Indigenous Sports of India: Connecting Past to the Present
Keywords:Indigenous/traditional Sports, Youth, Development, Policy Achievements, Economic Development, India
Historically, sports was merely seen as a recreational or leisure activity (Mandell, 1984). However, in recent centuries sports became a global, social and an economic activity (Mylik, 2014). Since the beginning of the twentieth century, sports industry has been growing at a fast pace (Forster & Pope, 2004). Today, sports is recognised as a soft power as it’s a global medium to improve diplomatic relations and to promote peace and prosperity (Beutler, 2008). Many indigenous and traditional sports are mentioned in several historic scriptures of India. Several local games have been practiced over centuries in India (Haque & Ghosh, 2014). Traditional and indigenous sports have served the purpose of channelizing youth's energy into constructive areas. Indigenous sports create a strong sense of belonging among the youth that can improve the well-being of tribal and backward communities (Rossi, 2015). It’s in this context that this study examines the scope of indigenous sports industry in India. It’s a remarkable achievement that many of India's indigenous sports have stood the test of time and continue to attract the youth even today. The development of such sports not only benefits the youth who participate in them, but also the Indian economy. Creation and utilization of sports infrastructure, employment generation and hosting sports events have positive economic impact on the long-term development of India. Hence, this study analysis in-depth about the various indigenous sports and their spread in India. It bridges the gap of lack of literature on indigenous sports in India.
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