It was during my initial years with Indian Airlines in Srinagar in the state of Jammu & Kashmir, I met three colleagues who were members of the inflight service department, all three were sports persons ,hockey was the sport and had represented India in Olympics. Arvind Chhabara, Surjit Singh Grewal or SS as we wud address him , Ashok Kumar (Son of Maj Dhayan chand), all were soft spoken, humble, in addition to these qualities Ashok Kumar is a gifted singer, I would often request him to sing kishore kumar song on the aircraft’s public address system, while the aircraft was on ground at Srinagar airport. Bonding with all of them was instantaneous.
Ashok Kumar did not ever speak of his lineage.I was made aware of his lineage by other colleagues.
Let me now address the core issue why I have taken to writting this piece.”Why has Maj Dhayan Chand not been conferred the Bharat Ratna?”
Birth anniversary of Major Dhyan Chand is celebrated as National Sports Day 29th august in India.
The hockey wizard is widely regarded as the greatest athlete India has ever produced.
Dhyan Singh was called Dhyan Chand by fellow players as he practiced hockey at night under the moon (‘chand’ in Hindi) light.
As a teenager at 16, Dhyan Chand joined the Indian Army. He retired at 56 with the rank of Major.
Dhyan Chand scored 14 goals at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics, finishing as the leading goal-scorer at the event.
In a career spanning from 1926-1948, Dhyan Chand scored over 1000 goals.
National Hockey stadium in Delhi was renamed as Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in 2002 in his honor.
When India beat USA 24-1 in the 1932 Summer Olympics hockey final, Dhyan Chand scored 8 goals, while his brother Roop Singh netted 10. The duo scored a combined 25 goals at the tournament.
Wish to watch video on vimeo click link https://vimeo.com/167594286
Impressed by Dhyan Chand’s hockey wizardry, Adolf Hitler even offered him German citizenship.
Authorities in Netherlands broke Dhyan Chand’s hockey stick to inspect if there was a magnet inside it.
Dhyan Chand led India to three Olympic gold medal wins in 1928, 1932 and 1936.
Dhyan Chand was given the Padma Bhushan award in 1956. However, he is yet to be awarded the Bharat Ratna by the Indian government
Have kept this article very brief to retain focus on the fact that a great sportsman of India has not been give his due. Hope the present government will listen to the request of Indian and rectify the anomaly at the earliest.
wiki for photographs
Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kp5BIHbZJwU Uploaded by Harsh Singh