Hockey: Our national game?

In a nation obsessed with exams, sports are making a comeback. Big breakthroughs awaited!

Sports and games have always taken a back seat in modern India. As a nation, we have never been serious about excellence in sports. While many countries are quite passionate about their national game and develop it, the same is not the case with hockey, our national game. In fact, what we kept assuming to be our national game, was not even that, as the RTI reply revealed! [see Bodhi Link later]

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Leave the confusion aside. This Bodhi is not just about Hockey, it is about the passion and love we exhibit for games in India. Indians are passionate only for one game – cricket. Hockey stalwarts like Ajit Pal Singh, Ashok Kumar or Dhanraj Pillay have never enjoyed the fan following that is a regular feature for cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar, Mahendra Singh Dhoni or Virat Kohli. Talent alone is no guarantee of fame here, it’s your talent to be placed in the right game that is.

[Read this Bodhi in Hindi, here]

There was a time when India was a feared competitor on the international hockey field. Teams never wanted to face India as an opponent, as India scored goals by the dozens. Players like Major Dhyan Chand and Capt. Roop Singh would leave the ball only after releasing it in the goal net. They were real wizards and had flown India’s flag high in this our national sport. Such excellence has been very rare after that.

This disease of concentrating all our might on only one game, is actually reflective of other major warts in our national character. We have allowed the might of money to decide how and where excellence will be created. Participation in international tournaments is all we aim at – winning is not on our agenda. We have brought not only Hockey, but other games to a level when we have to play qualifying rounds for being eligible to participate in various international tournaments! Today we take pride in having qualified for participating in the Olympics in a game in which once we were the undisputed leaders.

[इस बोधि को हिंदी में पढ़ें, यहाँ]

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Should we not feel responsible for the present pathetic state of nearly all games in the country? There is no dearth of talent in the country but what is needed is a structured and proper response from us all, that encourages participation and creation of sustained excellence. It is the key to our soft power in the world.

Of late some efforts are being made. Tournaments like the Indian Hockey League are being organised where private sector is sponsoring various teams, trying to give them the required international exposure to bring hockey to its past glory. We will develop this story in time to come, with deeper focus on various sectors. Stay tuned!

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This Bodhi will be regularly updatedKeep visiting. And do share your thoughts in the Comments thread.

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    • Bodhi Links (for deeper study; Caution: some may be external links, some large PDFs)
      •  ##chevron-right## Hockey not our national game! here ##chevron-right##  Annual Report – English – Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs pdf here ##chevron-right## Annual Report – Hindi – Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs pdf  here


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Bodhi Booster: Hockey: Our national game?
Hockey: Our national game?
In a nation obsessed with exams, sports are making a comeback. Big breakthroughs awaited!
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