The late Major Dhyan Chand is in the news once more this time of year. And again it is connected with speculation that he might be one of the recipients of the Bharat Ratna.
When there was a debate about whether sports persons should be awarded the Bharat Ratna , and if so , who first, yours truly along with many others felt that arguably the world’s greatest hockey player was preeminent among all current and past Indian sports persons.
But the Indian government played to the gallery and awarded the country’s most prestigious award to Sachin Tendulkar on the eve of his retirement from the game.
This is not to deny Mr. Sachin Tendulkar his spot in the sun. God knows, he did not need another award. He is the most beloved of all sports stars on the Indian firmament. But surely Dhyan Chand and his descendants were done a disservice.
Sachin is in the news too; this time for his leave of absence from the Upper House of Parliament. ‘Aap la Sachin’ is not the dedicated parliamentarian—neither posting any questions in the house nor spending his quota of allocated funds for his constituents’ betterment. And now, he has decided to go AWL (Absent With Leave) citing personal and professional commitments.
It does make one wonder if Tendulkar considered the Rajya Sabha selection as just yet another award and not a call to service—a thought echoed by Pradeep Magazine in his column for the Hindustan Times.
The man cannot be solely blamed. Politics is a different kettle of fish—a fact that Amitabh Bachchan can attest to.