Since childhood, we’ve been told about our ‘national game’ and its glorious past. However, in an absolutely shocking turn of events, the Sports Ministry has denied hockey to be the ‘national game’ of India.
In a reply to an RTI application filed by 10 year old Aishwarya Parashar from Lucknow, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has rejected the claim of hockey as the ‘national game’ of India. The curiosity about India’s national symbols drove Aishwarya to file an RTI application to the PMO seeking certified copies of orders related to declaration of National anthem, song, sport, animal, bird, flower and symbol.
Her queries were forwarded to the Home Ministry who in turn deflected the query related to National Sport to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
In a reply in Hindi, Sports Ministry Under Secretary Shiv Pratap Singh Tomar wrote to Aishwarya that the Ministry hasn’t declared any sport as the National Game of the country.
The government hasn’t found any records declaring Hockey as the National Game of India. “I haven’t come across any order or notification in the ministry saying hockey is the national game,” said Tomar, while responding to the query. “It’s known to be a national game in general parlance,” Tomar had added.
Interestingly, the government portal (india.gov.in) displays Hockey as the National Game – along with 14 other symbols on its page titled ‘National Symbols’.
The page says – “These symbols are intrinsic to the Indian identity and heritage. Indians of all demographics backgrounds across the world are proud of these National Symbols as they infuse a sense of pride and patriotism in every Indian’s heart.”