Question for the day and thought for ever!! Do the politicians who were zero (in wealth n properties) when they entered politics and having amassed wealth in their political career and have properties worth crores deserve the coveted “Padma Awards”! Don’t you feel “Padma lobbying” has become a lucrative business? And many worthy people who deserve….have been royally denied (eg: Late Dhyan Chand, the hockey wizard…)?
Way back in 2013, the then Sports Ministry had indeed taken a decision to recommend the late hockey wizard Dhyan Chand for the highest national award, the Bharat Ratna. No doubt every true Indian and even the sportspersons from the other fields like Cricket had wholeheartedly welcomed this decision by the then government. One does feel that this honour should have been bestowed on the hockey veteran long before. I would take this opportunity to refresh our pedigree and submit some excerpts from Dhyan Chand’s profile, from Rohit Brijnath.
Much like the DREAM TEAM lined up by the USA in Basketball, there was a time when Indian hockey players lined up for Gold Medal at every Olympics. Starting from 1928, for 36 years, the Indian Team won every Olympic Men’s hockey gold medal except one where they finished second. Led by that, India introduced great wizard Dhyan Chand, the Indian “dribble” to mesmerise opposing defences world over.
Dhyan Chand captained the Indian team in 1936 Summer Olympics final. His team had gone down to the Germans in a friendly match, shortly before the Olympics. But this time, India’s forward line was reinforced by the inclusion of Ali Iqtidar Shah Dara, who managed to reach Berlin just in time for the final.
In a patriotic note, they raised the Indian tricolour in the dressing room and sang Vande Mataram, an Indian nationalist song, rather than the British National Anthem, which they were obliged to sing.
Indians were leading 1-0 at the half time. In the second half, they scored seven goals. After trailing 0-6, the Germans are reported to have resorted to body play. In a clash with the German goalkeeper, Dhyan Chand broke one of his teeth. But the valiant Rajput returned to the field after the first aid. When the match ended, his contribution in India’s 8-1 win was six goals.
The match was attended by Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler who left midway as he couldn’t bear to see his “racially superior” team being demolished. Sensing something amiss, he was ordered to change his stick, but the flow of goals continued. India won the match 8-1, with Dhyan Chand scoring six goals.
(This is the first part of the article and the remaining portion will continue tomorrow)
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)