Does India Have A National Sport?

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Every child who goes to India is taught that the peacock is the national bird of India, Jana Gana Mana is the national anthem and hockey is the national sport. But surprisingly, hockey is not really the national sport of this country. So what is it?

Every child who goes to India is taught that the peacock is the national bird of India, Jana Gana Mana is the national anthem and hockey is the national sport. But surprisingly, hockey is not really the national sport of this country. So what is it?

If you believe that hockey is the country’s national sport, you may be shocked. India does not recognize any particular sport as their national sport. This has been confirmed by the Indian Ministry of Sports.

This revelation became 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 the orders related to the national manifesto, sports, songs, birds, animals, flowers and the symbol of the country. Inquiries about national sports were sent to the Ministry of Youth and Sports. In response to RTI, the Department of Sports confirmed that it did not claim any sport or game as a ‘national game’.

This makes us wonder why hockey has long been known as India’s national sport. Some will say that the international success of hockey since the Olympic launch in 1928 has made the sport a household name.

Accessibility is another factor that determines which games can achieve national sports status. Hockey and cricket are both expensive sports. While hockey requires a stick for each player and also a synthetic playing surface, cricket requires a bat and a ball, alongside other equipment such as gloves, shoes and helmets. A large part of the Indian population is disadvantaged and has no means for a square meal a day, let alone sporting equipment. This makes most sports inaccessible to the majority of the population.