When it comes to writing something on a topic, say, any sport of the country , generally cricket conquers the Indian minds. The semi final of the Cricket World Cup 2015 between India and Australia enjoyed the dignity of a festival across the entire nation. This time, let’s do it on the National sport ‘Hockey’, for a change. But wait, is Hockey, actually the National Game of India?
We may be assuming Hockey, the game that fetched 6 consecutive Olympic gold medals, to be a National game, but the fact is ‘none of the game or sport played in the country has the status of National Game’. In response to an RTI filed by a Lucknow based, 10 year old girl, seeking certified copies of orders related to declaration of National anthem, song, animal, bird, flower, sport and symbol; the Sports Ministry has made it cleared that it has not declared any sport as the National Game. So the questions raised over the favoritism enjoyed by Cricket over the so called National sport – Hockey are baseless.
The popular movie, Chak De India (based on Hockey), suffused the Indian Hockey players with great energy and high spirits and also filled the audience with zeal and enthusiasm to support and cheer the National team. But the impact got diffused out soon.
Indians were long considered the kings of field Hockey- winning 8 gold medals but that dominance has dwindled since the introduction of synthetic turf pitches in 1970s. But then again in 2013, after a decade of gloom, Indian Hockey was all set to begin a new innings with the IPL style version of the game, Hockey Indian League, that was being seen as a remedy for the team which is slowly trying to regain its footing.
But in my view, whether it be Hockey or Cricket, what matters is, the pride of nationality should be maintained in any and every sport. This is only possible if we enthuse our souls with the ethics of sports and maintain the dignity of play. Being the sports of the same region, they should share their deserving and recognized space.