Has it lost its “Shine” !!
A few days back.. as usual in the morning I had my head all buried in the sports section of TOI when suddenly my half wake sister came up and asked who the guy in one of the pic was!! I didn’t quite realise cause I was seeing him for the first time…after driving her away to prevent the embarrassment I went through the article with a little more concentration. Then I came to know it was the Captain of the Indian national team!!
Then I seemed to go about reading each day about why Hockey (our national game!) was making the news all of a sudden when all papers had their main intension of covering only the ongoing tri-series in Bangladesh or the 76th Ranji finals! This whole set of incidents made me realise the true gravity of the situation Hockey as a game was going through and it didn’t quite make me proud of our national sports not cause of the game but due to people running it in such an unprofessional way!
I though why not go into the finer details of the illustrious history this game boost of in india and come to terms…
YEAR: Amsterdam Summer Olympics-(1928 )
going backs through the doors of time one would say India wasn’t independent back then but a few good men followed their heart and passion towards the game of hockey represented India in the olympics.
DHYAN CHAND does this name ring any bells people! He was instrumental in driving India not only in winning the gold but in STLYE !! This team possesed such talent that in the finals they didn’t have their main star players who were sick due to illness but still won 3-0..
YEAR: Los Angeles Summer Olympics(1932)
Four years down the line these valiant warriors still part of a british controlled India came back to defend their title! On August 4, 1932 they started the journey towards gold with a comprehensive 11-1 victory over Japan! This was not a once in a blue moon goal fest but it set the standards for there fourth coming conquest! The finals against USA in their home turf had a mighty score line of 24-1 a record in those days!! Newspapers heaved praise on this all-conquering Indian Team…
- “The All-India field hockey team which G. D. Sondhi brought to Los Angeles to defend their 1928 Olympic title, was like a typhoon out of the east. They trampled under their feet and all but shoved out of the Olympic stadium the eleven players representing the United States.”
- “Perfection is perilous, for it tempts the gods. For once, this was proved wrong for even the god of weather paid tribute to the genius of the Indian players. Rain clouds, which had threatened to ruin the game, vanished into the blue, and thousands of spectators spent a happy hour marvelling at the incomparable artistry of the Indian team.”
The list of heros didn’t stop after these players stopped but they came through the years making their way up the ladder through hideous selection process in order to play this beautiful game. Players like Balbir Singh, Dhanraj Pillay, Viren Rasquinha….etc! Players have even put there lies at risk for the sake of the game such as the recent tragic injury suffered by Baljit Singh who underwent a critical eye surgery and might not have his complete eye sight back! Do these players deserve this type of treatment!
Obviously after reading till this point you would have gone back to your newspapers to not only find out who the “INDIA” hockey captain is (It’s not Dhoni people!!) but also why it’s in the news!!
If you have been following the Team need not be driven to such an extent that they need to boycott the ongoing World cup training camp and protest about their dues! This pathetic situation of our players where they are not only being given the money that is there’s but also the money that is being given by corporate companies meant for improving there moral and give them hope that some one is with them at least in financial way! 77 lakhs given to the federation by Sahara has vanished into thin air or should I say swindled in broad daylight… and it requires them to assure that they are willing to give 1 crore to them so that this issue is resolved as soon as possible! And of all the people to come resolve the issue its Suresh Kalmadi who seems to have this hands all tied up in trying to convince everyone that Commonwealth Games at Delhi is still on schedule!!
God knows how hockey shall rise back to its past heights but it sure will start its accent only if we start watching it more often than getting glued to Cricket so often! We need to support the game before it reaches a stage where it being a national sport is baseless!
By way just incase you didn’t make that effort to find out.. Rajpal singh is the current Indian hockey captain!!