Hockey is the National Sport of India

Sports Ministry during the golden ages(1960-1980)

We may be assuming Hockey, the game which fetched six consecutive Olympic gold medals, to be our national game but the fact is none of the games or sports played in the country has the status of “national game.”

Sports Ministry now(2012)

Author Note: Reader Discretion Advised. I might get a little graphic on this one while I rant with great vigour. Please note, these are my personal opinions about the system. Take what you want from this, else ignore it completely, but we can’t blindside ourselves to the facts as they are, and I hope to install that figment of thought in your heads in this article. Enjoy!


Sports – the dream of every Indian kid, and the thing Sharmaji’s son/daughter managed to balance with his/her education while we pathetically got yelled at for being a useless piece shit.

India has many forms of sports. Or does it? Our rural regions grow up playing kabaddi and kho-kho while our urban ones pick sides between cricket, football, basketball and volleyball; not saying the choices are set in stone, they obviously superimpose, but then that is the general pattern in which it goes.

As children, when we were still in schools, we were often encouraged in those special “club” periods to experiment with sports and pick a side. We always did, then we played. That was good, see? That was diverse and encouraging. Yet somewhere between wanting to play a few good sports and becoming a cricket fan, we grew up.

Often times in arguments, debates or discussions, I have experienced it that people say “India nahi kar sakti” (India can’t do it). That is just shifting the blame. I have news for you, India can, actually. India can do it. Here are a few possible reasons we aren’t, though.

  1. No governmental backing – This is often assumed to be the reason and not without cause. In a country where the government itself isn’t confident what it wants to do when it comes to sports, and then gives up and comes with stereotypical cricket sporting leagues isn’t a sign of a good progress motive. For the other sports, the fight is real, the money isn’t there, the commissions in place aren’t strong enough, or so we would want to believe. divide
  2. No Media Support – This, is in my opinion, one of the sole reasons why sports in India has gone to shit. In a country that has exceptional talent in many disciplines and the human resources to train the said talent, the media doesn’t shed light on anything that isn’t “exciting”. I’ll draw parallels by taking an example. Pro Kabaddi League has a following now in India with people going to watch it and even rooting for their own clubs/states. Why is that? Because Star Sports took up the mantle and sponsored the morbid shit out of it. It was all that aired on three of its channels daily for a while. I was forced to sit on my ass and watch grownass men grapple each other on a floormat. Mad fun bro. Jokes aside – it worked, didn’t it?
  3. No monetary backing – This is the standard Indian response to everything. Yaar unko koi paise nahi deta. (Man, they don’t get any money to prepare). Yeah, cos words help their cause. Money can be raised. The best part about money is the fluidity of it. But yes, we have got to see this as a major problem. There isn’t any money put into anything that could possibly bring us gold. But again I will draw parallels. Did football prominently exist in India? I mean other than the occasional indie interest sparked towards I-league,  there was virtually no involvement. But then Reliance-IMG and Hero grouped up to create the Indian Super League and now there are mild tremors being caused for it. Similarly Star Sports took the initiative to spark up interest in Pro-Kabaddi League.  Similarly the recent Premier Futsal was made by a group of independent entrepreneurs. So the mantra of “if government doesn’t do it, do it yourself” works, doesn’t it?

These 3 are the points that primarily inhibits progress. I have often had arguments as I said before where people seem to assume cricket propagation is solely the mistake of the government. Initiative yields results.

Create private leagues, play games, nurture talent, build the future of the sports. If this time’s olympics has taught us anything, it’s just that we are far behind on the world stage except for a few stars that made us proud. A shout out to our girls who shined ever so bright!

So it doesn’t take the “Abhinav Bindra was loaded and had his own shooting range and that is why he won” perspective everytime, does it? Chin the fuck up people, money isn’t just what it takes, it’s attention, it is initiative. Give it, and you shall yield results.

 

Oh and just cause I hate the guy, Salman Khan gave 1,01,000 to the participants after the games already started. Smart decisions, bro. Not like they could have used the money before or anything. Smart decisions indeed. Well anyways, I’ll just end this before I deviate it into a Bhai rant.

I’ll conclude uncharacteristically with a picture this time,

Wittingly yours,

S Narayanswamy