Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, the highest sporting honour of India, will be renamed Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced today. The renaming recognises the ultimate hockey hero and legend of the sport, Dhyan Chand. The change undercuts and eclipses the name of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi of the Congress.
The Prime Minister said the move was based on the numerous requests he received from across the nation.
“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!” tweeted the Prime Minister with #JaiHind.
The change also comes on the day, India women’s hockey team narrowly missed out on a bronze medal drawing curtains on its spirited show at the Toyko Olypmpics. A day before, the men’s hockey team won an Olympic bronze after a wait of 41 years
“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,” the Prime Minister said in another tweet, just before announcing the new name for the award.