National Sports Day: Have we made Dhyan Chand proud?

India is a land of 1.25 billion people and toady (August 29) we are celebrating National Sports Day in the honour of legendary field hockey player Dhyan Chand. The day is synonymous with excellence achieved by Dhyan Chand, who in his career won three gold medals at the Olympics (1928 Amsterdam, 1932 Los Angeles and 1936 Berlin). Dhyan Chand with his sheer brilliance and panache made the game look ridiculously easy and rightfully was India’s pre-independence sports icon. The maverick and legend Dhyan Chand made India proud so many times and was awarded Padma Bhushan in 1956 for his brilliant achievement in sports and bringing India so many laurels.

Has India made Dhyan Chand proud? The ugly and sad truth is that even after having so many players and disciplines across the board, India has terribly let down the rich legacy of Dhyan Chand and we haven’t made any progress, when it comes to India’s performance at Olympics or any other world summit. Indian athletes are always fighting corrupt system, lack of infrastructure and in general apathy and this is one of the reasons why India continues to perform poorly at world competitions.

Dhyan Chand achieved so much in his glorious career despite the system and always played for the tri-colour and made a name for himself and proved that if you work hard nothing is impossible. The ‘New India’ that PM Narendra Modi talks about will need total cleansing of the system and if our athletes achieve 1/10th of what Dhyan Chand achieved than we will have lots of medals in the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

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