In this article, we have published an Essay on Dhyan Chand, His Early Life, Career, History in Berlin Olympics.
Major Dhyan Chand was one of the most famous and arguably the best player in the history of Indian Hockey. He was renowned for his astonishing goal-scoring ability. He showed his remarkable capabilities in the Olympics by winning a Gold medal for India in the year of 1928, 1932, and 1936.
His contribution was one of the reasons behind the domination of India in hockey in that era. The rumor spread that after defeating Germany in the Olympics, Adolf Hitler offered him the senior post of the German Army.
But he rejected the proposal. He was known as ‘The Wizard’ for his excellent ball controlling skill. He played international matches from 1926 to 1949, scoring 570 goals.
He was awarded Padma Bhushan, which is the third-highest civilian award. In India, every year on 29 November, his birthday is celebrated as National Sports Day.
Major Dhyan Chand was born on 29 August, in 1905, at Allahabad. He belonged to a Rajput family. His younger brother was Roop Singh. He was also a hockey player. His father as an employee of the British government.
He used to play for the Army. Due to his father’s job, the whole family had to move from one place to another place. It was very difficult for him to continue his studies. Hence he abandoned six years later from his admission. But after they settled, he studied from Victoria College in Gwalior.
He never had an inclination towards playing hockey. Although in his childhood, he used to play with his friends. But it was a casual play, not thought about choosing it as a profession. He used to practice after his duty in the Army.
As there were no floodlights during his time, he had to wait for the moonlight to improve the condition for the practice. From there, his name has been derived from his friends.
Between the year of 1922 and 1926, Chand was dedicatedly playing hockey for the British Army. For his excellent skills, he was selected for the Indian Army. The team was on a tour of New Zealand. He joined them and performed excellently.
He impressed with his performance. After returning to India, he was promoted to Lance Naik in the year of 1927. After the successful reintroduction of field hockey in Olympic, a new institute was found to look after the hockey and its progress.it is called as Indian Hockey Federation.
They planned to send the best possible team to Amsterdam Olympics in 1928. To handpick the best from the lot, they arranged an inter-provisional tournament. Dhyan Chand was selected to be played on behalf of the United Province. By his brilliant stick work, he placed the strong point for his selection in the team.
This tournament got famous, and it was decided to hold this tournament every two years. The team was finally announced considering Chand as the center forward. At that time, IFH wasn’t financially stable, and all their request for financial help was falling in the deaf ear.
Although they managed the fund and sent the team to London for further practice. There, they defeated England’s National team, which led them to withdraw their names from the Olympics. In the year of 1928, 24 April, the team reached Amsterdam to participate in the Olympics game.
They also beat the local Dutch teams with huge margins. Finally, they were enlisted in the group A with Austria, Belgium, Denmark, and Switzerland. In all three matches, India thrashed the opponent convincingly with a minimum of five goal differences. Dhyan Chand scored a truckload of goals.
The final was against the home team, the Netherlands, on 26 May. Although Chand, along with some other players, were ill, they defeated them by 3-0 and created history by winning the Gold Medal in Olympic.
Major Chand was adjudged as the player of the tournament. After returning to India, he was considered as the National Hero. The team was received by thousands in the Bombay Harbour in comparison to only three when they were leaving
Now, the IHF is run by civil people. They again started the inter provisional tournament for the selection of the team for next Olympic. Chand, at that time, was Naik, had been refused by his platoons to participate in that tournament.
Although others had to prove themselves in the competition, Dhyan Chand was an automatic selection. Punjab won the inter-provisional tournament, and seven players were selected for the national team from Punjab. The team selected for the Olympics had a busy schedule as the preparation.
They went to Ceylon and thrashed them in all the matches. They went to the United States and beat them convincingly. They sailed for participating in the Olympics of 1932. India played their first game against Japan and outplayed them by defeating them with a margin of 11-1.
They beat the host with the then-record margin of 24-1. Dhyan Chand and his brother scored a high percentage of goals as they were walking in the park. They were called ‘Hockey Twins.’ India successfully defended its Gold Medal in the hockey in Olympics.
The media of the United States called them the Typhoon from the east, which dismantled everyone. After sailing from New York, they went to England for a hectic schedule. They played nine matches inside a fortnight.
After that, India locked its horn with the international teams of Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Netherlands, and Germany. They came back to Ceylon and India to play more tournaments. In this season, they won 34 out of 37 matches. He was named “Magician of Indian Hockey.”
1936 Berlin Olympics:
In the year of 1933, his local team from Jhansi beat Calcutta in the final of the Beighton Cup, which Dhyan Chand considered as the best match he had ever played in his life. He led a very young team against the experienced team of Calcutta. In 1935, they defended the Beighton Cup successfully.
In the year of 1934, they were sent to the New Zealand tour. He has been elected as the captain of the team. They won all the marches, and Chand scored like a goal machine. After returning to India, he joined the barracks. The IHF organized Inter Provisional Tournament as the preparation of the 1936 Olympics.
Again, Dhyan Chand was rejected by his platoon. But he, along with his brother, was selected without formalities. The team left for the tournament, and after an uncomfortable journey in the third class compartment, they reached Berlin. They lost their opening game against Germany but came back strongly against Hungary.
They won the rest of their group matches and marched through to the final, where they again faced Germany. Although the team was nervous due to defeat in their last encounter against Germany, they started slowly. But once they launched the all-out attack, they ripped the opponent apart and won the third consecutive Olympics Gold.
East Africa Tournament and Final phase:
After returning from Berlin, he was confined in Army hockey only due to the announcement of the world war. He realized that this team needs new and young faces. The IHF arranged a tournament against East Africa. Dhyan Chand was elected as the captain.
They won all the matches. After 1948, Chand decided to phase himself out of serious hockey. He often represented the Rest of India. His final game was against Bengal’s leading Rest of India.
In the year of 195, he was recognized at India’s National Stadium with the inaugural tournament named after him as Dhyan Chand Tournament. Major Dhyan Chand Chand took retirement from the Indian Army in 1956.
Chand passed away on 3 December 1979 at the AIIMS, situated in New Delhi.
Featured Image – Hindi Wikimedia