Imphal: The Sports Ministry on Sunday announced the inclusion of Manipur's indigenous martial arts game 'Thang-Ta' in the upcoming Khelo India Youth Games, 2021. In an attempt to promote the indigenous games of India, the Sport Ministry decided to feature Thang-Ta along with three other indigenous games from different states for the games event to be held next year in Panchkula, Haryana. Punjab's Gatka, Kerala's Kalaripayattu and Mallakhamba (Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh) are the three other indigenous games in this list.
Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju announced the same by tweeting: "I'm very happy to announce that 4 Indigenous Games have been added, along with Yogasana, to Khelo India Youth Games 2021, to be held in Panchkula, Haryana. India has rich heritage of indigenous sports, and it is a priority for the Sports Ministry to preserve, promote and popularise these games." In a press release the Sports Minister also noted that there is no platform better for promoting these games than Khelo India, where athletes of these games can compete with each other. Seeing that this initiative can popularise the sports among the emerging youths of India, he added, "In the coming years we will be able to add more indigenous sports at the Khelo Games."
The Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts has stated that Manipuri martial art is called Thang-Ta, which basically means 'Sword and Spear'. Thang-Ta extends deep into Meitei antiquities and is dedicated to fighting skill and worship. Athletes have to practice physical control and soft movements coordinated with the rhythm of breathing in this particular art.
Naturally, the news of Thang-Ta reaching a national sports event is a proud moment for the state of Manipur. Chief Minister N Biren Singh took to his Twitter to thank the Sports Ministry and Prime Minister Modi by writing: "Elated to learn that the Sports Ministry has included Manipur's Thang-Ta in Khelo India Games 2021.On behalf of the people of Manipur, extending my heartfelt thanks to Hon'ble PM Shri @narendramodi ji & Union Sports Minister Shri @KirenRijiju ji for this recognition."
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