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Facts: Neither Hockey Nor Cricket Is India’s National Game; Schools Taught You Wrong

Which Sport Is India’s National Game? Most of the people in India were taught in school that the national sport of the nation is Hockey. Believe it or not, the fact is India has no national game/sport. This is a truth many of the people in the country still do not know and they believe what they learnt in school or in any general knowledge book of the previous years.

Hockey Is Not The National Sport/Game Of India; Believe That

Aishwarya Parashar, a 10-year-old schoolgirl in 2012, brought this fact into light when she filed a Right to Information (RTI) request with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to get official declarations on the national anthem, sport, song, bird, animal, flower and the country’s symbol.

The PMO forwarded the query to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. Peacock is the national bird, Jana Gana Mana is the national anthem, but In response to the RTI, the ministry confirmed that it had not declared any sport or game as India’s national game.

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Now we will be looking at some facts or the reasons behind India not having any national sport. But before that let us describe why hockey was known as the Indian national game for so many years?

The Indian men’s and the women’s teams have reached the Olympic semi-finals in Tokyo and that is a success for this crop of players, especially for the women’s team who were ranked ninth in world rankings. India men’s team had international success before the independence.

In 1928, the Indian men’s hockey team made their debut at the Olympics; they won six gold medals between 1928 and 1956 and five other medals through 1980. They experienced a decline in the 1980s and ’90s but came back and won a gold medal at the 2018-19 Men’s Hockey Series. Surely the government cannot decide on a national sport based on success because it can be temporary on the world stage.

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The next criterion is popularity. No sport is more popular than Cricket is in India, as for some people this game is a religion. Hockey is nowhere near that. The game became more popular and the craze began when India won the ICC cricket world cup in 1983. Since then the graph has always been upwards. But similarly, popularity comes and goes and it is not a strong point to make it a national sport.

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Even though both Cricket and Hockey are popular, both sports are very expensive. The majority of people cannot afford to allow their children to play cricket because of its expense. This fact makes most sports inaccessible to a significant portion of the populace.

On Monday, the Indian women’s hockey team against all the odds defeated Australia to reach the Tokyo Olympic semi-finals. The number 9 ranked side in the world, India produced an iconic 1-0 victory over the Aussies at the Oi Hockey Stadium – North Pitch, right after the day when the Indian men’s hockey team reached the last four after a 49 years gap.

Though both teams lost their semi-final matches, they still have the chance to win a bronze medal. We, at Beyond The Posts wish them luck in their final match of the tournament.

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