Former Olympian Aslam Sher Khan on Friday said hockey wizard Major Dhyan Chand should be the first sportsperson to be awarded the Bharat Ratna, the country's highest civilian honour.
"Dhyan Chand had led India to victory in hockey in the 1928 Holland Olympics, in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics and the 1936 Germany Olympics," he said.
"We all know that Dhyan Chand was a magician with the hockey stick who brought glory to India during the pre-independence period," he added.
The former MP said also supported the vociferous demand for honouring Indian cricket's batting great Sachin Tendulkar with the award.
Sachin should get the Bharat Ratna. It was because of him that an environment had been created in which there was talk of giving the award to sportspersons, he said.
Aslam said apart from Dhyan Chand and Sachin Tendulkar, Balbir Singh (Sr) who led India to victory in hockey in the 1948, 1952 and 1956 Olympics, sprint queen P T Usha, legendary cricket all-rounder Kapil Dev and ace shooter Abhinav Bindra should also be considered for the honour.