Gurgaon: Hockey legend Dhyan Chand should have been the first to get Bharat Ratna if it was to be given to a sportsman, Bollywood actor Nana Patekar said yesterday on the sidelines of the GV Mavlankar Open National Shooting Championship at the Central Reserve Police Force Academy at Kadarpur.
Dhyan Chand in the 1930s and (inset) Nana Patekar
Sachin Tendulkar is the first Indian sportsman to be honoured with the country's highest civilian award. "Awards like Bharat Ranta should be given to those who have done a lot for the country but got nothing much in return. Major Dhyan Chand deserves it. Players of modern times are playing more for money rather than for their county," Patekar told IANS.
Asked about the Padma Shri awarded to him, the actor said: "I don't know and do not understand why it was given to me. I perform in Bollywood and get money for my work."