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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Revival of Indian hockey: Victory in Azlan Shah tournament

Sandeep Singh is the captain of Indian hockey team but till today he wasn't commonly recognised travelling in this country.

Though a cricket player who has represented India in just a single One Day International or T20 match gets stares & is mobbed everywhere.

But this might change at least for sometime from tomorrow as Sandeep's men have brought victory to India in its national game after a gap of 13 years, beating host Malaysia 3-1. The team won the Sultan Azlan Shah trophy by beating Malaysia in the finals [India defeated Pakistan 2-1 in the semi-final].

At last, the long drought has ended. And though it may seem wishful thinking to talk about the recovery of the lost glory of Indian hockey and its golden past, but this is certainly a major moment.

All of us have read the stories of the wizard Dhyan Chand, his brother Roop Singh and India's exploits in the Olympics in the past. Until 80s, we had a formidable side and hockey matches were still a crowd puller.

Millions kept transistors close to ears for 110 minutes during hockey tests. I still remember the days when India's Mohammed Shahid was termed as great a forward a Rick Charlesworth, Stephen Blotcher and Hasan Sardar.

Bhaskaran, Somayya, Carvalho and Mervyn Fernandez were no less heroes than cricketers in those times. Even until the days of Pargat Singh, hockey somehow retained its charm but repeated losses later on put off the fans who lost interest.

The decline in Doordarshan's reach in urban India was also a loss for the sport, as channels were not interested in showing hockey and news related to hocky.

In the good old days of DD, you had just one or two channels and sometime you had no option but to watch whatever they showed. Apart from Olympics, World Cup and the Champions Trophy, Azlan Shah remains an important tourney.

Even if it's height of optimism, I am loving this feeling that Indian hockey is back on track. Though there is no comparison with the popularity of cricket, hockey players seem all set to enjoy limelight for sometime.

The last few years were bad for Indian hockey. Anybody who loves hockey would like to forget the era when KPS Gill was president of Indian Hockey Federation (IHF). Hopefully the new dispensation will be different.

Everybody has seen the hardwork of players in the practice session and the coach Harendra Singh must get credit. With Asia Cup just a month from now (the IPL will also finish by then), hockey buffs are getting excited.

Photos: Indian team celebrate the win in Malaysia [Top left], a portrait of the legendary Dhyan Chand [left].


Tapan said...

Funny to think of DD but World This Week and Kheld Khiladi were good programs.

Anonymous said...

Awesome!..What is good to see is that the minorities that don't complain and work hard (Sikhs) can become PMs, captain of the hockey Indian team and have even have a large share in the Indian Army compared to their population. Funny that they were communally targeted by secular Congress in 84 and not Hindu RSS.

Even Muslims have been captain's of cricket team, Presidents, Cheif Ministers, Bollywood icons etc but I am sure some Muslims will have an excuse to still criticize this great nation.

This availability of opportunities for minorities happen only here in the great nation of India, not any Islamic country. Because their vision is limited and belief in their own self so weak that they are threatened by presence of other religions.

There minorities have no rights .. even their own women (Saudi Arabia) have limited rights.

The key my Muslims friends is to educate your self with modern education, control the population
growth and lead the community yourself, rather give away your leadership to mullahs/Imams. Their domain is religion not politics have them stay out of it.

Have you seen any Congress leaders going to Jain Munis or Hindu Shankracharya or Parsi Preists or Sikh preists for votes..blessings sure but not votes!. Because they know that these people don't have much political (maybe a tag here and there) hold on the people.

That's what is wrong. Mullahs/Imams control states/countries/votes (or at least people think they do)..where as they should only control mosques.

This approach is what brought the Mughal empire down. Aurangzed like Akbar ruled for 48 yrs, had a bigger empire. As Governer of Deccan he was secular, tolerant & peace loving. Then came the battle for the throne.

The clerics supported is ascend to the throne cus they thought he was the best suited for them.

In return he gave them unfettered access to Mughal politics. The first 10 yrs he still remained secular and tolerant. But 10 yrs of close association of Mullahs with regime/politics finally made him intolerant. The result is history, Mughal collapse n brief Maratha, Sikh rule etc and then British came.

Unfortunately, no lessons were learnt hence the story is repeating itself in SE Asia and some other Muslim countries. Example in Pakistan, the Army and Mullahs have produced the same big monster of intolerance once again.

I hope some Muslims will have the courage to stop it before it consumes them. My sincere prayers that true Islam prevail, but the first step is to stop complaining and start self development. That's the lesson Barak Obama proved to the Black minority in America.

I am a Hindu, but I have great hope in my Indian Muslims. Because you are my blood, my brothers. You are the sons of this land of great Sufis and Oulias (the are also hated by wahabbi Mullahs). You must arise and stop this intolerant Arab Wahabbism. Be the leaders of the ISLAMIC world.. not blind Arab followers. You have 50% of the world Muslim population (India, Pak, Bangla, Lanka etc) and yet no say in the ISLAMIC world, why?.
So I say to you..Arise my Brothers!!! lead the Islamic world, take control of your destiny!!. I am sure you will succeed because that's how we Indians are..when we put our mind into anything completely, we always succeed.

!!! said...

Great win...and hope its the first of a looooong series of wins...

Alas!!! None of the channels were even bothered of this match yesterday. They would rather spend more time showing reruns of IPL preparations or just same old stuff abt BJP, Rahul, Lalu or the new breaking news of Mulayam's 19th century manifesto... Some channels chose to spend more time on story about Dhoni's new ad-shoots and intvws with some unknown IPL rookies than on the Azlan shah win...
Even my cable wala decided that the match wasnt worthy of a watch and didnt bother to beam the channel this weekend, which otherwise is always on the netwk.

Pinku said...

Congratulations to all of us. :)

except Mr. anonymous....

How do we know said...

Yes i was also thrilled by 2 things - one, that we won (OMG!) and that the Times of India finally gave it the pride of place that it deserved! Today, i feel like celebrating the heroes who brought the trophy home!! Way to GO!!

Anonymous said...

Who said Muslim Maulana or Maulvis had any control over muslim population.

It's a myth created by Zionist and right wing RSS, BJP and scores of there siblings like VHP,BAJRANGDAL Abhinav Bharat type parties and there mentality.

The shahid Hemant karkare alongwith his collegues Ashok Kamte, And Vijay Salaskar death could not open the eyes of the majority population yet and the communalism of majority is 1000 times mighty and deestablish any social fabric more then any minority community.