Its is crazy to read, articles one after another in every news paper, mourning the death of Indian Hockey’s demise. But very little to say about the changes that is happening in the society in the past few years, except for the rise of cricket as the major sport.
I say, its possible to find the same story in the loss of the preeminent position that West Indies occupied in the 70ies to the 90ies. The new kids growing up in the WI looked at America as the new destination not United Kingdom as an generation earlier. In tune with the colonial times of then, cricket was a route to better life and acceptance in the destination. With the rise of USA’s dominance after the1950ies in culture, movies, music and sports. The younger generation’s influence and role models shifted to Basketball – NBA stars, baseball and boxing as better options than playing cricket. And cricket was always an elitist sport in the old colonies of the British Empire. America with its cultural democracy, open society and crass commercial approach to sport offered better options in a risky career in sports. Even a single season offered enough chances to make money and stay on with the entourage in multiple roles as coaches, support staff etc. While cricket run by bodies which stressed more of social intercourse for the privileged around the club for the evenings and on weekends.
The nurseries of Indian sports have all degenerated in the world of idle talk and a hive of self seeking persons. So commercial world of cricket if not by design at least due to market forces and social aspiration leads a lot of people to participate.
So one must not mourn the demise of Hockey, it needs a new Avatar to live another life. after all Test cricket on its own would have not survived, if not for instant and shorter versions of the game