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Hockey and terrorism Part - I (12/7/2008)
Terrorism. This is what India, if not the world, is talking about nowadays. About ten misguided youth with twisted ideology, entered India’s financial capital Mumbai through sea route. The rest is history.

About 200 people, including 30 foreign nationals from 10 countries, were shot down when they brutally attacked some heavily crowded spots including three five-star hotels, railway terminus, hospitals etc. One third of those 200 victims were Muslims. Kindly remember India has the second largest population of Muslims.

Indian Muslims have been target of these terrorists because they have unequivocally stood by the true teachings of their faith, hardly subscribed to Jihad type of things. Very recently, tens of thousands of Indian Muslim religious teachers and leaders organized two massive gatherings where they condemned terrorism that has been going on, ironically, on their name. George Bush, president of the United States, once on his Indian visit noted with pride that India does not have single Al Queda. He attributed to this to vibrant Indian democracy which revolves around the ideals of secularism, and provide space for every section of the society. Be it as it may.

Taj hotel, standing majestically facing the sea front, in the vicinity of Gateway of India, witnessed about 60 hours of fight between the terrorists and the Indian security forces.

This elegant masterpiece hotel was constructed in 1903 by a great sports promoter Dorabjee Tata, who founded Indian Olympic Movement. He also funded first two Indian Olympic Contingents (1908 and 1920).

Besides, the hotel is still more connected to hockey. Its present owner Ratan Tata, is son of Naval Tata. Naval Tata had been President of Indian Hockey Federation from 1947 to 1956. India won three Gold at Olympic hockey when Naval Tata was at the helm of hockey affairs. Naval Tata was also President of Mumbai Hockey Association for long. Women’s national Championship Trophy is named after his daughter in law, Lady Ratan Tata Trophy.

As hockey lovers, we are genuinely aghast at what happened to Taj Hotel (its beauty is well explained in ‘Passion India’ a classic novel by Spaniard Javier Moro), more so to its hockey connection.

Four years ago, I met Derek S. Wilshere, then president of the Oceania Hockey Federation, at this hotel. He told me that Ramesh Patel, Chief Executive Officer of the New Zealand Hockey Federation, was also with him. Both were staying at the same hotel, that was now ravaged by the terrorists, en route Patel’s hometown in Gujarat, which is close to Mumbai region.

Derek told me that he is visiting India first time, and is in the process of writing a book on Dhyan Chand, whose Centenary was on the anvil then. He expressed surprise that no literature on the legend, or for that matter any literature on hockey, is not available in India. He told that he also visited the Indian Hockey Federation in New Delhi and enquired about hockey books availability in Delhi. They told him in negative. When I told that am from Delhi and have written 8 books including three year books, he expressed surprise and happiness. Later, he procured all those books.

Derek is an interesting personality, and his business card said he is into Common Sense Solutions for natural Resources Management and Hockey, whatever it meant. His card also had an interesting line drawing which stated ‘Think Before You Pass’.

For me, more than Derek I am getting reminded of Allan Walker, of England, whenever I write or encounter the terrorist topic. Who is Allan Walker, why did I meet him amidst the broken glasses and windows of him room? Which hockey team was in the city of Mumbai when terrorism struck, when was it?.

We will see those hands on experience of hockey terrorism in the next part

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promote school hockey
by ADI BHANDARI on 1/30/2009 4:56:56 PM
a sinificant work is being done by randhawa sir we should also come forward and do our best to promote hockey
by sanjeev chohan on 12/7/2008 4:09:33 PM

by Editor Arumugam on 12/9/2008 10:46:05 AM
Thank You Very much