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In the current context of Bangladesh, it is common for city children to learn from the general knowledge book that the national game of Bangladesh is not cricket or football but a game called “Kabaddi”. Then they want to know the relationship of the game to their father. The fathers who come up from the village usually hear the boy’s question and start telling the boy about the game with great enthusiasm. And the fathers who are not familiar with the village answer the boy in one sentence, “It’s a village game.” Or make any such comments.
The most popular “cricket” and “football” games in Bangladesh came to Bangladesh at the hands of English gentlemen. On the other hand, the national game of Bangladesh, Kabaddi, is its own game. The people of this land have been playing kabaddi or hadudu for a long time. Due to that, this game gets the status of national game of Bangladesh. But due to the push of industrialization and urbanization, this game of rural Bengal started losing its popularity in Bangladesh.
Although Bangladesh could not, the neighboring country India has saved Kabaddi from the clutches of urbanization. Kabaddi is also their national sport. India has brought Kabaddi to the national and international level. The touch of kabaddi practice of India is also felt in Bangladesh. I don’t want to discuss India.
Come back to Bangladesh. The current Finance Minister of Bangladesh, Mr. Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, while standing in the Great Parliament of Bangladesh, while describing the love of the people of the country for football, informed that football is the “national game” of Bangladesh. He said it in a symbolic sense. But I was sad to hear that day. Because kabaddi is not getting enough surface support as the national game of Bangladesh, on the contrary, it was given its title and a game that came from outside. It is an unspoken cruelty to Kabaddi and, broadly speaking, to the Bengali tradition.
In 2016, Pro Kabaddi World Cup was organized by India. Bangladesh somehow sent a team. There was no campaign in the country. There were no reports in the country’s top news outlets. I have watched every game in Bangladesh on “Star Sports Network”. Tears came to my eyes sometimes in pride and sometimes in despair after watching the Bangladesh team play. After the victories against Australia and England, Bangladesh’s journey ended in the group stage with defeats against India and South Korea. India is the champion in the World Cup. Runners-up is Iran!
If we evaluate from the point of view of world stage competition then Kabaddi cannot be the national game of Bangladesh, football is not at all, in this case cricket will get the status of national game. But cricket is a refugee in the stadium of Bangladesh, we will love him but will not give him the status of national game.
Kabaddi cannot be the national sport of Bangladesh if the spectators evaluate it in terms of popularity. In this case, football and cricket are the claimants of the national game. But both of them are refugees in the sports arena of Bangladesh. We love them, they love us, but we can’t give them the status of national game.
Kabaddi is the game of our soil, the game of life. We call it our national game abroad, but when it comes time to prove it, the world stage sees a ghostly nation. The world sees the game that the people of Bangladesh call their national game, they do not know how to play the game well! Many of them do not know well about this game!
Then it is seen that the national game of Kabaddi is nothing but a Bengali hoax.