Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Odisha, has asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to certify Hockey as the National Game of the country. He wrote a letter, a copy of which he posted on his twitter account, stating, “As you know Sir, the next World Cup Hockey will be held Odisha in November this year. While reviewing the preparations, I was surprised and shocked to know that what is popularly known as the National Game – Hockey, has in fact never been notified as our National Game.”
“Cutting across different strata of society and regions, cutting across the rural and urban divide, Hockey, is hugely popular. In the tribal areas of Odisha, Jharkhand and Chattisgarh, Hockey is a way of life. In fact, in first of a kind, state of Odisha is sponsoring the National Hockey Teams for the next five years.” Naveen’s letter comes as Odisha is going to host the Hockey World cup in November this year.
He ended the letter by saying, “Hence I am sure you will agree with the crores loving fans of our country – that Hockey truly deserves to be notified as our National Game. This will be a fitting tribute to the great Hockey players who have made our country proud.”
He also stated in the letter, that even though hockey is widely recognized as the national game by most of the population, it has, in fact never been given such a title. Odisha has started preparing for the games, with the Kalinga Hockey stadium being built to house most of the competition. The flood lights have been replaced by newer ones, and a new pitch is being made for the sport. A new gate is being made for the stadium, and new CCTV camera’s are being set so that the authorities will have a view of the occurrences.
Dear PM @narendramodi ji, you will agree with crores of hockey loving fans of our country that Hockey truly deserves to be notified as our National Game. This will be a fitting tribute to our great players & inspire youngsters #HockeyForNationalGame 1/4 https://t.co/oTGcrHxO9U pic.twitter.com/X7E7jrlWOo
— Naveen Patnaik (@Naveen_Odisha) June 20, 2018