What's the story?
In response to an RTI inquiry from a Maharashtra-based teacher, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has mentioned that the government has never declared any sport as India's national game.
A few weeks ago, a teacher from the Dhule district of Maharashtra named Mayuresh Agarwal had sent in an RTI query asking when did India declare hockey as its national game. It is a popular belief that hockey is the national sport of India however, when Mayuresh taught this lesson to his students in the V K Patil International School of Sindkheda, his pupils interrogated him about the time period when the top administrators of the nation announced hockey as the national game.
The heart of the matter
As reported by The Times of India, Mayuresh Agarwal received a reply from the government about his question which stated that hockey was never declared the national game by any government. The reply from the ministry was as follows:
"The government has not declared any sport/game as the National Game of the country, as the objective of the government is to encourage/promote all popular sports disciplines."
Hockey was one of the most popular sports of India in the previous century as the Indian hockey team dominated the world. The nation even won eight Olympic gold medals in the aforementioned sport however, the Indian hockey team does not have the same prominence at the moment. Although both the men's and women's hockey teams from India have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics 2020, the chances that India win a medal in both the categories are very low.
While India does not have a national sport now, the ministry may not be interested in naming a national game for the country going forward because the government is trying to boost India's progress in all the sports.