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|August 19, 2001||
Balkishan Singh to accept Arjuna Award
Olympian Balkishan Singh on Sunday said he would accept the Arjuna Award putting to rest the controversy arising from reports indicating that he would follow Milkha Singh in rejecting the honour.
"I'm accepting the award without any reservation or feeling of hurt", Singh whose name figures in this years list of Arjuna Awardees for lifetime achievement told reporters in Chandigarh.
Claiming that his name had been unnecessarily dragged into the controversy Balkishen Singh said "I personally feel that by rejecting the national award, I will be hurting the feeling of the nation as the award is being given by the government on behalf of the country".
"I cannot hurt the feelings, love and affection of the people given for my contribution to hockey, first as a player and then as a coach." Balkishen Singh who spent an impressive 50-year career in hockey said.
He, however, said he did voice reservations on the manner in which the award was being given. "I have written a letter to sports minister Uma Bharti giving my views that since the award was being given for lifetime achievements it should have been given in proper format to maintain its sanctity".
"I have expressed my elation and gratitude to the minister for the kind gesture and benevolence", he said adding "I personally feel I should have got this award 20 years back, but no other Government considered me".
Balkishen Singh also denied media reports that he had written any letter to the Prime Minister.
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