It’s time Himachal encouraged Chhinze


By: Swadesh Katoch

So finally today we are out of the Cricket World Cup. For the last 3 – 4 months, all Indian news channels were showing only cricket. They were showing people in all parts of country doing Yagnas for the the Indian cricket team’s success. Reporters were showing one-hour program on Yuvraj’s mom packing her son’s bag and a special interview of a cook who was about to cook Biryani for Saurav Ganguly.

Last time, when I was in Palampur, I was surprised to see people watching baseball and American football. I saw NBA tournament live on ESPN when I was in Chandigarh.  I don’t know how many of these people understand these games. When we were children, we used to play Gulli Danda and Piththu Garam and girls used to play Stapu.  Are those games are still being played in villages?

All of you will agree with me that we should start thinking on games other than cricket. Don’t you think we should do something different? We should invest some of our time and money in other games too.

When cricketers get money in crores, Hockey players get around $25 for their international match. I have not read anything about the money that our Kabbadi and Kho-Kho players make.

Now, the question is what can we do? And how?

My native village (Thural) is on Palampur – Sujanpur Road in Distt. Kangra. Six/seven village Panchayats have formed a village committee and they organise Chhinze (Kushti) tournament in the month of April every year. Chhinze (Kushti) is a Pahari name for wrestling. These Panchayat members collect Rs 50 – Rs 100 from each house as a prize money for the wrestlers. They manage to collect about Rs 20,000 – Rs 30, 000 from these 6-7 villages.  The winner of each match gets around Rs 400-Rs 500 and the loser gets about Rs 200-Rs 300.

Last time, when I visited my village, I talked to one of these organisers and tried to motivate them to include Kabbadi and Kho-Kho in this wrestling tournament. I have talked to a couple of my friends in USA to donate $40-50 each for the prize money of these two games. The idea is to give Rs 5,100 to the winner of each game.

Please let me know your thoughts on this idea and also let me know how we can help organise this tournament as individuals and as a group.  If the organisers agree, my idea is to include Hockey, Gulli Danda and Stapu too in this tournament. But this is not possible without volunteers and money.

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  1. I feel, in fact HimVani can organise such tournaments. It'll be good if we can get some local sponsors as well. We too can contribute from our pockets. People interested in contributing, can put in show your interest here or write to info [AT] himvani [DOT] com.

  2. Very good ideas but what about

    kancha, teecha, gitte (5 pebbles and a ball), luka chhippi, I spied (pronounced as icepice), tippi-tippi-tap…hara samandar gopi chandar bol meri machchli kitna paani……there are many 🙂

  3. it is precisely 250 years ago-yes,250 years-that robert clive ,initially a clerk-yes ,just a clerk- of the the East India Company,won the battle of Plussey, founding the British Empire. It was one of the most decisive moments in the history of mankind,even more decisive for poor india. how did he won? after all he had only 3000 soldiers of the East India Company against 50,000 soldiers of Nawab Sirajdaullah !!! but anyway he did !!!

    i guess the British had leaders-good,bad ,ugly whatever. we have only bloated heroes-need i name them?- but not leaders even as rotten as robert clive. clive ultimately was impeached and committed suicide. what about our petty ,bloated "Heroes"?



  4. Dear Mr Katoch,

    Thrilled to know the matter raised by you. Of course, we need to do something to revive / survive our own culture, traits, languages, fairs, social customs etc. etc. It needs belongingness to your hometown. I do have similar thought for my village which is also not very far from yours. Though I contributing in a very small way to my village by this or that way but I observed a great change in the mindset of people there. The affection which was there 15 – 20 years back, hardly seen there. No doubt, people have upgraded their living standards at the cost of their own culture. Natives always stand to each others at once pain but now it is matter of money where people goes. Farmers have left to plough their fields. Cow & Bufflows are rarely seen. people are buying synthetic packet milk. Source of Fruits & Flowers are only shops where you can never expect fresh anything.

    Dear Mr Katoch, It all is happening because of migration of young generation to bigger cities for service and once one left and success, he consider home / village as picnic spot for 10 – 15 years and thereafter …………

    The local influential people (so called politician) keep a larger segment of population in myth of one or other political party.

    At last I appraise your touching matter. As regards, awards to local games, if so desire I am also ready to contribute from my side.


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