Indian hockey’s redemption might also be the redemption of its conflicted soul

Back in 2003, as part of the annual NCC (National Cadet Corps) meet I spent a week in Moga, Punjab playing sporting competitions against local kids. For hockey, a couple of local teams showed up with a mix of both boys and girls. An all-boys school, we were fairly dismissive of the idea and may have even felt amused at the prospect of playing girls. They battered us. I have, since, never doubted India’s ability to produce talent but only its capacity to nurture it. The history of Hockey, etched between the dreamy heights of world domination and the forgetful depths of decay and decadence echoes the India story. These unfamiliar new peaks of accomplishment, despite the women’s team missing out on a bronze, aren’t just a redemptive sporting story, but also, may well usher in the redemption for India’s conflicted soul.

Back in 2003, as part of the annual NCC (National Cadet Corps) meet I spent a week in Moga, Punjab playing sporting competitions against local kids. For hockey, a couple of local teams showed up with a mix of both boys and girls. An all-boys school, we were fairly dismissive of the idea and may have even felt amused at the prospect of playing girls. They battered us. I have, since, never doubted India’s ability to produce talent but only its capacity to nurture it. The history of Hockey, etched between the dreamy heights of world domination and the forgetful depths of decay and decadence echoes the India story. These unfamiliar new peaks of accomplishment, despite the women’s team missing out on a bronze, aren’t just a redemptive sporting story, but also, may well usher in the redemption for India’s conflicted soul.

Back in 2003, as part of the annual NCC (National Cadet Corps) meet I spent a week in Moga, Punjab playing sporting competitions against local kids. For hockey, a couple of local teams showed up with a mix of both boys and girls. An all-boys school, we were fairly dismissive of the idea and may have even felt amused at the prospect of playing girls. They battered us. I have, since, never doubted India’s ability to produce talent but only its capacity to nurture it. The history of Hockey, etched between the dreamy heights of world domination and the forgetful depths of decay and decadence echoes the India story. These unfamiliar new peaks of accomplishment, despite the women’s team missing out on a bronze, aren’t just a redemptive sporting story, but also, may well usher in the redemption for India’s conflicted soul.