Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to officially grant hockey the status of India’s National Game.
India’s most glorious sport at Olympics, with six consecutive gold medals between 1928 and 1956, hockey has been the sentimental favourite as the “National Game”. However, the sport could never find an official mention in the books where the tri-colour is recorded as the national flag, parrot as the national bird or lion as the national animal.
Now the Chief Minister of the Odisha, the State to virtually adopt the “National Game” of India, has made an official call to give Hockey its due. While highlighting the glorious past of and a strong following for the sport across the country, Patnaik has urged PM Modi to grant hockey the official status of India’s national sport.
“I was surprised and shocked to know that what is popularly known as the National Game – hockey, has in fact never been notified as our national game,” the Odisha Chief Minister has written in an official communique to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Hence, I am sure that you will agree with crores of hockey-loving fans our county that hockey truly deserves to be notified as our national game. This will be a fitting tribute to the great hockey players who have made our country proud. It will also inspire our future generations,” Patnaik further stated.
Odisha will host the 14th Men’s Hockey World Cup from 28 November to 16 December at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar. The Odisha in a deal with the Indian Hockey Federation has also replaced Sahara as the official sponsor of the Indian men’s and women’s hockey teams.