
Chimni recalled his interplay with Dhyan Chand many many years in the past when he was a participant.
“Dhyan Chand and my father Balbir Singh additionally collectively performed for an Military XI in 1948. He was my coach in 1963 once we performed a world event. Sadly, I couldn’t see Dhyan Chand play however throughout his tenure as coach, he guided us nicely,” recalled Chimni, who was conferred with the Arjuna Award in 1967.
“I had a finest timing of 10.eight seconds in 100m, so I had the benefit of pace. He advised me that as I’ve the benefit of pace, I ought to hold the ball in entrance of me as it can assist in decide up and likewise management the ball. It was the ‘guru mantra’ that stayed with me and helped me rating many objectives in my profession,” he mentioned.
Speaking about Dhyan Chand’s persona, Chimni mentioned legend was like a father determine to him.
“He was a really right down to earth particular person and a easy man. He was very humble and used to dwell a easy life. At any time when an individual would discuss to him, one would by no means get the impression that he/she was speaking to a legendary participant. To me, he was a father determine who at all times impressed me,” confused an indebted Chimni.
The Delhi-based Chimni additionally appeared in three Olympic Video games. On the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, he was a member of the group that wrested the gold again it had misplaced to Pakistan 4 years earlier in Rome. In 1968 in Mexico and in 1972 in Munich, India received bronze medals.
Chimni was additionally a member of the Indian group that received gold on the 1966 Asian Video games in Bangkok and was captain of the group that clinched silver 4 years later on the similar venue. He later turned chief coach of the Indian ladies’s group and likewise served as a junior nationwide choice committee.