Kabaddi in the Making: The Construction of National Sport in Contemporary India
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AbstractKabaddi is a traditional South Asian sport that involves two teams with seven members each to tag members of the opposition while canting the word, “kabaddi”. This game went through sportization from the 1920s to 50s as a response to the nationalist movements in India. After almost a century, this game is repackaged. A professional kabaddi league was established in 2014 and World Cup was held in 2016 with teams from five Olympian continents. Today kabaddi has become the second most-watched sports league after cricket in India. This paper examines the transformation of kabaddi into a spectator sport in the last two years. At one level, the paper explores the intricate relationship between contemporary kabaddi and the new project of modernity that arise among countries of emerging economies since 2000. At another level, the paper investigates how contemporary kabaddi maintained its newly-defined Indian-ness in the new project. Through participant observation in Kabaddi World Cup and interviews with kabaddi coaches and players, it argues that the national and international representations of kabaddi are not oppositional but negotiated under the same framework – the new project of modernity.
Acceptance Date23/02/2017
All Author(s) ListWai-man Tang
Name of ConferenceImagining the Future: Community Innovation and Social Resilience in Asia
Start Date of Conference23/02/2017
End Date of Conference25/02/2017
Place of ConferenceThe Chinese University of Hong Kong
Country/Region of ConferenceHong Kong
Year2017
LanguagesEnglish-United States

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