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Current Affairs

Importance of Dhyan Chand for Indian sports

Date: 09 August 2021 Tags: Honours & Awards


The Union government has renamed Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award as Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award.



  • Dhyan Chand was the first Hockey superstar who won gold medals in Amsterdam, Los Angeles and Berlin Olympic games.

  • He was known for his superb dribbling skills and ball control, which earned him the title of the hockey wizard.

  • During his play time there were no teams competent enough to defeat India in hockey. The victory margins for India were also very high.

  • Netherlands were beaten 3-0 in 1928 Amsterdam Olympics final. In the 1932 Olympics final, India defeated United States with a margin of 24-1.

  • Germany was defeated 8-1 in the finals of 1936 Berlin Olympics final. Dhyan Chand had scored 33 goals in his 12 Olympic appearances.


Incidents associated with Dhyan Chand

  • The hockey in those days was played on natural grass with lots of bumps, making it difficult for players to control the ball.

  • The ability of Dhyan Chand to control ball with such precision aroused doubts in officials. His hockey stick was broken and checked.


Significance of Dhyan Chand

  • The ability of an Indian to dominate a game invented by Europeans created a sense of pride for Indians. The feeling of inferior vanished after seeing Europeans suffering drubbing at the hands of Indians.

  • Hockey was the only sport India dominated at the world level. India won 7 out of 8 gold medals in continuous Olympics games since 1928.

  • Without Hockey, India could not even win a medal in any sport till 1952 when KD Jadhav won bronze in Helsinki.

  • There was a strong demand for awarding Bharat Ratna posthumously to Dhyan Chand but was instead given to Sachin Tendulkar.


Recognition for Dhyan Chand

  • Dhyan Chand’s birthday on August 29th is celebrated as National Sports Day. Lifetime achievement award in sports is named after Major Dhyan Chand.

  • National stadium in New Delhi is named after Dhyan Chand. He was also given the third highest civilian award in the country, the Padma Bhushan.


Significance of renaming the award

  • The renaming is an apt recognition for one of the sporting legends of the country. This comes after Indian Hockey team won bronze medal in Tokyo after 41 years.

  • The honour can inspire a generation to look upto the legend and strive hard to bring back the glory that hockey deserves in future years.