Dhyanchand to Hitler “India is my country and I’m fine there”


During the final match between Germany and India in the Berlin Olympics 1936, Hitler left the stadium halfway through the match, as he couldn’t see his team lose.

Later when Hitler came to know about Dhyan Chand’s performance, he expressed his desire to meet him, and the same was conveyed to Dhyan Chand.

Dhyan Chand

The next morning Dhyan Chand was standing in front of Hitler. Hitler took a look at the sub-standard canvas shoes of Dhyan Chand and enquired “what else you do, when not playing hockey?”

Dhyan Chand: I am in Army.

Hitler: What is your rank?

Dhyan Chand: I am Lance Nayak.

Hitler: Come over to Germany and I will make you a Field Marshal.

Hitler and Major Dhyanchand

Dhyan Chand was in a bind, not understanding whether it was an instruction to him by the Supreme Commander of the mighty German Army, or an offer. Breaking his silence after a few seconds,

Dhyan Chand replied in chaste Hindi, “India is my Country, and I am fine there”.

None of the generals accompanying Hitler could respond to the patriotic rebuff rendered by the plucky Indian soldier.

Hitler is said to have taken his eyes off Dhyan Chand’s canvas shoes briefly and retorted, “As you like it ” and stomped away in a huff.