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National Sports Day: How Allahabad forgot Dhyan Chand was one of their own

The same city has an Amitabh Bachchan Sports complex but has conveniently forgotten the Wizard of World Hockey

Dhyan Chand (Source: Wikipedia)
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Dhyan Chand (Source: Wikipedia)

By

C.C. Chengappa

Updated: 2021-08-29T15:15:24+05:30

Enough and more has been said about Dhyan Chand. There have been countless anecdotes, goal reels and match accounts that have done the rounds ever since he picked up the Hockey stick and displayed his skills back in the da. But all of what shall be said in the future about him shall be taken in good faith because there are no restrictions on the praise and tributes one can give to the Wizard of World Hockey. However, there is one very glaring aspect of Dhyan Chand's legacy that has not been given adequate attention.

Born in Allahabad, his father was in the erstwhile British Indian army and was a hockey player himself. Dhyan Chand might not have settled in the city permanently, but he was still born there and spent a certain part of his life in the city before moving with his family to various Army postings given to his father.

It might be pertinent to know that Allahabad does not have any form of recognition for the greatest Hockey player of all time. There are no big stadiums, no major streets, no buildings or statues etc. that can be recognized with the Hockey magician's name. His legacy has been honoured and continues to be honoured in other capacities with the recent naming of the Khel Ratna Award after him.

However, all this is pointless when the city where he was born has ignored his contributions to the sport and the country. This glaring absence is the stark reality of how India has treated its sportspersons for several decades. Another interesting fact is that even Roop Singh, Dhyan Chand's younger brother has a street named after him in Germany. The recognition and fame of the two brothers extends to other countries but is of no relevance to places where they were born.

One can only hope that administrative action is taken in this regard to give due credit to Dhyan Chand. Naming a street or building a statue is the least that a city can do for a man who has put India on the world map of Hockey. Especially since National Sports Day is celebrated on the day the Wizard was born. We owe it to him and all that he has done for the India since 1928.

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