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Milkha Singh has no desire for Bharat Ratna; wants to see India winning Olympics medal in athletics
While addressing students during a convocation ceremony in Punjab, 85-year old flying sikh, Milkha Singh choked with emotions while remembering pre-partition days of India. He said, "It is not my habit to give long speeches but with the release of movie (Bhag Milkha Bhaag), my recognition as sports person has started and I receive hundreds of letters from my fans on daily basis."

Milkha Singh added, "It is very difficult to forget the killing of my brothers in Pakistan and it was the reason of my refusal to participate in an athletic event in Pakistan in 1960s. But, I attended the event on the request of Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India with an advice to forget what has happened in the past." While sharing this, tears rolled down from Milkha Singh’s eyes.

He further said, "When I defeated Abdul Khalid, and emerged as victorious the then Pakistani President General Ayub said that Milkha Singh had not run but flown and the title 'Flying Sikh' was prefixed with me."

He categorically stated that hard work, discipline, character and will-power could only make a person successful in life and shared the following couplet;

"Haath Ki Lakiron Se Zindgi Nahi Banti,

Azam Hamara Bhi Hissa Hai Zindgi Banane Mein"

Talking about his sports career, Milkha Singh said that out of 87 international athletic events, 77 have been won by him. At the same time, he expressed his concern that India a country of 123 crore people, could not produce more Milkha Singhs.

"It is my earnest desire to see someone to beat the record and I wish that he should be from Punjab," he added.

Later replying to the questions from media persons, Milkha Singh sounded more upset with the sports awards system. He said that the Arjuna awards are being given like ‘prashad’ while these should be awarded without any approach.

Agreeing to the Bharat Ratna award given to Sachin Tehdulkar, he pointed out that before Tendulkar, Dhyan Chand, the hockey legend should have been given the Bhrata Ratna. He said that sports persons should also be considered for posting as Ambassadors, Governors.

To another question, he said, the match-fixing has brought disgrace and spoiled the image of sports. In reply to another question about Bharat Ratna to him, he said, "Milkha Singh is already Ratna in Bharat as no one has so far won the Gold Medal after him. I wish my dream of seeing an Indian sports person with Olympic medal in athletics comes true in my life time."

Milkha Singh was chief guest at the convocation ceremony of 90-year old Ram Sukh Dass College, where he conferred the degrees to the students. He awarded degrees to 300 students apart from honouring 13 students with distinction for their outstanding achievements in academic, sports and cultural field.



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