Supreme Court dismisses plea seeking directions for recognising Hockey as national game of India

New Delhi [India], September 7 : Supreme Court today dismissed as withdrawn the PIL filed by lawyer Vishal Tiwari, seeking directions to the respondents, Union of India (UoI) and other sports bodies concerned, for recognising the game of Hockey as the national game of India.
A three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, and also comprising Justices S Ravindra Bhat, Bela M Trivedi, refused to pass any directions and or orders to the central government on the issue. “We are sorry, we cannot pass any direction to the Government of India to pass any order in the issue,” the bench said and refused to entertain or pass any order on the issue.
The Judges, however, noted that they agree with the petitioner and have sympathy with his averments in this petition. But, they added that they cannot directly issue orders to the government for the same.
The petitioner, Vishal Tiwari, submitted to the top court that there is a big importance of sports in nation-building. “Sports are associated with the nation’s pride. We are participating in Olympics for several decades but the results are not satisfactory. Sportspersons need big support and facilities from the Center and all states,” he submitted.
Tiwari said that from the list of national identity elements, the national game is missing and that the Government should declare which is the national game of India.
The apex court asked the petitioner to withdraw his petition. To this, the petitioner sought for liberty to send his representation to the respondents.
Justice Lalit told him, for this he does not need liberty, he can send his representation to the government and authorities concerned.
Later, the petitioner withdrew the petition.
The PIL was filed by a lawyer, Vishal Tiwari, before the Supreme Court seeking its appropriate directions to the UoI and many sports bodies, for the advancement of our sports, athletics games, played in Olympics, besides promoting cricket.
Tiwari, in his petition filed before the Supreme Court, sought directions to the Respondents, UOI and other sports bodies concerned, for recognising the game of Hockey as the national game of India.
“There is a popular perception that Hockey is the National Game or Sport of India, but it has not been officially recognised by the government yet,” Tiwari told ANI.
Tiwari in his petition, a copy accessed by ANI, sought that the UoI and other sports bodies be directed for the upliftment of the sports industry/Athletics Games of the Olympics by providing due funds, facilities and infrastructures.
He further sought that the UoI and other sports bodies be directed for initiating public accountability of the funds allocated for this industry and perform greater promotional activities with due broadcasting of such sports.
Tiwari also sought a direction to promote the athletics games of Olympics at school and college level and that a special committee should be formulated to look and govern the sports programme in schools and colleges.
“The history of hockey in India has been a source of pride for the entire country. In this sport, India has always been one of the greatest dominators of the game. However, it can be said with greater misfortune that since 41 years India hasn’t received any Olympic accolade from the game of hockey. In Tokyo 2020 Olympics, this time, India was, however, successful to secure Bronze medal in Hockey after forty one years,” Tiwari said, in his petition filed before the Supreme Court.
Thereby Tiwari, in his petition said, “Hockey needs to be declared as our National Game.”
“While India is a superpower in the game of Cricket and has a track record of producing some of the world’s brightest minds and corporate leaders, it has struggled in other areas,” Tiwari said in his petition filed before the Supreme Court.
“The game of hockey which has been a true pride of India has lost its popularity with no initiatives and support from the UOI,” Tiwari said in his petition filed before the Supreme Court.
After 41 years, India, however, this year, won a bronze medal in this game, but during earlier times, this game was used to be dominated by India. Thereby it showed the lack of initiative of the UoI and other sports bodies concerned, in making sure that this standard of this game is at par with other countries, the petition said.
“Our country, with more population and greater resources and talent, in comparison to other Olympic playing nations, has repeatedly stood with disappointment in the most competitive and giant tournament of the world. The fact that our country routinely struggles to win many medals at the Olympic Games,” Tiwari said, in his petition filed before the Supreme Court.
The petition read: Arbitrary fund allocations, deficient infrastructures with no international level facilities should be handled properly. The potential athletes are also denied allowances and monthly payments to run their families.
“The Governments — the Central and States — hasn’t taken any constructive initiatives for the upliftment of the sports industry. The policies pertaining to the field of sports which are in existence hasn’t been productive and effective enough. Therefore there is a requirement of new policies, regulations for the sports industry to compete at a greater level,” Tiwari’s petition said.
Further, the petition stated, “The public money which the government uses for funding the policies for the initiatives in the past for sports hasn’t been utilised at a greater spirit. The correct allocation of funds is still a question that is still unanswered with no accountability.”
“The promotional activities pertaining to the sports other than cricket has been extremely disappointing, resulting in lesser awareness to the sports that are equally important for the people to play. Such lesser promotional functions with no allowances for the players have resulted as demotivation and unexplored talents for the country,” it added.

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