Every child in India is taught that the peacock is the national bird of India, Jana Gana Mana national anthem and national sports hockey. But surprisingly, hockey is not really the country’s national sport. So what is it?
If you are one of the first years growing up believing that hockey is the nation’s national sport, you are in a shock. India is not having a national sport has been confirmed by the Indian Ministry of Sports.
This revelation became a light when a 12-year-old girl named Aishwarya Parashar submitted an RTI request to the Prime Minister’s Office to receive certified copies of orders related to the national manifesto, possibly sports, songs, birds, animals, flowers and symbols of the country. The national sports query was sent to the Ministry of Youth and Sports. In response to RTI, the Sports Department confirmed that it did not declare any sports or games as ‘national games’.
This makes us wonder why hockey has long been known as India’s national sport. Some people will say that the international success of hockey since the launch of the Olympics in 1928 has made sport a familiar name. Hockey used to win a lot of prizes for the country but it has so far been a big disappointment on the international stage, though. Right now, it ranks fifth in the world.
Success has not changed and is not the best criterion for deciding a nation’s national sport. This is probably the reason why hockey is not eligible to receive that honor. The next criterion may be popular, as cited by Indian cricket lovers. But cricket is not popular in India before winning the World Cup 1981. Everything can change again and another sport can become more popular than cricket. Therefore, popularity is not an appropriate measure of any game about the state of the national sport.