Indian hockey witnessed an finish of an period on Monday when Singh died at a hospital in Mohali on the age of 95 after battling a number of well being points for over two weeks.
Whereas Main Dhyan Chand, thought-about the daddy of Indian hockey, confirmed his mastery with the hockey stick in a colonised India, the post-independence period belonged to Singh.
Dhyan Chand was bestowed with many honours in his life, however a Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian award in 1957, was all that Singh acquired in his lifetime.
“Each Dada Dhyan Chand and Balbir Singh have been stalwarts of Indian sports activities. Each have achieved equally when it comes to data so if Dhyan Chand is the daddy of Indian hockey, Balbir is the uncle,” captain of the 1975 World Cup-winning crew Ajit Pal Singh informed PTI.
“We someway gave due respect to Dhyan Chand by naming the Nationwide Stadium in his title in addition to celebrating his birthday as Nationwide Sports activities Day or saying naming Dhyan Chand award after him however Balbir Singh by no means acquired the popularity he deserved.
“What he acquired was a Padma Shri however I really feel each should be honoured with Bharat Ratna. Why not? They’re our nationwide heroes who’ve been inspiring a era of sportspersons and can proceed to take action,” he added.
Three Olympic gold medals (1948, 1952, and 1956) as a participant and captain, a world cup gold as supervisor and to-this-date the very best particular person scorer in an Olympic closing (1952, Helsinki) — Singh is broadly thought-about the most effective centre-forward of all time and to many specialists and followers “the person who took ahead the unique wizard’s legacy”.
“Balbir Singh was a real inspiration for all of us. He and Dada Dhayan Chand had no comparability, each have been greats in their very own occasions. I really feel Balbir Singh did not get due honour,” mentioned Dhyan Chand’s son Ashok Kumar, who performed a key function in India’s 1975 World Cup win.
“He was solely bestowed with a Padma Shri, however he ought to at the least have been given Padma Vibhushan,” he added.
One other former India hockey captain Dilip Tirkey additionally urged the federal government to contemplate Singh for at the least the Padma Vibhushan posthumously for his stellar achievements within the discipline of sports activities.
“It is rather unhappy that Balbir Singh ji isn’t any extra with us however as a nation we will nonetheless give him his due recognition. Folks like Dhyan Chand, Balbir Singh are born as soon as and it’s our responsibility to not neglect their achievements,” Tirkey informed PTI.
“Folks like Dhyan Chand and Balbir Singh are our nationwide treasure. The federal government nonetheless can pull again and research their achievements and data and honour them accordingly,” he added.