The future of Hockey, our National Game suffered another major blow as the 83 year old veteran politician Vidya Stokes was elected as the Hockey India President in the much awaited polls. All the hockey lovers had seen a ray of hope when one of India’s greatest hockey players in Pargat Singh (captain at 1992 and 1996 Olympics and winner of Padma Shree and Arjun Awards) decided to contest the elections. There was hope that the gloomy days in Indian Hockey may just come to an end with Pargat Singh at the helm. Unfortunately, Vidya Stokes had other ideas.

Vidya Stokes (having no prior connection to Hockey) won the election hands down by a margin of 41-21. She even defied the Government guidelines on age limit as 70 years for office bearers of National Sports Federations (NSF). If this was not enough, it was a clean sweep by Stoke and her faction as Narinder Batra and Mustaq Ahmed won the elections for posts of Secretary General and Treasurer respectively. So get ready for another political regime, lead by Vidya Stokes, in Indian Hockey. What a pity indeed!!!

If KPS Gill lead Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) was less of an embarrassment, a period in which India failed to qualify for Olympics for the first time in history, there were corruption charges against IHF eventually leading to indefinite suspension of IHF by Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on April 28, 2008, then I just wonder what the Vidya Stoke lead Hockey India would turn out to be.

To make matters even worse, barely few hours after the election got over, the Government withdrew its recognition to Hockey India for violating its guidelines. In a show cause notice, Hockey India was asked to explain why they should not be derecognized in the wake of their declaration to Delhi High Court that they are a private body. Hockey India had said in its reply that it is a private body as it is autonomous and independent of Government, an explanation which Government has rejected. Hockey India had contended that it has the recognition of IOA and International Hockey Federation and therefore can alone represent the country in international competitions. But as per the Government guidelines, no NSF can represent the country in international competitions without Government recognition, it doesn’t matter whether it receives Government grants or not.  Hence, the Government has de-recognized Hockey India.

I have no idea what is in store next for our National sport. I must say there is that sinking feeling (which can’t be explained and only felt) down my spine and I just wish the Indian Hockey doesn’t stoop to new lows. Am I hoping against hope??? Maybe…

Categories: General
  1. raju gupta
    August 11, 2010 at 3:43 am

    There can not be a worse scenarion than this. An 83 year old person with no relation whatsoever with the game is heading the country’s apex Hockey body. Now we can expect our hockey players to move at a speed natchng with that of Stokes.What a role model we have got. Perhaps Pargat was wrong when he thought of fighting the election for the post. He , being a player out and out failed to realise that the Indian sports are governed always by crooked politicians and players are just nobodies. Now let the current players say that they saty out. let Stokes select a team with all who are over 45 and a captain of 65 years of age. Atleast there will be abundant experience in the team.
    however I still feel that India would regain the lost glory some day.

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