Not many will know that today is the birthday of the Bradman of hockey, Major Dhyan Chand. Such is the apathy towards the National game and its heroes!
The former Indian hockey wizard was born on August 29, 1905 in Allahabad and is often regarded as the greatest player ever to have played the game. He was a part of the Gold winning Indian team in three Olympic Games (1928 Amsterdam, 1932 Los Angeles, 1936 Berlin). He was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian honour, in 1956. He got the title 'Chand' (moon) from his first coach, Pankaj Gupta, who had rightly predicted that he would one day shine like the moon. Major Dhyan Chand was affectionately called 'Dadda'.
We decided to talk to his son, Olympian and part of the 1975 World Cup (Kuala Lampur) winning Indian hockey team, Ashok Kumar. Presently in Bhopal, Ashok expressed his happiness at the amount of awareness and popularity that Yash Raj's CHAKDE! INDIA has generated for hockey.
He told us that public memory is very short and in about 4-5 months it will all be forgotten. He added that one CHAKDE! INDIA has made people know about the plight of one Mir Ranjan Negi (and hockey) and more movies like it will be needed to restore the neglected National game to its past glory. He implored the media to "keep the torch burning as pen is mightier than the sword!"