Indian hockey wrote a historic chapter exactly 46 years ago on this day in Kuala Lumpur when the country lifted its only World Cup title, but the architects of that achievement on Monday rued the fact that countrymen has gradually forgotten their feat.
The Indian hockey team lifted its only World Cup crown on March 15, 1975 in Kuala Lumpur beating arch rival Pakistan by 2-1 in a thrilling final.
A glorious chapter was written after suffering the ignominy of a heart-breaking loss two years ago.
But Ashok Kumar , who had scored the winning goal in the final, has plenty of complains.
“We talk about nationalism and what is biggest example of nationalism than bringing laurels for the country. That win brought smiles on the faces of every citizen of this country across caste, religion, status, gender,” he told PTI Bhasha.
“But who remembers that now. TV channels are busy in celebrating Alia Bhatt”s birthday since morning. Not a single mention of hockey World Cup win anywhere. We do not get any congratulatory calls on this day,” said Kumar, son of legendary Major Dhyan Chand.
He said the World Cup final win against Pakistan was one of the most impactful matches in the history of Indian hockey and it deserves respect.
“People still remember the radio commentary of that match. Hockey was a symbol of nationalism those days. I remember how Raj Kapoor organised a friendly match between our team and Bollywood team and whole film fraternity was there in Wankhede stadium to watch that,” he said.
Sharing similar sentiments, another member of the World Cup winning team, Olympian Ashok Diwan feels new generation needs to take note of that glorious chapter of Indian hockey.
“Naturally we feel bad that only we team members and hockey fraternity remembers this historic day. New generation must be told about that win and feel proud of it,” he said.
“That was our first World Cup win. It has been 46 years now. We hope that India wins the hockey World Cup in 2023 and we get a chance to relive those moments.”
His team mate and 1972 Munich Olympics bronze medalist Varinder Singh added: “Last time we all met in Bhubaneswar during 2018 World Cup. We spent a week together refreshing old memories. We stayed in the same hotel, had breakfast, lunch and dinners together and used to go to the stadium together.
“We had decided then that we will meet once in a year but somehow it could not be materialised. I think that there should be a mechanism by which former players remain connected,” he said.