Though we were taught since childhood that hockey is our national sport, our country has no national game at all. Then why were we taught this way? There are ample reasons.
The most probable reason would be the fact that our country dominated in hockey. In the pre-independence era, our country’s force won 8 gold medals at the Olympic Games. They won all the gold medals in hockey from 1928 to 1956. Their domination in hockey ended in 1960s when they lost to Pakistan in the final.
Our country’s hockey dreams started to sink lower after 1980 as they were stressed at the top level. One of the main reasons was the introduction of the mandatory use of AstroTurf in international tournaments. As Indian players lacked this facility at home, they struggled. It was only after 2000 that the major cities of our country got the AstroTurf.
Though cricket became the country’s most-followed sport, it was hockey that represented us as a potential threat. RTI confirmed in 2012 that hockey is not our national sport. But because of its Indian origin and rich history, it is still recognized widely as India’s sport symbol.