Mockery of Hockey

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My grandfather played hockey for the Indian Military Academy in pre independent India. I am told, him being an outstanding player (apart from excelling in football and athletics) was one of the reasons the Maharaja of Patiala recommended his commission (grand dad was an enlisted jawan) as an officer and his berth to write the entrance for the IMA. His two sons, Maj Gen C.S Panag (retd) and Lt Gen H.S. Panag (my father) played outstanding hockey. My cousin Vikramjit Panag played hockey for Delhi state. My mother and aunts( dad’s sisters) all played hockey for Chandigarh. I too have dribbled a bit in boarding school. Understandably my ties with Hockey run deep (so what if I wasn’t cast in Chak de:-)).

So it was with anguish that I reacted to the media blaming India’s no show at Beijing on KPS Gill and the politics in the team. It’s always easy to simplify an issue. Can any one name the players on the Hockey team?? Probably not. I am ashamed to admit I can’t. Ask any gali ka chokra about the cricket team and he’ll rattle of India’s 11. Cricket players set hair trends. But does any even one know about our celebrated hockey players?

I was in Malaysia, staying at the same hotel as the Indian hockey team during the 6th Asia Men’s’ Hockey Cup. I could not recognise a single face. (Forgive me for being blinded by cricketers as they endorsed everything in sight). I went and saw the semi final match where India beat Pakistan. But the next day, back in India, I was surprised to find all coverage of their feat (they went on to beat Australia to lift the cup) relegated to a miniscule corner on the sports page. How many times in the recent past has Hockey (they’ve won enough, their loosing streak is only 2-3 years old) made it to the front page? The only consistent Olympic medal winner was our hockey team. God knows how they achieved that with the apathy of our nation. All the money in sport seems to only go to cricket. The BCCI’s coffers are bursting. Why is it that cricket attracts more than its fair share of sponsorship? Its because of a careful brand building exercise that has been in place for the last two decades or so, resulting in Icons being created over night due to one century or taking a few consecutive wickets. Its a different matter that unlike other countries, our Hockey team can’t even count on the government for the much needed infrastructure it needs; from world class astro turf fields to, grass root training modules, hockey camps and finally getting good coaches. After all how can the government justify millions on Hockey (or for that matter any sport) when there are people with out clean drinking water, and other basic amenities?

Its up to private enterprise to step in and fill the gap. Mr. Subroto Roy Sahara made a good start by pledging to help Indian Hockey. But more needs to be done. How can a country of a billion strong not produce atleast 40 medals at the Olympics? Its shameful, that a country with a growth rate of more than 8% can’t put aside a little for sport. Investing in Sporting infrastructure will create employment apart from boosting the morale of aspiring athletes.

The media too owes it to the nation to put in the same energy sensationalising squash, weight lifting, shooting, hockey and football as it does with cricket. And lastly we the people need to look at all sportsmen and women through the same eyes. After all, whether a Sania or a Sachin or an unsung weightlifter or a hockey player; they all toil equally hard, put up with un fair politics and hold the country’s flag up high.

68 Comments on “Mockery of Hockey”

  1. Nisheel

    Hmmmm. Interesting thoughts. And after the “India is not going to the Olympics” debacle….me and some of my friends had this debate on what is wrong.
    Cricket gets most (almost all) of the money because like you said. It’s a well established business built up over the last two decades. So everything is set. You throw money in it today…and you get running returns from almost day one. Hence the big bucks of IPL & ICL and so on with everyone from Filmstars to business tycoons involved.
    Hockey or Athletics on the other hand is a chicken and egg story. Optimists like you and me say “build the infrastructure and the results will come”. Investors and administrators say “show the results and the money will automatically come in”
    Who will bell the cat ???
    As you see….sport has unfortunately become a business. That is the sad truth. Only to the sportsman its a sport. The administrator looks at it as “how do I get mileage out of it” and the investor ” how do i double my money out if it through endorsements and media”

    Let’s hope in the next budget Sports gets a bigger allocation. And someone takes the chance with building infrastructure 1st. Then maybe Hockey and Football and Athletics will move into some sort of primetime.

    My 2 bits of gyaan 🙂

  2. Gul Panag

    Well put Nisheel.. It’s certainly a tough nut to crack. But I am sure given time things will get better.Till then, the extraordinary ones will find the means to make it, while the others,( most of who may have world class potential) will just wilt away. A strange Darwin-isque theory used to expalin away every inequality in India.

    See you around.

  3. Faisal Khan

    Perhaps all over the world field hockey has now mostly become a school-girl sport. I think the reason for the popularity of cricket, and for that matter football, american football, and baseball, is the ease with which spectators can watch and analyze what is going on, while the players are playing.

    In the colonial days, with no television, and the abundent great outdoors, self-participation in sports was more common place than today. My dad was also in the airforce, so I grew up playing squash. I think someone who is herself or himself a player of a sport can enjoy it to a deeper fulfilling level, even if it is difficult to watch properly on television. Many people who do not play squash themselves, find it absolutely boring, though I can’t imagine living without it. I think similar has become true for hockey.

    Sports don’t have to be alway super perfect or financially spellbounding. For many people they provide a social instituition. My C-grade squash matches are worth millions to me. And the schoolgirls who play hockey around the world must be finding the sisterhood worth cherishing and the sporting experience self-actualizing. Not long ago people use to talk about sportsman spirit, and of learning how to lose and win. I admit that modern players are better performers than ever before. Also billions of dollars are being poured in. But then, almost every tournament is drowned in scandals of all sorts. Lets spend the billions somewhere else. A simple ground with banyan trees around it, a few benches for spectators, and a table with tea and cucumber sandwiches won’t cost much.

    Judging the success of a sport only in terms of gold medals, which countries you beat, the number of participants, and the fatness of the purse, is in my opnion a limited perspective.

    You are also a runner. Perhaps you should approach Yash Raj jee for a movie on running. 🙂 Atleast I can’t imagine our heavenly and lovely Gul Panag doing a boxing movie. At best, you would be a kind-hearted boxer, whatever that means. 🙂

    Faisal Khan

  4. Anderson Gomes

    hii Gul,
    good to hear from you..

    You have rightly said that we are making an mockery of our national sport… I am saying ‘we’ because deep down we (at an individual level) are also somewhat responsible for the deteriorating state of hockey…

    All of you reading this blog, please honestly answer this : ‘Given the option, how many of you would watch a Hockey match over a cricket match being telecast at the same time ?’ I won’t be surprised if the answer is ‘Hockey’ just for a select few. I am not saying that we stop watching cricket (or any other sport for that matter), what I want to say is that we must alteast appreciate the people who are still eager and willing to pursue our national sport.

    We have had a glorious past viz-a-viz hockey. That’s there for all to see. But where is the future headed to ? Even our elementary education system needs to be revamped to incorporate sports in their curriculum. What is quite heartening is that this change is already happening – my own school has got a Hockey team (we didn’t have one when I was in school).

    And lastly what can be said about our great media – they are masters of their own free will. You can’t expect them to change – that’s like asking for a miracle 😉
    We can only wish that their conscience awakens up and we get to read about the developments in others sports as well…

    Awaiting all your responses…..
    Till then…

    Regards,
    Andy

  5. Very Old Friend

    It’s all about the money…!! Lets face it… while all sports are interesting to someone out there, the ones that make the money are well publicized while the rest get a passing mention here and there.

    Is it fair? maybe not… does anyone care? NO.

    Personally, I don’t care much for sports… except for F1 of course… but if i were flipping through channels and found the hockey world cup (if such a thing exists) or olimpic finals on one of them, i would not even pause to check the score. However, world cup soccer or cricket… i would at least pause to check the score. What i’m trying to say is hockey also does not appeal to such a wide audience and news papers etc. have to maintain readership… to make money.

    So… in a nutshell… hockey will always be in the shadows and that’s just the way things are. But if you manage to get them some additional coverage then please turn your efforts to competetive eating and dwarf tossing… those guys rock!!

    P.S. your verification at the bottom does not work… rather than letters and numbers which can be copied and pasted… try using an image and make it less legible… a computer program can read what you have there.

  6. Veetrag

    Nice thoughts!

    But its not only cricket and media that is harming the sports in this nation.

    If we see the number of parents who want their kids to be sportsmen is too low, even for cricket. If cricket with so much publicity/money/fame is not able to attract people, what else can? The problem does not lie with sports only, for art also we face the same issue, how many people want their kids to be musician/singer etc? Every parent’s dream is that a kid should be a doctor or engineer. Now the focus is shifting, but that also is big cities and to a very small percentage of population.

    People will have a lot of excuses related to finance, culture etc but real reason is we people most of the time don’t have that zeal, that energy to go extra step to archive in other things that studies. Once we achieve that I am sure out of this 1 billion population we can have great athletes. And to facilitate this our sports authority has to take step, provide better facilities and reward. Definitely our media plays a big role and should not criticize every step that we take, that mentality to blame govt at every level is also causing a lot of trouble.

  7. Nisheel

    Hey Andy.
    Thanks for bringing up the TV angle.
    I forgot about that….
    there are some sports which are great fun to to play but lousy as tv sports….squash for example.
    luckily hockey doesn’t fall in that category. it is quite fun with penalties and the passing and all that.
    but ya…the more marketable sports do get the bigger bucks.

    Gul.
    Like you said. Let’s hope the money comes and slowly but surely it gets better.
    Also just wanted to say, very intresting bunch of topics you’ve come up with for your blog posts so far.
    I like the thinking and thought process behind it. Lots of depth and passion with doses of fun (a la anorexic) -:)
    So hey….keep the passion and effort in the blog going. though it may not be possible to reply to everyone and very often.

    Ciao Everyone…….

  8. Zersis

    No sportsman takes up a sport for money, recognition, fame or what have you. A person takes up a particular sport and pursues it for the sheer love of it and the joy that person derives out of the same. Once that fire has lit, one aims to excel in it. According to me that has to be the true spirit of a sportsman, if it is anything else then its not worth it.
    A national level hockey player does not start playing hockey when he/she is in his/her twenties but starts playing when that person is in school i.e. at a very early stage. Represents oneself in school tournaments, then zonals, then national level, etc. So the interest is built at a very nascent stage and at that time if money, fame, recognition, etc is the motivating factor for that sportsman to take up that sport then I dont think thats the right attitude.
    The point I am trying to make is that it should not matter for a sportsman whether he is earning as much as his other cricketing counterparts or he is getting the sponsorship that he deserves, or the media coverage for his sport. We should leave each sport where it is and let people decide if they are interested in watching it. If yes, then it will get the recognition, media coverage, sponsorship, etc.
    I agree cricket is over-hyped because of the extensive media coverage, brand building exercise, celebrities in commercials but then why is the media covering this sport so much ????Is it that they are forced to ? No, because Cricket sells in India and sells more than any other sport. It sells more because we are buying it and will continue to remain until another exciting sport comes up …Hopefully Hockey …

  9. Shantanu

    Gul :On a related note which team are you supporting in the
    IPL league?

  10. Prasun Kulshrestha

    I DO NOT AGREE GUL to some extend!!!!

    Hi gul, sorry to say but as similar to many views i am not able to understand why people are jealous of what cricket has acheived. I would request you to re-think about the cricket before 1983 world cup.. did any of your family member was used to see cricket before we won world cup…i hope, very less people were supposed to see that cricket..
    but indian crickets after winning the world cup redefined nations sport & reputation world wide. Before 1983, how many indian cricketers were known abroad? no, i am sorry to say..but after 1983, every individual players came INDEPENDENTLY to proove themselves without much help of indian investors & goverment too.
    Similarly, just now we won few world cups n series, otherwise, who knew indian sports people too do play few other sports than cricket? If you din’t recognised any players face when u went to c semi final, its surely not ur fault… anything can’t b forced to b recognised without sincere intrest,..that intrest to know someone will only come when the sport itself proove its potential nd comes in news headlines world wide.

    Lets understand by other example…
    How many criketrs u know? I bet u can’t enlist every single criketer frm india..u will name only those, who played internationally & prooved their potential. DO you know Abhay kuruvilla? no naa…he played 3 international ODI cric but was taken out coz of his poor performance.
    So i mean to say that its perfectly fine if we cannot completely support indian hocket or football..coz…they still have to proove themselves, their limits are unknown yet…but this is true…for sure our every sport will come out at top and will b as popular as cricket.

    Further..
    to ur words ” Its shameful, that a country with a growth rate of more than 8% can’t put aside a little for sport. Investing in Sporting infrastructure will create employment apart from boosting the morale of aspiring athletes. ”
    Its not at all an issue of shame, its all about priority and acheivement. To b more precise, India nd pakistan started their legislative assemly together… compare with them, analyse the status of results of olympic… u’ll understand if really we are supposed to do shame…i doubt if pakistani are even a part of olympics..i never heard..are they famous?

    We in India & our goverment had worked so hard in past 60yrs, that we & our ancestors would have never evn though of such a developed india. Moreover, corruption has the either side too, but it cannot stop india to become the superpower before the end of 21st century.

  11. Gul Panag

    Hi All!!!
    I am overwhelmed by the spirited response to this piece. But unfortunately I have been traveling all over the globe, giving me little time for myself. Thus the drop in my posts. I hope I am able to rectify that in a few days. There are many posts I want o reply to and I shall do so in due course. Till then please bear with me:-)

    Shantanu,
    On a quick note, I am not too hot on cricket. IPL for me is not exciting and barely provides entertainment when I am killing time at airports. But I never say never!! Should it capture my interest I will be the first to admit it!!!

    Prasun,
    I see the point you’re making. And I do agree with a lot of what you said. But on the note of what the hockey team has “achieved and proved”; hello? This is the only sport India has been known for (other than the well marketed cricket in recent times) for the last 5 decades. They were the only consistent Olympic medal winners. And for all their achievement (if in doubt please goggle their victories 1928 onwards) they never got the adulation and credit or media attention they deserved!!! Every sportsman needs praise and encouragement (and hockey by sheer number of tournaments and, medals won-Olympic, Commonwealth and Asian; has a higher tally than all Indian teams put together, in any sport) and in the absence of that, they eventually wither away as has the Indian hockey team. In short when they were “achieving” no one gave them time of day. And today when they are down and out precisely because of that, every one is going for their throat. Is that fair?? How much proving should they have done to get their due? Is there a yardstick?

    And are you saying that we should not invest in sporting infrastructure?

    And do goggle the Pakistani hockey team as well. Just to inform you, that it was the Indian and Pakistani hockey teams that dominated world hockey till most recent times. And India’s sporting history goes back a long way, it didn’t “start” with the cricket team’s 1983 victory. Do research its heritage and you’ll see that it was only and only and hockey that India was famous for**. Sadly it wasn’t enough for Indians.

    **(From 1928 to 1956, the Indian hockey team won six straight Olympic gold medals while winning 24 consecutive matches. This was the golden era of Indian hockey when India loomed large in world hockey and produced some of the finest players the game has ever seen. Its dominance continued will into the 80 and 90s but was soon overshadowed by cricket).

  12. PRASUN Kulshrestha

    @ gul

    With reference & ur very kind suggestion, i went through google this afternoon, moreover, i am impressed with ur love & concern towards this sport.

    Further, i respect your every word you said in the spirit of hockey.
    But still my dearest friend gul, i feel that we cannot force any public to forcefully develope intrest in our so called National sport Hockey. No matter how famous indian Cricket test match was in its days, but we cannot ask & expect our people to see the crictet test match with so intrest for complete 5 days. Also, if Test cricket even after prooving itself has suffering, then its because of format trends which we are accepting like One day matches & T-20 cricket.Now, if we could not see Match with our intrest, then why will companies will Invest in Test matches much? Similarly, i respect that our hockey has done brilliantly as i read today surfing through google, but what about the intrest? Hockey has never developed that much intrest in public…So y would any company or govt. invest more than its market prise evaluated.

    Moreover, You urself said that u were not able to identify a single player when u went to abroad in the same hotle as they were in, why din’t u? its again not ur fault…its media, media din’t made them as famous as they were supposed to even after performing so good.
    The reason why media did not made them famous is very clear & straigh…lack of intrest of ” we people”,. i hope ki aap samjh rahe hoge that hockey format is still not that gracefully accepted here in india, it surely depends upon intrest. Lets count, search in google , by hockey Training institues/club/etc etc , mumbai, count n tell me how many names u could see, they will be far less then a swimming pool club , then forget about comparing it with cricket.

    Moreover, i would say, Do you remember Malleshwari? i can’t rember her proper name, but she was the only gold medalist in heavy weight lifting… guess what, where is she? how much is she earning…u will start feeling depressed to know that a grl, u forgot abt caring her beuty,and devoted her life for weight lifting, though she got gold medal..but what is she earning? would she b able to marry a normal guy? will she b paid by govt forever? naah!! dost, its very difficult to understand our system of laws, coz its more of politics, luck But a bit of intrest.

    Further, understand with one of the example,u are very famous, ask ur self y?
    The only reason is no way beuty……
    The reason is because u justify & dedicate ur work on screen, so people hav intrest in u n ur beuty.(NO doubt u r very b’ful,but it is aded & prasied bcoz u r a good actress who would love to act in every shade)

    But, what abt those who are even b’ful, even in industry, forget abt normal people, even in industry there r b’ful grls, but is everyone leaves that good impact on us kya???? naah…. not every one..
    similarly, its abt intrest of public that who they wanna see, the people / activity the public will love, on that thing only govt & investors will spend money happily.

    Also, lets take another example, If u’ll see, every year, only 3-4 indian movies are meaningful, else, every films is similar & have same treatment. But then also, film production don’t wants to welcome new innovative ideas, they say that they are busy in their schedules & that’s y they remain away from success. Like , I E MAILED MANY PRODUCERS & DIRECTORS CHALLENGING THAT I HAD WRRITEN AN INNOVATIVE & INTRESTING STORY ON MEMORY ERASER SOFTWARE, then many took intrest, but din’t gave value to even reading my story, its because they trusted that person whom people wanna see… they would select that writer who has performed in past…..
    its simple, why would they loose their time on a youngster, no matter how efficien i m ,…coz, this i knws, but even after this, if i m not able to gain his/ her attention, definately he won’t Invest money in me…simple.
    Even i guess u won’t care to know my script or story coz many of us have impact that, innovative story do not exist anymore..this we have our mind set…
    similarly, HOCKEYYYYYYYYYY…. my friend, hockey had prooven itself far than me, but still, what i feel, We should wish hockey all the best & lets wish that ur revolutionary words could really help our hockey team.
    god bless gul n yes..GUL>>> keep smiling.

  13. PRASUN Kulshrestha

    @ Zersis
    I AGREE WITH U TO SOME EXTEND>>>

    hello dost!! First of all thanx for replyin in this intrestin blog.
    Further, i am agree that CRICKET SELLS IN INDIA & THATS Y MEDIA COVERS IT.
    ITS not like media do not try to sell even what is not supposed to be, but they sell them at low prise even after keeping it for few days in Refrigirator…. ut cricket is sold fresh as soon as it grows up & cutten For yummy food…

    @ veetrag

    Boss, u said that very few parents wants their child to b a sportsperson, more parents wants their child to b doctor/engineer..!!@#$%^
    well, how does this matter that what parents feel? Coz no parents too wants that their child must go on nation border to fight in an army!! but , this is a passion of a child that gets developed by itself.
    similarly, comparing this issue that what parents of INDIA wants & feels does’t makes a good option to really define the abilities of HOCKEY.
    In past, many of our sports prooved a lot, but, still not every sport becomes that intresting as cricket is. If you’ll go and ask anil kumble, that what his parents wanted him to be, u’ll get ur answer…. he was’t a sportsperson with birth, he prooved his abilities over his parents wish & desires, and such people write HISTORY, and to ur surprise dost, he is one of the CAPTAIN for India cricket.

  14. ravenne

    U rock GUL

  15. sajit

    Wow … those were good pieces of words … i never thought tht celebs would rise in arms against the inequalities of society … may be its time i change my perception .. cricket has ruled over the mind and hearts of everyone in this country .. its a difficult scenario to change .. its just tht neither the ppl nor the govt are interested to change o fate of hockey .. but if u guys put in a heart .. u might be able to do something … cos ure the stars tht shine above all

  16. devendras

    Gul,
    hi! nice to hear from your end and all that our friends have responded so far. But the truth is that there are no takers for hockey and athletics today. people in india are born and dead like ants on a mole hill. its takes a lot to persue a passion. people here have to think about survival first. leisure coms later. i blame our politicians who are busy filling in their own coffers than thinking about sport and our people later.
    bye
    dev.

  17. ANAY

    well,
    see it my way, hockey is a great sport! no doubts. with shorter versions of all popular games coming up, we can easily assume that hockey is the easiest sport to attend. 2 hrs, something(all times included), with constant action, and to top it off, its our national sport.

    however, the only place we see hockey sticks are in the hands of the roadside hooligans. is this what a national sport is good for? understand why cricket is so popular. brand building aside, they(the powers that be) made it interesting for the viewers as well. while Indian Hockey has been a victim of its own infighting, disputes, and favouritism.

    i say liberation will not be easy, but it sure aint impossible.
    it will be a lot easier THAN changing the national sport to cricket.

    …anay…

  18. Elias

    Its no surprise…Cricket has done whatever despite the administers..After the Olympic qualifier debacle,we saw the sports minister washin his hands ,sayin IHF is an autonomous body and very little the ministry could do. during the NDA term we had someone like Uma Bharti as the sport minister.

    The other day it was shameful to see Indian football team at the Bangalore Cant railway station;some 5 of them stuffed into a 3 seater rickshaw.

    Hey ..anyone of u seen the official website of the sports ministry. Check it out . http://yas.nic.in/

  19. Ranu

    Reality is “Cricket” sells. The reason being we have strong teams to match different types of cricket matches. The “cricket” branding is the result of constant hard work and funding. From revenue generation and sponsorship’s perspective it is important to identify sports that interest people. Media can make or break stardom. Ads can create awareness/recognition but ultimately the team needs to be competent to perform well 🙂

    Everything boils down to effective results, whether be cricket, movies or stars…

  20. PRASUN Kulshrestha

    @ Devendras

    ur line-” people in india are born and dead like ants on a mole hill ”
    ” i blame our politicians who are busy filling in their own coffers than thinking about sport and our people later.”

    Hi deven, I am sorry to say but people may b born like ANTS in INDIA, but do not die On a mole Hill…coz there is no other country like INDIA where when it comes of Passion, Passion itself becomes the leisure for them.

    For ur second statement-: U talking about politicians… How dare u to blame, are they the only one to fill the pocket..are u not, m i not? ARE we not?….?
    U just tell me any one good Field of intrest where our goverment is not applying the effort..
    If u will keep on Blaming Corruption…the listen..It had become the DNA of Indian Soul, ND even then…it has potential To Run a NATION which is contineously Making a mark world wide in almost every good respect.

  21. PRASUN Kulshrestha

    @ RANU..

    Ur sentence…” Cricket sells…”

    How does it means..Usually we say…SHarukh Sells…!!!!!
    but what if one day Sharukh Dies…? Will ollywood come on footpath?
    No…There we find paralle attention to many Actors..

    similarly, Hockey Has its own lovers, fans & people full of passion.
    And the media u r talking about is nothing but a second souce of Advertisement…

  22. Akshay

    Hi Gul…

    Came across your blog today and was surprised how socially inclined you are on your views. Yes, I agree hockey is comparatively lesser prominent in India when you compare it with cricket but that does not give hockey players an alibi for poor performance.

    In today’s day and age, sport is catching up with the Indian mindset and they expect success in this field. They try to hide their own pains and failures by relishing a moment of national success. Today, cricket has captured the imagination.

    There are other sports though which are fast catching up. Case in view is tennis (after Sania Mirza’s moderate success at the international level) and Formula One (after Mallya’s takeover of the Midland car and renaming it to Force India). The fact is that every country has a premier sport, but they manage to do decently well in other sports as well. E.g. Australia too has cricket as the No # 1 sport, but they are equally good at hockey and also have some very fine tennis players. They have excelled in many other sports as well.

    So, on the whole, I don’t think giving lame excuses is the way to go ahead. Athletes in countries like Kenya and Tanzania don’t get adequate facilities but still excel in athletics. It’s time our hockey players also realized the same.

    Anyway, Gul, I think you are one of the finest actresses in the country and strongly feel you should appear in more movies!

  23. PRASUN Kulshrestha

    @ akshaye….??????//

    thanx for SEMI-Appreciating GUL’s Views..

    your line-“Athletes in countries like Kenya and Tanzania don’t get adequate facilities but still excel in athletics”……????????

    Dude..could u name one good athletes from this So called nation Zones?? Coz…only u must b knowing those good names…

  24. Prathik

    Hi Gul,

    Building a brand is really important. Lets take football many billionaires own clubs now, like Chelsea’s (a football club) owner Roman Abramovich. The rich guys didn’t have a dream that they have to buy a football team, they were contacted by the right guys and explained how buying a team like this is good business.

    Hockey, well we can say the team is not that good but that might be because there is very little done to develop the teams, find new players and so on. The players need to promote themselves by actively getting involved in various activities like interviews or giving their views on certain issues.

    What the Indian team really needs now is a guy like Lalit Modi 😛 After IPL he is like the marketing guru for me.

    The players need to be trend setters too. Charisma is the main thing these days.They need to keep a positive out look towards life.

    As for the Australia point, all I can think about is good marketing.

  25. Prathik

    @Devendras

    “people in india are born and dead like ants on a mole hill. its takes a lot to persue a passion. people here have to think about survival first. leisure coms later. i blame our politicians who are busy filling in their own coffers than thinking about sport and our people later.”

    Come over to the southern part of India and you’ll see the real fun and excitement. Just don’t put some silly statements about my country cos your life sucks. And about the politicians, you are also among the many who voted, or may be you didn’t vote?

  26. Gul Panag

    Akshay, I thought you presented a very balanced argument. I definitely think as more and more people become aware and start thinking about things that don’t directly effect them, start thinking of new ideas, we as a nation will be on the go.

    Prasun, it is true that athletes from Kenya and Tanzania are excelling in almost all long distance /endurance events, but I feel that can be attributed to their physicality (living in conditions that on a routine basis need optimum utilization of energy) and the drive to break out of the extreme poverty they live in.

    And I totally agree with Prathik’s views that marketing does indeed hold the key to success. Whether it bollywood or MNCs or even a students college application package!

  27. Prathik Rajendran

    Gul, it would be wonderful if you could find sometime to connect with us by blogging a bit more.

  28. prasun

    @ gul

    i din’t knew about Sports @ kenya, i appologise.
    Yaar Gul, i send u mail daily….don’t get ? i send twice a day almost…pls answer my this question….Request u a lot…

    N yaa sis….kepp smiling

  29. prasun

    @ prathik

    hi friend..
    for ur statement over devendra, u said, ” Just don’t put some silly statements about my country cos your life suck” dude, just chill, he has his words to express and you may have a listening skill which could correct his words, but if u’ll respond in such a way, u may b demotivating him yaar.

    anyways, further, to ur words i am very agree that we r the people who vote for politicians…or may b not.

  30. ruhi

    Hi Aamir,
    I’m Ruhi Shaikh, a student of N.M. college.
    We have a festival called “Umang”, which is one of the top
    college fest in Mumbai and a magazine “SANS FRONTIERES” (in
    english, Without Boundaries) that is officially sold during the
    five days of the festival.
    Since you are one among the most famous personalities of India
    today, one of the best actors in the country and an idol for most of
    today’s youth, i request you to write a small artiicle for our
    magazine about your college days, addressing the youth or simply
    a small message for youngsters.( mail the article at
    sf@nmumang.org ) We are so awed by your perfection and attitude
    towards life that it would be a pleasure to hear you say
    something for the youth.
    Eagerly waiting for your article.

    Ruhi Shaikh
    Editor of Sans Frontieres
    N.M. college
    Mumbai

  31. Zersis

    Hi Ruhi,

    This is Gul Panag’s blog and not Aamir’s.

    Regards, Zersis.

  32. Manish KumarI

    Hi Gul,

    It was a pleasant surprise to know how you feel for hockey and Olympic sports. I didnt have the chance to tell you that I covered hockey and Olympic sports very passionately for 10 years before I switched to being an Editor of a lifestyle supplement.
    That itself is a story but I guess why bother you…
    Coming back to the points you had made, I agree its societal apathy towards anything which is not glamorous, loaded and powerful. If kabbadi had sponsorship, Indians would have been crazy to leave everything and follow kabbadi instead of cricket, hoc or football. Shahrukh Khan, Sanjay Suri have all played hockey at some level but they wouldnt go near hockey players pre-Chak de. At the risk of sounding immodest, the two main issues raised in the movie have been taken from my articles — one on how the Indian women team stood in que in hockey jerseys with a bucket in hand and a hockey stick in the other, becoz they didnt have water connection in the stadium they were staying. So they would come to national stadium for training and then wash their clothes and bath there and then return to Nehru Stadium. Similarly, my other article was on how India lost to Pak in Champions Trophy in cologne in 2002 becos some of the young Punjabi players were jealous of Dhanraj Pillay and refused to pass the ball to him. Dhanraj came on record though the fact is that this problem came to the fore in 1972 World Cup when some Punjabi players refsued to take the penalty stroke because the captain was a south Indian.
    The media has played a role in highlighting these issues but the response from our public/people who are more empowered than others has not been upto what expects of a civil society. As a result, the media also tends to backtracks from those issues after a point.
    Shahrukh doesnt owe anything to us to do somethign for hockey but he is definitely more empowered than others to take initiative. Did he? No he didnt. Rather, Chak de helped him emerge as a serious actor (along with Swadesh). None of our Prime Ministers have bothered about sports, ditto for celebrities and common people. Though, we get very easily attracted to whatever has money. As you know, our cricketers struggled to get Rs 1 lakh each for their 1983 WC title. Lata Mangeshkar pitched in at that time but SRK or AB or anyone for that matter dont really bother about lending their names to causes for sports. They can easily get away by saying its not their job.
    Thats been the nature of our society–we dont care for selfless commiment from any section. Do you know that during the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, the Aussies clapped the loudest for their basketball team in the opening ceremony because they needed it the most. Another example is that China spent more on creating Olympic gold medallist for 2004 Games (1.2 million dollars) compared to what they spent on training Elite fighter pilots (some 200,000 dollars). Even impoverished Africa recognises the importance of sports. Their kids take to long-distance running because the schools are located far away from the village. In India, the same situation produces drop-outs.
    The idea is not to potray everythign negative and get away. is there a scope to have actors like you to build a think-tank and provide support to the Olympic movement. Having SRK dance at 3 functions would help get funds for sports. Do you know but Gagan AJit SIngh’s goal vs Pak (he hails from Ferozepour) in CT 2003 was equivalent to Maradona’s goal vs England in 1986 WC football. Gagan dribbed past 5 players and India won that match 7-4 after trailing iinitially 0-4. Such rare feats get ignored because of our apathy.
    Anyway, my best wishes for your career.

    Manish Kumar
    Features Editor
    Financial Chronicle

  33. Prathik Rajendran

    @prasun
    Yeah, I was a bit rude but it was a sudden burst of emotion that came out, couldn’t help it you know.

    @Devendras
    Sorry, I didn’t mean to be that rude. I am not protective about my country but when an Indian says against a country which gives him food, police protection, water etc. he should love it. Pointing out wrong things is easy but what if you were born in Somalia or Iraq? You’d be dead by now. So I can proudly say that India has given you education and power to think, that you are coming to this blog, do justice to that opportunity by doing something good.

    And that ends my speech on our great country.

  34. Akshay

    Hi Gul,

    It’s Akshay again… Great to see that you take so much time to read each comment and reply to them. Hope to see you blogging more often!

    I read all of your blog entries and you seem to have a great deal of knowledge on social, political and sports related issues. Pretty sure you must have been academically brilliant in school!

    The best part about blogging is that you come to know how a person from a completely different field of work with a completely different upbringing and living in a different location could be thinking so much like you 🙂

    Keep writing….
    Akshay.

  35. Shivanand

    Hi,
    Good post! I feel after India won the world cup in 1983 Indian cricket really took off. This is one of the best things that happened to Indian Cricket after the independence. However, the Indian hockey has definitely gone down. The reasons are many including politics. On the other hand, having said that I personally do not like the kind of adulation and money the cricketers are getting compared to other sports persons. Indian sportsmen/sportswomen are no less but India knows only cricket. Finally, it was nice to know that you are from a family with sports background. Thanks and bye.

  36. Anubhav

    Sports in India = Cricket.

    Sad but true.

    Yes of course we do cover other major sports events as well. There is coverage of soccer and tennis that coincides major global sporting events (European Cup, Wimbledon, etc), but the inability of India to produce world class sports persons in any mass sports except cricket will continue to restrict wider advertiser interest & therefore media focus in developing Indian sports programming beyond cricket. And at the end of the day thats what it boils down to. Its the Money that makes the Mayor run…

    Cricket is being pushed a lot by Bollywood itself. Our actresses are happy associating with Cricketers because thats where the media, money, glamor is.

  37. Aditya

    Hi Gul,
    I am really intrigued by this article. To be honest, I have played a very little hockey, that too during my schooling days.In college, it was either basketball or football.I dont play cricket. One of the main reason for hockey not being played so much is the lack of publicity.For cricket, u need a bat,ball and something to be made stumps, but you dont find hockey sticks,or cork balls so easily, at least not in my city. I personally have a feeling, that the amount paid to Indian hockey team is much less then what they deserve.I mean just look at IPL, so much money in just 45 days! whereas our hockey team wins the Asia cup and only a few people know about it! I guess its celebrities like you, who should come forward and help our national game survive!
    Aditya 🙂

  38. Gul Panag

    Hi Guys,
    I have been shooting 12-13 hours last three months, add to that the travel time in Bombay and I am out 15 hours a day. Thus the relative absence from my Blog. I do carry my computer along, but somehow can’t manage the time !!!!
    Today is my day off and posting something – the top of my agenda. So Prathik, I do want be more regular!! I am so moved by so much happening around us, the ridiculous stand taken by India’s Left parties on almost everything, India’s Abortion Laws, our state of Governance; the list is endless. And I want to express my opinions on everything. My plan is to try and write a piece once a fortnight, and to reply to posts once or twice a week. I hope I can stick to this.
    Prasun,
    Not sure where you’re mailing me. But I try and stick to only professional interaction on email relating to my interviews, scripts , scheduling etc. For evrything else- the blog:-)

  39. Gul Panag

    Thanks Zersis:-)

    And thank you Akshay, Shivanad, Aditya and Anubhav for your contributions.
    Manish,
    Thank you for taking out so much of your time to write in. I am rather impressed:-) Your views are spot on. Eventually its only awareness that will change things, and of course a desire to change. Did you publish my piece? Do send me a copy.
    Cheers

  40. Akshay

    Hi Gul,

    Perhaps Prasun is referring to the ‘Contact Gul’ link on this page. I guess you should probably get it disabled in case messages sent there don’t reach you.

    Anyway, hope to see more blog entries from you in future. Something on politics (anti-leftist) would be interesting to discuss.

    Akshay.

  41. Arjun

    “After all how can the government justify millions on Hockey (or for that matter any sport) when there are people with out clean drinking water, and other basic amenities?”

    Exactly. Forgive me for being a cynic, but I don’t think the government should be spending anything on sports. It’s the same as asking the government to produce a movie. If the latter is absurd, so is the former. That’s because sport is entertainment. Nothing else. If I play a sport like cricket or hockey with my friends, it’s a pastime. If I watch someone else play it, it’s entertainment. We should stop equating it with patriotism and national honour. Then there wouldn’t be so much anguish over losing a medal at an event or failing to qualify for the Olympics. There wouldn’t be an insane amount of coverage on TV about a loss at an inconsequential event.

    So we didn’t qualify. That does not make me ashamed of my nation or of being an Indian. There are achievers in other fields as well. We can still retain our national pride. What can we say to the guys who lost? Bad luck, guys, play well next time. And we can get on with our lives.

    But KPS Gill deserved to go, you know. Nobody should ruin any organisation for that long. If a man was heading a production house for fifteen years, and every movie he made in that period were to flop, he’d be kicked out soon enough.

    Wow, I sound like I have a lot of angst about nothing. Sorry about that. This is my first visit and you write well. Enjoyed reading it(though, unfortunately, I’ve already spewed a lot of venom).

  42. Prathik Rajendran

    @Gul Panag Totally understandable. I started liking you even more now that you are putting a lot of effort to blog. I will definitely try to be a part of your discussions. Also take a look at Shekhar Kapur’s blog http://www.shekharkapur.com/blog/ I also run a personal blog (link on my name) its more stuff which people of my age will like, anime etc..

  43. Manish

    Hi Gul,
    Yes, we published the article. It was very interesting and the pix looked fabulous. Shevta had assured me that she was sending it through courier. Hope, you’ve received it and liked reading it.
    Would be interested to know if and when you get into promotign sports programmes.

    Regards
    Manish Kumar

  44. Gul Panag

    Arjun,
    Point noted. However, if its purely entertainment, I think it speaks poorly of our nation – which appears to only have one interest, cricket. It is after all free enterprise and people can put in money where they see returns- but the only place that seems to be happening is cricket. Are we a nation that is so one-dimensional?
    And it’s not about government putting in money (except for China- and the results show, and former USSR; no government invests heavily in “medal manufacturing”). But infrastructure, that is another story. Forget sporting infrastructure, no Indian government has put infrastructure as a priority since independence. 61 years since Independence we still have a lousy road network, the railways are bursting at the seams and lets not even go to aviation (that is for the elite after all). It takes 2 days to travel by road from Delhi to Bombay!!!! The average speed on our highways is 50kmph!!! Better infrastructure would not only ensure faster movement of resources, fall cheaper due to less time taken, but also ensure better mobility of work force.
    But how can we spend millions on infrastructure when 40percent on India is below the poverty line? If we had better infrastructure (drinking water, electricity, schools, colleges, roads, transportation) perhaps more people would have carved a better life for themselves and broken the vicious cycle of poverty.

    Hey Akshay,
    I don’t even want to get started on Anti-Leftism. To me the entire Left, headed mostly by octogenarians, is an archaic, defunct and anachronistic outfit. And this is just not because of their ludicrous stand on the Nuclear Deal. Their contention- it was compromising India’s sovereignty. For starters, this is hypocritical coming from a party(s) that openly supports China on any Sino Indian dispute from the Violation of the Pancsheel Agreement to the recent heating up of the Arunachal border dispute. The LEFT should be banned for treason. (If we could stop being preoccupied with SIMI that might even happen) Or may be, be asked to move to China (where they can live with the starving peasants or the oppressed Muslims in Xinjiang and Yunnan to feel the success on Communism)

    ‘Socialism means social justice and equality, but equality of rights, of opportunities, not of income.’ RAUL CASTRO,
    I don’t think even Marx himself or Engels could have put it better in a modern perspective. But our LEFT is clearly not interested in evolution. They did not learn anything from the collapse of the USSR-perestroika and glasnost not withstanding and are still holding a flame to the last bastion of Communism (which is meant to be a journey to Socialism) – China. And so in one word out comes the LEFT ideology. China. Divestment, FDI, the list is endless. They didn’t even trust India’s most erudite Economist but continued to derail many an economic reform initiated by the good LSE doctor. With the LEFT finally out of UPA’s hair, hope some thing can be salvaged.
    Lastly their raison d’être- to see a communist India, is unlikely to ever be fulfilled with us steam rolling down the path of democracy. They should do the honourable thing and dissolve-before all their leaders pass way with age.
    And now your turn, what about our communal ire causing, economic blockade propagating benevolent” RIGHT”??? I hope to read something spitting fire on the RIGHT wing parties (party).

  45. prasun

    GUl…hey friend…pls do post all new subject post of your intrest…mujhe sports ka jyada nai aata…..
    ur brother..prasun.

  46. Tiger

    @ Gul,

    Nice to see you present such balanced views. Now I am proved wrong, again. Beauty can be with brains. I think sports should be handled not by a minister by private companies or military. Unless specific goals are set and people are made responsible it is hard to win medals. Also there is a lot of unmeasured, unapproached talent which needs a good view at. The children who jump into flowing Ganga for coins, the girl who runs behind buffaloes all her day will win more medals if given a chance to participate and train. What do you think?

  47. Akshay

    Hi Gul,

    I absolutely 100% agree with you on what you have said about the Left Parties. To me, they are still living in an India 100 years ago and the blatant unapologetic proximity they share with China makes me more inclined to call them ‘Chinese Party of India’ instead of Communist Party of India.

    I don’t understand how they manage to exercise their rights on national policies despite being popular in only 3 out of 28 Indian states. They have been admonished and their policies rejected by the majority of Indians across the religious spectrum in most of the regions in India and yet they feel that they have a moral right to dictate national policies. They have a one-track view about the US and fail to realize that China is a far greater threat to India’s sovereignty.

    Sorry to disappoint you with my views on the Right parties or rather party. I find my views often aligned with their principles. I don’t believe they unilaterally cause communal ire. It is more a case of two opposing parties irking opposing religious sentiments. And economic blockade? I thought the nation made more progress under right wing leadership with higher economic growth keeping inflation in control. Today’s government is realizing how difficult balancing the two is!

    On another note, shouldn’t this be a topic for a new blog entry? You know we are way off hockey now 🙂

    And how about your films? Would love to hear when your next movie is releasing. Make sure they release in the US too since that’s where I can watch them 🙂

    Ciao!
    Akshay.

  48. punjabi music

    do you like punjabi music???

  49. Amit Goel

    Hi Guys,

    I just stumbled upon this blog while searching something. Read three people (Gul, Akshay & Arjun) carefully. you guys discussed the infrastrucure of the country. you talk about the lousy network of roads and rails.

    I just want to point out that India has one of the best rail networks. some parts of Indian highways are not good but things are changing. Golden Quadrilateral project is going on…

    If you guys compare from America, they have one of the lousiest rail networks.

    you mentioned that its been 61 years of Independence. tell me, are 61 years enough to build the whole country from scratch and reach the levels of western world in infrastructure? India started afresh after independence, we wrote a new constitution, formed our own govt, People were running the country for the first time, We went through 4 gruesome wars in the most terrible times.

    All the states came under one hood “India” after independence and it took a lot of time to gel with each other. Remember, Goa and Pondicherry joined much later. Kashmir is fighting for Independence.

    At the same time, with in these 61 years, India built a huge rail network, Highways, Air network, got the green / white / industrial revolution. India came on to world map 10 years ago with IT that even americans fear Indian brains. We have the best of brands available from all over the world. We have enough foreign exchange reserves. And India is still building. Its just been 61 years and we have acheived so much.

    America got independent about 200 years ago with a capitalist mindset. on a federal system. India started on a democratic rule where everyone gets a chance.

    I do agree with your political viewpoints but one thing I wish to mention that while cricitizing, do try to appreciate for the good things and try to say thank you for everything we got till now.

    Just want to ask one thing, Did you ever participate in any activity to make India a better nation? Criticism is easy but getting hands dirty to clean the country, its not that easy…

    extremely sorry if i bothered you guys.

  50. Zersis

    Hi Gul,

    Not sure why you thanked me, anyways you are welcome. I also happened to see your snaps to be published in Maxim and they are outstanding … Very aesthetically shot and you look great …

    I guess everybody has spoken a lot on this topic, you planning to blog on some other topic, for eg: “Why I decided to become an actor and not take up any other profession ?” Just a thought …

    Take care, Zersis.

  51. vaibhav316

    hi,
    i m vaibhav….a new member of gulspace….well what i would like to say is that….let me quote a line from one of paulo coelho’s famous book.. “AN IDEA ONLY EXISTS WHEN YOU PUT IT INTO PRACTICE”…so its my request to all of you who have posted their comments on this issue is …if u truly feel sorry for the state of hockey or any other sport like soccer,f1, table tennis etc…thn plz next time …when you get the chance to give a gift to a 2 or more thn that years old child….try gifting him a hockey stick,football or basketball instead of a CRICKET BAT AND BALL….or if u r in a school,college or any other organization thn….take the intiative of oranizing a tornament of sports other thn cricket….it might just change their taste…

  52. Minty

    hi gul..

    real a big fan of urs after watching the movie.

    Have a wondeful life.

    If you visit my blog it wud be great
    http://tech43.blogspot.com

  53. Joe Grewal

    Hi Gul,
    You are an awesome actor, I have seen most of your movies. I am also from Patiala having military background family members. Thanks for your contribution towards film industry. I hope you will make more movies as you have everything what an actress needs, beauty, acting, glamour etc..

    Thanks,
    Grewal

  54. prasun

    hi vaibhav…awesome. wud do for sure!

  55. Asif

    Hockey? And you think excluding the money making part India stands any where in Cricketing world? I don’t think so. Yes India and Pakistan both had a glorious past. But the future stands no where. Corrupt nations don’t go to far and time has already given us too many lessons to understand this. The day we decide that we want to live in real world. I think we’ll see the dawn. Why we are rated as second class citizen of the world is not because of the color, rather because of the mess we carry…

    We’ll improve? Not in your or my life time… that I can promise… 🙂

    Enjoy…

  56. Aditya Gholap

    Hey Gul, you have done a brilliant Job in Hello. Hearty congratulations. I recommend all of you to go watch this film especially for Salman Khan, Sharman Joshi, Sohail Khan, and Gul. all the others are good as well but these 4 have done a special job.

  57. Durjoy

    Hi Gul Panag,

    I am a quality consultant of healthcare organizations by profession, this is my first day to visit your blog. Nice to see your thoughtful ideas about India’s recent scenarios…be it is sports or indian politics.

    Frankly speaking i do have interest in all kind of sports…but possess a little interest in politics….dont know why i don’t like it from my heart.

    Anyways i have a small request to you…if possible can you start any topic on recent scenario of indian healthcare sector. I think if you can start any topic on it….i can definately able to contribute to my level best.

    I have recently seen your latest movie HELLO, this is my 2nd movie of yours after DHOOP, really you look so pretty in it…which you usually do. All the actors did proper justice about their respective characters. Another thing is the dialogue of this film…really mind-blowing. I would request you all to see this worth watchable movie.

    Once again i am appreciating your initiative to make this common forum for discussion for us. Really i admire your diverse interests, found in your biography section.

    Thanks & Best regards’
    Durjoy

  58. vikas

    Hi Gul,

    Read thru’ ur views on sports and politics ( fully agree with ur views on left parties and theirstand on nuclear treay !) What’s the make of laptop that you are using now a days ?

    I liked ur performance in “hello”…did send you the sms, but u didnt respond !
    cheers
    vikas

  59. Chevy

    Hello Gul!!

    I enjoyed your performance in Hello, I don’t why it got such poor reviews, everyone keeps saying that it was entertaining but very poor acting, I’m not sure about the rest but I enjoyed your acting the most, you were superb and you had very nice facial expression! It’s great to see that you are finding ways to keep in contact with your fans!! There are many things I want to tell you but I rather keep this short!! Hopefully, you will blog again soon!!

    Love from South Africa,

    Chevy

  60. arya

    nice thinking all of u i have no much time to read all of them but again i say nice to all.

    and gul ur thinking is outstandin i m new in blog so …………………………..

  61. prasun kulshrestha

    hi gul dear…i wish u & ur family a very happpy diwali. i guess u love few of the crackers, if so, have a safe diwali buddy.

  62. Rv

    When will we hear back from you 🙂

  63. R

    First, you’re beautiful.

    Now the issue you raise is multifaceted… Hockey on the international scene is different than cricket is. Cricket is played amongst a dozen nations and India doing rather well in it is, let’s say, a superficial view. If it attained and attracted some real internationalism, I’d like to see where our cricketers stand.

    Let’s take hockey and put it into context. India used to do exceptionally well. Only until it was switched to astro and ‘better’ athletes of the world took over and technical Indians were left behind. It became more of a ‘hard’ tactical game istead of slow, technical and flair game.

    It’s comparing two absolute different levels of international exposure.
    No two sports garner similar adulation from the public. In UK, nothing can become more loveable than football, not even the Olympic swimming team. In US, Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods will always be ahead of Michael Phelps and Mark Spitz.

    The problem is India celebrates mediocrity whether it’s in form of Sania or Bollywood.

  64. Pankaj

    Hi Gul,

    Why are you not responding on your blogs!!! I am really a great fan of you Since the Movie DOR by Nagesh(Forgotten his complete name because it is little bit typical).
    Please initiate new topic and the Hello was a fun loving movie.
    Waiting for the new Discussion topics 🙂

    Regards,
    Pankaj Kumar

  65. Rashpal

    Dear Gul

    It is my good fortune to know you as a Hockey Player. The National sport of India Hockey is in shambles. We had a Golden Hockey Era in British India. We had Hockey ” Jadugar” Dhyanchand. This was the time when Europeans could not dribble the Ball with Hockey like indian. Then Came Power Hockey and Dutch,German,Australians teams ruled the international Hockey by their sheer speed and power.

    In this Modern Hockey we still mange to Win World Cup in 1975 under Ajitpal Singh is commendable.

    Gul Iam very Happy to know about the Hockey Players in your family. Specially your Grand father and Dad ,Uncle,aunts and cousin and yourself, the sports of Hockey runs is in your genes. There was time when Players from Punjab dominated the Indian Hockey. Pargat Singh was best Hockey Captan India had.

    I played Hockey in School and College level and was very inspired by our players like Surjit Singh, Ajitpal singh. I could only play in college level. I was selected Hockey Secretary of our Engg. College but could not play further as there was no Hockey team in our College.

    It is sad that under Supercop KPS Gill our Hockey was mirred in controversies ( la Rupan Deol Bajaj ). He was removed by Govt. for good of Hockey (bade be-abru hoke tere kuche is Hum Nikle). The corrupt practices( of Jyoti Kumar) in selection of players and treatment to our mercurial forward and former captain Dhanraj Pilliay has further done damage to our National Sport.

    The sponsorship for Sport of Hockey is very low by our Corporate World. Hockey being a fast and short duration game has not attracted much glamour unlike Cricket. Cricket has overshadowed all other games in India. There is virtually no money in Hockey. If its Beach Volleyball by Girls on the Bodi Beach then our Corporates would sponsor ?

    Other sports like Golf,Chess,Tennis, Badminton,Shooting, Billiard and Boxing in which India had won World championships hardly get attention.

    I agree with you Gul that Govt. should spent more on Sports infra. and for promption of this sport in the Country.
    The Sport of Hockey should get its share from Media too.Only Cricket gets promotion and all the limelight.

    I saw Mumbai Gold Cup Hockey turnament in Mahindra Stadium in Churchgate hardly any crowd in the event to cheer and enjoy this game.

    I feel very sad to see the state of Hockey in India. We should have Academies adpoted by Corporate Houses and Govt. to nurture the budding talent in India and prompte various turnaments across the country to bring Hockey to its Glorious Golden past again.

  66. ansuman.kar

    Hey Everybody,

    From few of the replies above i get the idea and to certain extent agree that sports is all about personal interest and fortunately it is cricket for us but it turns out to be unfortunate for other sports. Well if i go back to history Cricket was not such a big mania until the Indian Team got us the 1983 world cup , before that Hocky and Football were more popular but slowly the glamour into the game and some success stories caught the interest of people and has made the game what it is today. Well technically no one can be forced to generate any kind of interest for a particular game because that depends on person to person.

    But yes government should not be biased towards a particular sports when its being represented in such a big arena like the Olympics. The whole point of having a central governing body is to have equal treatment towards every sports that is being recognised in an International level. One more important factor here is the media they are the biggest promoters of anything , if they can make Rakhi Sawant a star then our national game is a cake walk for them. I feel they have also been a little biased towards hockey. I guess our hockek and non cricket sporting teams need a bit of success and promotion if not match up but be in a better state.

    And it should be left to the public if they like “Laagan” more than “Chak De India” or vice versa….. 😛

    Lots of Love,

    Anshu 🙂

  67. Balraj

    Hay GUL
    I think People only like to see WINNING and WINNING only, which is not the case in HOCKEY so people stop watching Hockey.when the hockey was on its decline in india at that time cricket was on the rise.
    There are many reasons, you can see, technically cricket is safer to play than hockey.
    Cricket become more popular because, I think its a game of poors.you can see children playing cricket with rubber ball which costs rupees 2 or 1 and the use of washing stick as Bat and this is the truth and one of the main reasons of becoming popular in india.

  68. venkat

    Very Frankly, was surprised to read about your views on hockey. Forgive me for saying so, but we all have got so used to seeing and hearing celebrities as just PROS. Hardly get to know their real thoughts (unless ofcourse it is on TV and for a purpose). Blame it on the media.
    Anyway, to talk about hockey, without sounding apologetic for crickets popularity, I do agree other sports do not get as much space. But it is a bit of a catch 22 situation. The more you win the more people get to hear about you, but to win more you do need to be known _ to get your share of the money for infrastructure, etc.
    As for the politics part of it I guess everything in our country merges with it, and not with good results either.
    I am not a pessimist so I guess we will once again see the good old days of hockey, sooner than later

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