Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday blamed previous governments for India’s Olympics medal drought in hockey, saying the country had to wait for it for decades due to indifference towards sports.
India’s men’s hockey team had won a Bronze in the Summer Olympics in Tokyo last year, 41 years after the country won a Gold in the category in the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
At a public meeting after laying the foundation stone for Major Dhyan Chand Sports University here, Modi said, ”The previous governments did not give importance to capabilities of the youth. It was the responsibility of the government that the mindset of society towards sports be changed. But, the opposite happened and a feeling of indifference towards most sports started increasing.”
”The result was this that hockey, in which during the colonial era talented people like Major Dhyan Chand brought laurels to the country, in that we had to wait for decades to win a medal,” he said.
Modi went on to say, ”The world hockey has moved from natural fields to AstroTurf. By the time we woke up, it was too late. And from training to team selection, at every level, there was nepotism, the game of caste, corruption at every step.”
”There was discrimination and there was not an iota of transparency. Hockey is just an example. This was the story with every sport. Previous governments in the country could not prepare an excellent eco-system for evolving technology, changing demands and evolving skills,” he said.