Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award renamed after hockey wizard Dhyan Chand
New Delhi, August 6, 2021
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced that the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, India's highest sporting honour, had been renamed as the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award after the late iconic hockey wizard.
In a series of posts on microblogging site Twitter, Modi said he had been getting many requests from citizens across the country to name the prestigious award after Major Dhyan Chand.
"I have been getting many requests from citizens across India to name the Khel Ratna Award after Major Dhyan Chand. I thank them for their views.
"Respecting their sentiment, the Khel Ratna Award will hereby be called the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award!
"Major Dhyan Chand was among India’s foremost sportspersons who brought honour and pride for India. It is fitting that our nation’s highest sporting honour will be named after him," he said.
The announcement came a day after the Indian Men's Hockey team won the bronze at the ongoing Tokyo Olympic Games -- the first time in four decades that the country has won an Olympic medal in the sport. The Indian women's hockey team also made their maiden entry into the last four in the Tokyo Games, though they lost the bronze medal match this morning.
"The exceptional performance of the Men’s and Women’s Hockey Team has captured the imagination of our entire nation. There is a renewed interest towards hockey that is emerging across the length and breadth of India. This is a very positive sign for the coming times," he added.