No sports in India is officially recognized as ‘National Game’ – Sports Ministry

Aishwarya Parashar

10-year-old Lucknow girl Aishwarya Parashar changed a deep imbibed notion we have about sports in India and the notion of Indian ‘National Game’ From our school days, our teachers and text books have taught us that Hockey is our ‘National Game’. However, it turns our that Indian government has never officially declared any sport as ‘National Game/Sports of India’. According to the Sports Ministry, no sports or games played in our country has been given the status of ‘National Game’.

So who kicked the hornet’s nest? Well that brings us to Class VI student Aishwarya Parashar. While everyone takes the text books for granted, she filed an RTI (Right To Information) application to the Prime Minister’s Office, asking for certified copies of official documents of orders related to declaration of National anthem, song, sport, animal, bird, flower and symbol. Her queries about the ‘National Game/Sport’ was forwarded to Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. Sports Ministry Under Secretary, Shiv Pratap Singh Tomar wrote back to Aishwarya that the Ministry has not declared any sport or game to be the ‘National Game’.

What remains confusing is why the Goverment of India website calls Hockey our National Game. In the government of India website article, Hockey is indeed kept under the tag of ‘National Game’.

Interestingly, Aishwarya previously had filed an similar RTI application earlier this year which brought into the light that Mahatma Gandhi has never been officially declared as ‘Father of Nation’. The curiosity and inquisitiveness of this 10 year old girl is definitely praiseworthy.


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