ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Haryanvi Jats as Indian Sports Icons

Athletes from Haryana won more than half of the gold medals at the Commonwealth Games 2010. Against the backdrop of the transformation of sports into global commerce, corporatisation and "shamateurism", this article uncovers some of the reasons for the success of the Haryanvi athletes in combat and contact sports. Rewards have so far only celebrated the famous; they have not created a sports culture. And a "sports policy" has been announced by the state government only after the CWG success. Will the new sporting icons help Haryana make the transition from an obsession with honour to a concern for human dignity?

A version of this article was earlier published in the Times of India, 31 October 2010.

At 101, the Indian medals tally at the Commonwealth Games (CWG) 2010 was the highest ever. Women athletes brought home 55% of these medals. This is a remarkable feat given that in our country, the nutritional needs of women usually get the least priority. The other notable feature of these games was that Haryana alone, with 2% of India’s population, contributed more than 50% of the gold medals (21 out of the 38 India won).

Success Has Many Fathers

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