Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar's name has not been recommended for the highest civilian award Bharat Ratna by the sports ministry, according to media reports. The sports ministry has sent the names of hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand and mountaineer Tenzing Norgay for the award this year.
Recently the scope of the Bharat Ratan had been expanded to include exceptional services or performance of the highest order "in any field of human endeavour", thus sportspersons could also be chosen now for the award. Earlier the award could be given only in fields like arts, literature, science and public service.
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Last month, press council chairperson justice Markandey Katju had said that giving Bharat Ratna to cricketers and film stars, who have "no social relevance", is a "mockery" of the award.
"People are talking of giving Bharat Ratna to cricketers and film stars. This is the low cultural level to which we have sunk. We ignore our real heroes, and hail superficial ones," he said against the backdrop of the demand for conferring the coveted award to batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar and hockey legend Dhyan Chand.
Talking to reporters, Sports Minister Ajay Maken said that the sports ministry has forwarded all the names recommended by the sports federations for the award and BCCI did not send any name for consideration.