A traditional sport, shooting has come a long way in India, from just being confined to the maharajas of the erstwhile princely states of the country, to a sport that has gained immense popularity amongst the young sports enthusiasts. Veteran shooters including Abhinav Bindra, Major Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Anjali Bhagwat and other prominent shooters have brought laurels to the country, thus contributing to the upliftment of the game. Primarily used for military training, the game requires great concentration skills, in order to acquire precision while shooting the target. Read the following lines to know the history of shooting in India.
History Of Shooting In India
The origin of shooting in India can be traced back to the medieval period, when Indians used to practice the game in the form of archery. During the 16th century, the firearms were introduced to the game, which was primarily used for hunting. Shooting competitions were held right from the 11th century, although the game was considered royal, confined to the Maharajas of the princely states of India. They were fond of shooting and frequented the woods, to hunt prey, using their rifles. Over the passing years, the game secured its place in the military training as well.
National Rifle Association of India
The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) came into existence in 1951, which paved the way for the recognition of shooting as a sport in India. The establishment of NRAI proved beneficial for the shooters in India, who were given international exposure. NRAI organizes various shooting competitions at the national level, under four disciplines - rifle, pistol, shotgun and running target. With the increasing popularity of the shooting sport in India, the budding shooters are putting strenuous efforts to excel in the game and gain recognition both at the national and international levels.
Development Of The Sport
The Indian shooters have marked their presence and gained success in prestigious international events including Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, SAF Games and Asian Games. One of the outstanding performances delivered by the Indian shooters was witnessed at the 1990 Commonwealth Games, held in Auckland, New Zealand, when Ashok Pandit won the bagged gold medal for India, in the free pistol event. The Indian shooters delivered their best ever performance at the 1998 Commonwealth Games held in Kuala Lumpur, when they won seven medals. Some of the outstanding Indian shooters have received the most prestigious awards, including Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, Dronacharya Award and Arjuna Award, for excelling in sports.
The Present Day Scenario
The shooting sport in India has gained worldwide recognition, after Major Rajvardhan Rathore won the first individual silver medal at the 2004 Athen Olympic Games. India touched another milestone in 2008, when Indian shooter Abhinav Bindra won the country's first Olympic individual gold medal at the Beijing Olympics. Some of the legendary Indian shooters, who have excelled in the sports and have brought a lot of glory to the country, include Gagan Narang, Rajyavardhan Rathore, Anjali Bhagat, Dr Karni Singh, Randhir Singh, Samresh Jung, Jaspal Rana.