National Sports Day 2023: India

A call for genuine and effective sports measurements

November 15, 1989- It was another typical day when Sachin Tendulkar made his *international debut in Karachi, Pakistan. At the age of 16 years and 205 days, he was India’s youngest international cricketer. 

This seemingly usual day was a new beginning for many middle-class families in India.

At that time, middle-class families felt trapped between dreams and realities with little or feeble resources to pursue their dreams in sports.

A few years later, in the year 2012, the Indian government declared the birth anniversary of Major Dhyan Chand as National Sports Day.

The theme of this year’s National Sports Day is ‘ Sports as an enabler for an inclusive and fit society.

Born in 1905 in present-day Prayagraj, Dhyan Chand is rightly known as The Magician,The Hockey Wizard, and the greatest hockey player in history.

Instrumental in winning three consecutive gold medals in hockey in the Summer Olympics in 1928, 1932, and 1936, Dhyan Chand scored over 400 goals in his entire career from 1926 to 1948.

Many prominent figures helped India in numerous ways to re-establish her pride, eminence, and integrity.

By commemorating their invaluable contributions, we pay what we owe to them.

As children, we have listened to numerous stories of renowned personalities of different genres of the country and eventually idolized them.

Major Dhyan Chand – A persona who still inspires many, a persona who played the game even barefooted, a person who made India proud even before her independence, a persona whose contribution to the games we can’t write in a few words.

We pay a heartfelt tribute to Major Dhyan Chand by celebrating his birthday as ‘National Sports Day’.

With the rise of Sachin Tendulkar, Sania Mirza, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Abhinav Bindra, Mary Com, Santhi Soundarajan, Saina Nehwal, P.V. Sindhu, Virat Kohli, Sunil Chhetri, Phogat sisters, R. Pragnanada Manu Bhaker and Neeraj Chopra, we are proceeding ahead to make a mark in sports.

The list above needs to be completed with a cue from the number of athletes ( 124 ) who qualified for the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

The crux of the importance of sports in India goes back to the Indus Valley Civilization however, the Vedic period also had several sports namely Chariot racing and Wrestling.

Throwers don’t have a finish line.

                                           Neeraj Chopra, Reigning Olympic champion in the Javelin throw

Games, Indoor or Outdoor, both play significant roles in human history.

In an inclusive society, we need exclusive inclusivity in our citizens and this comes with the inclusive emphasis on humility, humanity, harmony, modesty, integrity, sympathy, and showing respect for the existence of others, be it foes or friends.

Sportsmanship is one of the most sought-after qualities in any great player.

Sportsmanship as per the Oxford Dictionary is fair, generous, and polite behavior, especially when playing a sport or game.

Cognitive development, intellectual development, social and emotional skills, and physical development – a child needs a wholesome process, and games/ sports are compulsory for this.

In India, we have evidence of board games since the Indus Valley civilization, where archery, wrestling, and horse or chariot racing were essential skills, and even hunting was treated as a sport, where gambling was one of its kinds of game, the hide and seek or card game, ludo, and snake and ladder game, chess were part of our lives.

With the celebration of National Sports Day, we are giving ourselves a chance to learn multiple skills like Discipline, Patriotism, Athletics, Respect for fellow players, Unity, Time management skills, self-reliance, truth, and harmonious coexistence, including working for mental, emotional, and physical well-being of all the involved persons.

*The reality check for the condition of sports in India is something not in the good books, the multitude of interference by the politicians to grab the top posts of the sports federation was and even is the first reason for friction between players and officials.

*Corruption in India is the harshest reality, and that makes the scenario more than worse.

*Sexual harassment of the players by the officials is condemnable and punishable by the law, yet players, mostly female players face it to the core, and many instances are here when they quit the game because of the unbearable sexual offenses.

*Lack of adequate infrastructure to prepare the potential players for the Olympics and other world-level sports meets, lack of transparency in the recruitment of the officials who should be the eminent personalities of the related sports.

*Ill planning and government apathy to the basic amenities of the players are also reasons behind the bad performance of the players.

*Nepotism, Groupism, Favoritism, Partiality, Discrimination based on sex, creed, and region, Problematic fund allocation, and above all hogging of the limelight by the politicians and officials when players win a given tournament – multiple reasons are giving nightmares and day mares to not only players but those who are unsung heroes behind the curtains and the sports lovers too.

The battle of Waterloo was won on the playgrounds of Eton.

                                                                                  Duke of Wellington

Sports are indispensable for the all-round development of the personality.

In the long term, sports promote many elements that are essential for our concept of Oneness despite all kinds of diversity factors.  

Declaring Major Dhyan Chand’s birthday as National Sports Day is not enough, it is also necessary to work in the interest of sportspersons. 

Time and tide wait for none but the tide of the talents vanishes in the dark because of the lack of support, encouragement, and proper platforms.

Leave a Comment