If you ask any person on the street about our national game you will most probably get the answer Hockey but SPS Tomar, under secretary of Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in reply to an RTI, filed by a 12 year old girl of class 6th denied and further said there is not any official record in the government archives about Hockey being the national game of the nation.
Every school going child is taught that ‘Peacock’ is the national bird and ‘Hockey’ is the national game of the country. Even in the competition exams aspirants are also expected to give the same answer but surprisingly Hockey is not the national game of the country then what is?
India does not recognize any game as the national sport confirmed by the sports ministry of India.
It is not confirmed whether it is still mentioned about hockey being the national game or it is removed from the textbooks.
This revelation came into light when a 12 year old girl Aishwarya Parashar filed an RTI request to Prime Minister’s office in order to get the certified copies of orders related to the national anthem, bird , flower, sport and nation’s symbol. The query about the national sport was forwarded to the ministry of sports and in reply to RTI, ministry confirmed that currently the country has no national sport.
Now the question arises why hockey is considered as the national sport? May be because of the tremendous success it has achieved at international level. Hockey made its debut in Olympics in 1928. Indian hockey has won 8 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals in Olympics but from 1980 Indian hockey is facing a tough time though its current ranking is 5th in the world. India failed to qualify in 2008 Olympics.
From 1980 after the rise of Cricket in sub- continent hockey is loosing its popularity in India but success and popularity cannot be the yardsticks to decide a sport as national.
Both hockey and cricket are expensive games. In hockey each player needs a stick and a gear and in cricket as well player need helmet, gloves and other expensive stuff. People of India are underprivileged and many of them cannot arrange proper meals, sports is a far concern for them. Culture relevance also play a part in deciding the national game as our country has many cultures and to choose a sport is quite difficult as in North Kabbadi is popular whereas in South racing is popular and in Bengal people are die heart fans of Football. So it is very difficult to choose a national sport for all.
Until country will find out about its national sport people will rejoice watching Cricket and read about Hockey in the history books.