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DNA Exclusive: Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award – The renaming is fitting tribute to a legendary sportsperson, a departure from naming after the ‘parivar’ | India News

New Delhi: The central government took a major decision on Friday (August 6) after it rechristened India’s highest sporting honour Khel Ratna Award, named after former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, in the honour of hockey wizard Dhyan Chand, following an admirable performance by both men’s and women’s hockey teams at the Tokyo Olympics. However, the decision of the central government to change the pain of the Khel Ratna caused a lot of pain in one section of society. 

Before exploring that part, we will share news for 65 crore women in the country. 

Today, India’s women’s hockey team lost the match to Britain for the bronze medal. However, there was a huge victory in this defeat and a big message for the entire society. Even today, women and girls in our country are seen with the mindset of ‘Fair and Lovely’. 

Girls who are interested in any sports and want to participate in it, had to struggle a lot with their own family members and society to step out of the house. Families often worry that how the girls will run in the village wearing shorts or skirts. Their families get worried when they see their girls not returning on time from coaching centres. And the boys of the neighbourhood would wait for this opportunity to know when they should point fingers at these girls?

And hence, it would be not wrong to say that the Indian Women’s Hockey players, faced tough battles from their own family, society and male-dominated mentality, reached this far at Tokyo Olympic where they gave a tough competition to Great Britain women’s hockey team. 

According to research, only 29 per cent of women in India have participated in any sport at some point in their life. Because 42 per cent of the people of our own country believe that women should not go into sports, whereas the truth is that in the last Olympic Games, India had only two medals in its name, and both these medals were won by women. And this time too, of the total 5 medals that India won in the Tokyo Olympics, 3 have been won by women. 

One might wonder about the circumstances that these women would have faced to reach at the podium. There would have been times when these girls would have objected and made to hear comments over athleisure clothing, and sometimes they would have been criticized for their haircuts. At least 50 per cent of the women of India believe that they are afraid to step out of the house after dusk. Most of these girl players, after returning home from their practice session, would get engaged in household chores and duties. 

90 per cent of Indian men don’t help with household chores, and hence, it can be said that these future champions must have done their brothers and father’s share of work too.

Before losing to the UK team, these girls must have defeated their admiration for white skin complexion as when someone plays in the sun and remains on the field for a long time, his or her skin tone naturally becomes somewhat dark. Moreover, their parents too may interrupt them regularly saying that if they keep on playing like this in the sun, their complexion will turn black and no one will marry her. It is a common fact that 50 per cent of men in India believe that they want a fair wife at all costs.

That’s why today when they got a chance, they not only collided fiercely with the opposing players but on every goal screamed with joy. The noise of their victory must have hit the ears of the society which does not even allow them to speak loudly in the house.

These girls, sweating in the scorching heat of 45 degree Celcius, may lose the match to the Great Britain women’s hockey team, but they left a message to the 65 crore women of the country that there is no need to get trapped in the Fair And Lovely mentality. 

The darkened complexion due to playing in the sun, sweat and bruises on the body of these girls clearly tell that your dream is bigger than any cream that makes your skin complexion one shade lighter. Today, we want to deliver the message to ‘move forward’ through the Indian women’s hockey team girls to the entire nation. 

This day is also important for another reason. Today, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, the highest honour given in the field of sports in India, was renamed as Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award. Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself gave this information and said that the decision to name the award to Major Dhyan Chand was taken keeping in view the sentiments of the people. However, a section of our country criticized the decision saying changing the name of the award is an insult to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. So, today you must be wondering whether India’s biggest sports award should be named after a politician, or a sportsperson who brought India’s laurels to the international level.

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