Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna has now been renamed after Sports Veteran Major Dhyan Chand

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On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna is renamed “Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna” after reviewing the requests from citizens across India. A massive cheer among sportspersons as they welcome the decision.

 This news was celebrated among the sporting community, who have had the greatest hockey wizard as their inspiration for so long. This decision happened a day after the Indian men’s hockey team secured an Olympic medal after a 41-year hiatus.

The women’s hockey team mesmerised us with their performance bagging fourth place, taking over Australia at the Tokyo Olympics.

 The Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award, previously known as the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, is considered India’s highest sporting honour to any sportsperson. It has been awarded by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports since 1991.

It is presented to the most outstanding performer in sports over four years, comprising a medallion, a certificate and a cash reward of Rs 25 lakh.  

India’s Most Celebrated Sportsperson

Major Dhyan Chand has been widely regarded for bringing India three Olympic gold medals and scoring as many as 1000 goals on the field over a two-decade career from 1926 to 1948. He has been an iconic personality in international hockey.

Each year, his birthday on August 29 is celebrated as National Sports Day when National Sports Awards are honoured to talented sportspersons.

 On the occasion of renaming the Khel Ratna, the elated Sports Minister Anurag Thakur tweeted remarking on our hockey hero, “His life and achievements have inspired generations of sportspersons who have achieved glory for India”. 

 The renaming of India’s highest sporting honour after the greatest hockey player has been unanimously welcomed by the sporting fraternity across the country, claiming that it is only befitting to name it after Major Dhyan Chand.

 Former field hockey goalkeeper Mir Ranjan Negi even nominated Major Dhyan Chand for Bharat Ratna after welcoming the decision of renaming the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna after any hockey player’s inspiration Major Dhyan Chand.

“Now if Major Dhyan Chand is awarded Bharat Ratna (posthumously) it will be like an icing on the cake and now there shouldn’t be any delay in doing this,” Negi told PTI.

 The row over two Dhyan Chand sports achievement awards

Prime Minister revived the spirit of sports by his announcements and tweeted, “Respecting the sentiment, the Khel Ratna Award will hereby be called the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award”.

The name Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime Achievement in Sports and Games is also after India’s most revered sportsperson Dhyan Chand, bestowed annually and carries a cash reward of Rs. 5 lakhs.  

 Few others trolled on naming two awards after the same person created a political roil on Twitter and accused the Prime Minister of dragging Major Dhyan Chand into the political landscape.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala greeted the declaration of renaming the Khel Ratna after the legendary Dhyan Chand while criticising Narendra Modi government for naming various stadiums after BJP politicians.

He also clarified on renaming Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, “We sincerely hope Modi Ji should not have used his myopic political motives to drag the name of a celebrated player like Major Dhyan Chand. Rajiv Gandhiji doesn’t need any awards for recognition.

He is known for his sacrifice and the ideas that helped India transform into the 21st century.,” he said, according to PTI.

 The Congress already envisages Prime Minister to rename the stadiums named after politicians on actual sports legends, targeting the Narendra Modi stadium in Ahmedabad (world’s largest cricket stadium) and the Arun Jaitley stadium in Delhi. 

 Cricketer Irfan Pathan gladly welcomed the renaming of the highest sporting honour in India while anticipating the naming of stadiums after sportsmen’s names. “Hopefully in the future sports stadium names will be after sportsmen too”, he tweeted

Ritika Singh
Ritika Singh
I am Ritika Singh currently graduating from Delhi University in B.Sc. Hons Geology. I dream to become a Geologist and explore unknown life-forms as moss on rocks at barren places makes me wonder if there is life possible beyond earth and what could our past and future be. I love to express my raw and random thoughts through writing on nature and anything happening around me grabbing my attention. Among other things i love learning about new disciplines and trying my hands on as many variable things as possible. From knitting to snorkeling, athletics to star gazing you can find me as an avid admirer of everything and anything around us.

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