Sachin Tendulkar, Dhyan Chand now eligible for Bharat Ratna

Sachin Tendulkar, Dhyan Chand now eligible for Bharat Ratna
New Delhi: Sports heroes Sachin Tendulkar and Dhyan Chand are now eligible for the Bharat Ratna as the government has changed the eligibility criteria for the Bharat Ratna to widen its scope.

The Bharat Ratna category has been broadened and excellence in all fields of human endeavour is the new eligibility norm.

The Prime Minister’s Office has accepted the Ministry of Home Affairs’ recommendation of broad basing the Bharat Ratna category.

The change in rules came at the behest of the Sports Ministry.

The country’s highest civilian award was initially restricted to fields such as Art, Literature, Science and Public Service.

Reacting to the government’s move, Sports Minister Ajay Maken tweeted, “Bharat Ratna for any sportsperson would be a big big day for Indian Sports!”

The Home Ministry had spoken to the Prime Minister’s Office recommending that sports be made a category for conferring the Bharat Ratna.

It’s not just Sachin Tendulkar but even our politicians who are hoping to hit a sixer. The demand for a Bharat Ratna for Sachin is becoming louder and now government sources say that it could be a matter of time before he gets the nation’s highest award.

Maken had recently written to the Home Ministry pushing for Bharat Ratna for cricketer Sachin Tendulkar after calls came from several quarters to felicitate the master blaster.

Sachin’s name for Bharat Ratna started doing the rounds just before the world cup 2011 but it was felt that it would be too early to give it to him. And also with only arts, literature and public service as criteria, a sportsman would not find place. Ajay Maken had then pushed for a sports category.

Former Olympians Leslie Claudius and Gurbax Singh had also said that they feel the legendary Dhyan Chand did not get his due in India and demanded a joint Bharat Ratna for the Hockey wizard, along with champion cricketer Sachin Tendulkar.

“It is true that Dhyanchand did not get his dues in the country but that’s how Hockey administration is in India. It is regretful,” Leslie Claudius, who is a three-time Olympic gold medalist (London 1948, Helsinki 1952 and Melbourne 1956) had said.

He was also the member of silver medal winning Indian team at Rome Olympic in 1960. He was in the national team when Dhyanchand was coach in 1959.
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