Legendary athlete Milkha Singh on Tuesday expressed his delight at Home Ministry recommending the name of hockey great late Major Dhyan Chand for the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award in the country.
Speaking from Chandigarh, the 'Flying Sikh' said Dhyan Chand should have been the first sportsperson from India to have got this award.
"I am delighted to hear the news that late Major Dhyan Chand has been nominated for the Bharat Ratna by the Home Ministry," Milkha Singh said.
"Major Dhyan Chand was one of the finest sportsmen from India and brought several laurels to our country in hockey. I always believed that he should perhaps have been the first to receive the Bharat Ratna," said one of the the country's finest athletes.
Indian track-and-field athlete, who became the first Indian male to reach the final of an Olympic athletics event, where he finished fourth in the 400-metre race at the Rome 1960 Games, congratulated the Government for recommending Dhyan Chand's name for the honour.
"Sportsmen make the finest ambassadors for the country and I'm sure the entire nation will be happy to hear about this decision to nominate him for the award.
"In fact I would like to add that keeping in mind the same line of thinking, there's no reason why a top sportsman should not be nominated as Ambassadors, Governors, as members of the Rajya Sabha or as members of Parliament, because they dedicate their lives for the nation. They are intelligent, disciplined, work hard," said Milkha Singh.
"I would like to congratulate the Modi Government for this and hope to see much more initiatives" he added.