New Delhi: Baleswar MP Rabindra Kumar Jena on Thursday in Parliament besides mentioning the glorious past of hockey in India demanded that it should be declared as a National Game.
He said it should be declared latest by November this year when Odisha is hosting the World Cup in Bhubaneswar.
He further observed that the game started bringing India sporting glory even when the country was still not independent and Great Britain was scared of playing against India to avoid embarrassment of losing.
Odisha under the leadership of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has recently taken a decision to sponsor both the men’s and women’s hockey team for a period of five years.
“A State sponsoring a national team is a first in India and it can surely be considered as a watershed moment in the country’s sporting history,” opined Jena.
“In Odisha, hockey is not just a sport or a sentiment but a way of life, especially in tribal regions.
With the idea of giving exposure to the best Indian talent in hockey, Odisha had in 2014 become the first State to own a Hockey India League team,” he said, adding, “I believe the Centre must also do its part and notify hockey as the national sport or game.”