Former national hockey player and Member of Parliament Dilip Tirkey on Sunday stated that hockey wizard Major Dhyan Chand should be given Bharat Ratna - the country's highest civilian award.
"From last two-three years, there has been demand that Bharat Ratna should be given to Major Dhyan Chand. All the legends of the sports fraternity and Olympians have been saying that Major Dhyan Chand should be given the country's highest award for civilians- Bharat Ratna. He truly deserves this," Tirkey told ANI.
Prime Minister Modi in his "Mann Ki Baat" address on Sunday paid tribute to Major Dhyan Chand and said that he was a live example of 'sportsman spirit and patriotism.'
"Tomorrow (Monday) 29 August is legendary hockey player Major Dhyan Chand's birth anniversary which is celebrated as national sports day. I pay him tributes and want you all to remember his contribution," Modi said during his address in the 23rd edition of the programme.
"Major Dhyan Chad was a live example of true sportsman spirit and patriotism. He helped India in securing gold medals in Hockey in three Olympic Games in 1928, 1932 and 1936. Great cricket player Don Bradman had said that Dhyan Chand scores goals like runs," he added.
Dhyan Chand won three Olympic gold medals in hockey - in 1928 (Amsterdam), 1932 (Los Angeles) and 1936 (Berlin).
Dhyan Chand's name had earlier been suggested for the highest honour by the sports ministry three years ago.