India – A Country With No National Game

Editorials News | Dec-03-2023

India – A Country With No National Game

Over the years it has been thought by the people that Hockey is the National Game of India. Even in our schools, we were taught Hockey as our national game. But to break everyone’s bubble an RTI was filed in the name of the Prime Minister by a school-going girl named Aishwarya Parashar in 2012, which was forwarded to the Ministry of Youth Affair and Sports and was confirmed by them that no sports in India are National sports. Now to know why India doesn’t have any sports as its National sports we need to look at the parameters on which a national sport is decided.

Most people might think that Hockey being a successful sport in India makes it perfect for being considered a National sport. It is not a lesser-known fact that India’s Men Hockey team from its debut in the Olympics in the year 1928 to the year 1956 has won six gold medals back to back. Although the sports faced a decline during the 1980s and 90s they came out stronger and gained a gold medal in the year 2018-2019. But the success of sports cannot decide whether a sport is relevant to be considered national or not because success is what comes and goes and is never stable, so it would not be rational to decide it on this basis.

The other thing that can be considered is the popularity of the sports; nobody is farfetched from the reality that cricket and football are the two games that are most popular in India only a lesser audience is exposed to other games like hockey or basketball. Furthermore, we all know that Cricket is the national game of England whereas Football is Brazil’s national game. So, none of them fits right for that position.

The availability of resources is also one of the factors that add to the national status of sports. When it comes to games like cricket, football, and hockey they are very expensive when it comes to their gears and the vast population of India is still not that efficient to buy such expensive gears.
When anything is talked of as national importance or National status the origin of the thing is being looked upon. Sports like Cricket and Rugby have their origins in the countries they represent. Although Hockey is considered as a de-facto sport of India its origin is still blurred in the vision of people because of its vast range of history etched to it. Therefore, no sports that have not originated in the country could be considered National.

Although, India has no sports that it can call its own every sport here is played with utmost integrity and enthusiasm. Even the spectators watch these games and enjoy them to the fullest. Therefore, until India decides on what sports it wants as its national sports, it will keep enjoying the benefits levied by other games and sports.

By: Arushi Bansal

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