advent of Nehru Hockey’s Senior open tournament
in Delhi in the mid – 60’s was a boost
in the arm for the game.
The Nehru tournament was the best thing that happened
to Indian hockey and when the organizers with some
big names as patrons and bureaucracy running the
show expanded the idea and introduced tournament
for juniors and sub – juniors, the public
feeling was that Indian hockey had a last found
a good base to sustain itself.
The Society has a very high profile administration
with some influential people who have held senior
- most positions in the Government and have the
same time been connected with the game at one stage
or other. It has now entered into the 50th year
of its fruitful existence.
What prompted the birth of the Society is an interesting
story, worth recalling, though briefly. The shock
defeat of the Indian team in 1960 Rome Olympic final
to our archrivals Pakistan, breaking the country’s
longest chain of success in Olympic Games since
as far back as in 1928, brought an amalgamation
of Hockey lovers and Olympians, who had put their
collective ideas for the revival of the National
game, formed the Society in 1964, named after the
sports loving country’s first Prime Minister,
Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru.
The organization of the tournaments is in the capable
hands of Dr. D.R. Saini, Vice-President of Society
and Chairman, Tournament Committee and Ms. Archna
Arora, IAS(Chairperson, NDMC) as Chairperson of
the Managing Committee.
rising force of energy indicated fresh attitudes
and enthusiasm in personal and professional aspects.
They are led from the front by no less a strong
– willed personality than Shri Arun Subhashchandra
Yadav, M.P. and former Union Minister of State and
Cdr. G. Nandy Singh (Retd.), a two time Olympic
gold medalist and the recipient of the Nation’s
most prestigious Dhyan Chand Award for lifetime
achievements in sports. There is no dearth of high
profile personalities like Dr. Dilip Tirkey, triple
Olympian and Shri Kukoo Walia, the renowned international
umpire and unable administrator, the two vibrant
exponent of hockey culture across the country. Their
joining the Society as Vice-President and Secretary
respectively, has given the Indian hockey the much
needed fillip to put the game back on the right
track. The other dedicated persons are Sarvshri
Harbinder Singh, Triple Olympian, Subhash Kapur,
Ramesh Kapur, H.S. Hanspal, Rohit Chauhan, N.L.
Narang, I.D. Kapur just to name a few.
Persons in high positions in the Union Government
immediately came forward to give the Society a proper
shape, and identity and also a system by heading
the nascent organization. Such big names as those
of Union Cabinet Ministers A. K. Sen (Law), Y. B.
Chavan (Defence), Ram Niwas Mirdha (Communications)
and Sharad Pawar (Agriculture) gave it a boost.
The other celebrities like H. C. Sarin (Secretary
Defence), S. Ratnan (Secretary Finance), Maj. General
Virendra Singh (DG NCC), Saiyid Hanid (Chairman,
Handard University) and Subir Raha (Chairman, ONGC)
involved themselves wholeheartedly and became an
integral part of Society. India’s.
Not so long ago the supreme head of the Nation used
to personally preside over the finals of the Main
Tournament. The exalted personalities were Dr. S.
Radhakrishnan, Dr. Zakir Hussain, Shri V. V. Giri,
Shri Fakhruddin Ali Ahmad, Shri Neelam Sanjiva Reddy
and Giani Zail Singh. In the inaugural year (1964)
the function was inaugurated by Smt. Vijyalakshmi
Pandit and presided over by the Prime Minister Shri
Lal Bhadulr Shastri.
The Society began its activities in 1964 with a
senior open tournament. Inspired by its instant
success as it attracted a good number of recognized
foreign teams, it started age-group competitions
in 1972 for under 17 and later under 15 school boys.
The Union Government scholarships and prize money
are awarded to the winners and outstanding players
as incentive to attract the youngsters to the National
game. It also prompted the Society to seriously
promote the game at the university leveling order
to build up a strong second line of defence through
the youth power. And in consultation with the IHF
and the Association of Indian University (AIU) conceived
the Champion Colleges Tournament in 1993.