The Union Home Ministry, in September, opposed the Centre’s plan to award the Bharat Ratna to cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, the Ministry has revealed in its reply to an RTI inquiry. The then Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs & Sports Ajay Maken had, in September 2011, written to the Home Ministry requesting inclusion of sports as “an area of recognition for the conferment of the Bharat Ratna”. But the Ministry rejected the suggestion, saying, “Inclusion of sports as a field for Bharat Ratna may raise the issue to include other fields such as trade and industry and social work in the award category of Bharat Ratna.”

The Ministry said that while Tendulkar “deserves the highest honour […], there are several other sportspersons who have made our country feel proud, such as Dhyan Chand in hockey, Jaspal Rana in shooting, Vishwanathan Anand in chess, P.T. Usha in athletics.”

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