New Delhi, June 21: Union Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore has turned down Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s request to officially acknowledge hockey India’s national sport.
Reacting to Naveen’s letter to make hockey India’s national sport, Rathore stated that ‘there was no need for an official proclamation to love hockey’.
“For loving sports and hockey, we do not need official proclamation. Like now it is our national sport. So let us start loving it. Even in terms of facilities, hockey is one of the priority sports of our country,” Rathore said.
Naveen in his reply said that he will take up the matter with the Prime Minister. “It will be a fitting tribute to our hockey players, who have brought immense glory for the nation,” Naveen said Thursday.
Earlier Naveen had written a letter Wednesday to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to officially recognise hockey as the national sport of India.
However Rathore stated that it would be for the people to decide whether they would want hockey to be declared a national sport officially or they would continue to love it even if it enjoys its present status.
Dilip laudsCM’s move
Bhubaneswar: Former India hockey captain Dilip Tirkey appreciated CM Naveen Patnaik’s initiative of writing a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for officially proclaiming hockey as the national game of India. “I appreciate our CM for having researched so well and bringing to light that hockey is not yet an official national sport. If you check facts, you’ll realise an RTI was filed in 2012 revealing the same. People’s misconception had the sport taken for granted, when hockey actually brought laurels to the country in the past. So it was a much needed initiative,” the former Rajya Sabha member said. Another Olympian, Lazarus Barla while praising the CM’s move stated that the state government should provide jobs to promising players.