Since our childhood we have been taught about Jana Gana Mana our national anthem, peacock is the national bird and Hockey as National sport of India.
According to Sports Ministry of India in 2012 we presently do not have any sport as “National Game“. But earlier field hockey was national sport of India.
India have gained huge international success of hockey and until mid-1970 India’s men hockey team won 7 Olympic gold medals and also won 1975 Men’s Hockey World Cup.
Success and popularity should not be considered in determining the National sport as Success is never same and it changes, similarly popularity of a sport also changes with time.
India have to choose a particular game which appeal to the entire nation. People just love watching cricket on TV and read about hockey in history books, but they need a particular game which they can rejoice.
Hockey in India
Hockey was the one sport which saw our country dominate. In the pre-independence era, India were an unstoppable force in hockey and their 8 gold medals at the Olympic Games and was the National sport of India.
The period between 1928 to 1956 is known as the golden era of Indian hockey. At that time Indian hockey players were doing country proud, India had actively participated and played 24 Olympic matches, and have won all the games.
Entering the Olympics in 1928, India won all five games without conceding a goal, and won from 1932 until 1956 and then in 1964 and 1980.
Some of the Indian heroes of golden era hockey were Dhyan Chand, Ajit Pal Singh, Dhanraj Pillay, Ashok Kumar, Udham Singh, Baboo Nimal, Balbir Singh Sr., Mohammed Shahid, Gagan Ajit Singh, Leslie Claudius, etc. They have played for India and made India the world champions.
In early 1970 India Hockey team began to sink and they struggled to remain at top. It remains to be seen what the future holds for the sport in India. But for now, there is ample reason why it is regarded as the national game even though it is not.