The Sports Ministry has approved the inclusion of four indigenous (indigenous) sports including Gatka, Kalaripayattu, Mallakhamb and Thang-Ta in the ‘Khelo India Youth Games 2021’ to be held in Haryana. Regarding this decision, Sports Minister Kiran Rijiju said, “India has a rich heritage of indigenous sports and the priority of the Sports Ministry is to preserve, promote and popularize these sports.”
India has a rich culture of indigenous games. PM @NarendraModi Ji wants to preserve & popularise all of them. I'm very happy to announce that 4 Indigenous Games of Kalaripayattu, Mallakamb, Gatka and Thang-Ta have been added to Khelo India Youth Games 2020 along with Yogasana! pic.twitter.com/f7e2Wn88Vk
— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) December 20, 2020
Considered as the oldest most scientific martial art of the world, the Kalaripayattu was developed in Kerala. Activities such as chattam (jumping), ottam (running) and marichil (acrobatics) are also integral parts of this martial art. The use of weapons like sword, dagger, spear, mugdar and bow and arrow are also taught. Bollywood actor Vidyut Jamwal is also known for Kalaripayattu.
Gatka originated in Punjab and Nihangs use this traditional style of warfare (fighting) of Sikh warriors as self-defense as well as sports. The martial army of Sikhs against crime which was organised by Guru Gobind Singh, has now become an art. In the year 2015, the traditional martial arts format of Gatka was recognized by the Punjab government as a sport.
Mallakhamb is a traditional game in India, in which players perform various tricks on a wooden pole or rope. In the nineteenth century, Guru Balam Bhatt Dada Deodhar of Peshwa Bajirao-II gave this art a new identity. Mallakhamb is played all over India but it is quite popular in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. For the first time in 1958, Mallakhamb was included in the national level competitions under the National Gymnastics Championships.
Thanga-ta, the martial art of Manipur, had gone into oblivion in recent decades but with the help of Khelo India Youth Games, it will get national recognition again. Thang-Ta is a mutual martial art of the Meitei community of Manipur, also known as Han-Lalong. Thang means ‘Talwar’ and ‘Ta’ means ‘spear’, a martial art called Thanga Ta flourished in a war environment in Manipur. Thanga-Ta has been given the status of sports in Jammu and Kashmir and Chhattisgarh in addition to Manipur.