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ACM 2007: Editorial Accalodes for Asia Cup Su (9/15/2007)
--K. Arumugam
Some times journeys, where one intends to relax, proved to be gainful. It was so when traveled by rail from Chennai to New Delhi after the successful Asia Cup. As the train crossed almost half a dozen States, I got a copy each of leading English newspapers of the region at the main junctions. From Hitavada, Free Press Journal to Indian Express, almost of all of them had a common feature. All carried out an editorial piece, which I feel, reflects how much has the Chennai success dug deep into the psyche of the country.

The train left Chennai late in the night. Early morning, I got the Andhra Pradesh Edition of New Indian Express. Under ‘Chak de Spectator, the editorial dwells both football and hockey, and remembers the heavy turn out on the stands. Comparing with the stands of some genre of cricket competitions, it concludes ‘if the hockey team thrills with its exceptional display of Indian’s traditional strength at dribbling and striking field goals’, it will be easier’ to cater to television audience too, like that of cricket which is tv friendly.

In a traditional way, the Hitavada, a more than 100-year old central India daily, while eugolizing hockey’s success in ‘Return to Glory. brings football into the scene and observes ‘The country society moust also shed the tendency of glorifying only crickets. It has done incaclubale harm to other sports It is not that India does not have talents in other sporting events. There are plenty. The authorities either do not identify them or deny them a chance to blossom because of petty internal politics. The editorial also takes potshot at IHF bosses when it says ‘This success should not be allowed to go to head, either of individual or of the controversial Indian Hockey Federation President KPS Gill’.

At Itarsi and Bhopal local papers have carried out interviews of local hockey legends, and at Gwalior a profile of local lad Shivender Singh dominates the city line edition. Tribune, leading Punjab daily, was available somewhere and its editorial Chak de Hockey cautions India: ‘ The Asia Cup victory should not make India complacent.. However, this by itself will not be enough. Sincere efforts need to be made to identify promising talents, and motivate and train them for taking on the best in the world’.

On landing Delhi, Hindustan Times editorial welcomes. ‘The Turf Warriors on the ball’ lets us know, ‘By trouncing South Korea – no push-over – and winning the Asia Cup on Sunday, India has once again proved that hockey as a spectator sport is where it’s at. It notes that the team has retained its traditional attacking style, while building on other aspects of modern hockey-playing in today’s world stage. Perhaps it is the right time for the nation not to treat hockey as a national sports. That kiss of death had resulted in waning interest and powers. Now to keep the momentum going – for the sake of playing as well as watching the scintillating game’. It notes.

What I have come across is in my journey in one direction – South to North—as the Grand Trunk route goes. Many more papers might have brought out their own in other parts of India too. These all go to prove how strongly hockey connects with the people. Of course these all we know.

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