Legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has joined the list of the nation's Bharat Ratnas. President Pranab Mukherjee awarded Tendulkar and noted scientist Professor CNR Rao with the country's highest civilian honour on Tuesday.
Tendulkar, 40, has become the youngest person, as well as the first sportsman, to be awarded the Bharat Ratna. The Mumbaikar beat hockey legend Dhyan Chand to become the first sportsperson to win the Bharat Ratna.
Tendulkar, who retired from all forms of cricket back in November, dedicated the award "to all mothers of India".
The cricketer also congratulated fellow award recipient Prof Rao. "I would like to congratulate Prof CNR Rao for getting the Bharat Ratna. It is an honour to get the award with him, his contribution to the field of science is immense. It's only that cricket is played in front of thousands of people and is a popular field," Tendulkar told reporters.
Prof Rao has been one of the most famous chemists in the country and had published over 1,500 research papers and 45 books on materials science. The 79-year-old, a former director of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, is currently working at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research in Bangalore.
Prof Rao has honourary doctorates from 60 universities from around the world.
"I wish in 20 years India will be in the top three or four countries in the world in science. I really want to see India shine," Prof Rao had recently said.
Milkha Singh Unhappy with Tendulkar being Awarded Bharat Ratna?
Meanwhile, legendary sprint champion Milkha Singh seems to be upset that Tendulkar got the Bharat Ratna award before Chand.
In an interview with TOI, Milkha insisted that though Tendulkar was great, Chand should have got the Bharat Ratna first.
"I believe that Dhyan Chand should have been given the Bharat Ratna first. He won an Olympic gold medal where there were over 200 participating countries," Milkha said. "To win gold there shows tremendous merit. The world rarely gets to see players like him. Dhyan Chand made India pround on several occasions".