BATHINDA, DECEMBER 1: The traditional game of Punjab Kabaddi today announced its determined arrival on World Sports Scene as 23 teams, 16 men and 7 women, from all the six continents, descended on the heartland of Malwa as Punjab witnessed biggest ever sports extravaganza in the gala but somber opening of 3rd World Cup Kabaddi.
The Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal and Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal paying homage to Former Prime Minister Mr. Inder Kumar Gujral reiterated their resolve to make Punjab most literate in scientific temperament that also excelled in sports as visualized by former Prime Minister. Chief Minister dedicated the 3rd World Cup Kabaddi to former Prime Minister to Mr. Inder Kumar Gujral and nurturing sports talent amongst Punjabi youth would be the befitting tribute to him.The Chief Minister said that he had cancelled all the events during the mourning period of Former PM but third world Cup Kabaddi being the International event could not be cancelled and rescheduled.
The originally scheduled four hour long opening extravaganza was curtailed to one hour 45 minutes in view of demise of former PM. It was also decided to do away with 15 minute long firework program in the ceremony. It was also decided not to hoist the flags of participating countries in view of mourning period.
The Multipurpose Sports Stadium that was all decked up to welcome players from 18 countries gave a befitting show showcasing the rich culture and history of the pious land of Punjab, showcasing the progress made by the state during last six years and also reflecting the vision of the present government for next 25 years. As world famous DJ Nitin begun the show with the somber note, a two minute silence was observed to pay homage to former Prime Minister Mr. Inder Kumar Gujral. A voice over recalling the contribution of first Punjabi Prime Minister towards country in general and Punjab in particular resounded the stadium; every eye of the participants as well as audience became moist in his fond remembrance.
The show that started on somber note captured everyone’s imagination at the end with Bollywood Superstar Akshay and famous Bollywood Ghajni fame starlet Asin and Claudia (German Actress) in their true style performing on the sound track of his upcoming film Khiladi 786, the Akshay and Asin duo surprised everyone as they entered the stadium on a decked up truck as the truck moved on the periphery of the stadium Akshay, Asin and Claudia won the hearts of pre-dominant Punjabi audience by waiving on them and doing ‘Sat Sri Akal’ with the elder ones. The much enthused audience were trying to storm in much barricaded stadium but Akshay on the slow moving truck tried to please everyone in the audience. As the background music track switched to the latest song of Khiladi 786, Akshay, Asin and Claudia moved to the center stage and gave their spirited performance along with a troupe of 49 dancers. As the show reached its crescendo, the troupe of dancers froze on the stage with Akshay, Asin and Claudia moving out of stadium in a convertible car wishing a grand success to the 3rd Edition of World Cup Kabaddi.
Earlier Taz from Stereo Nation and Miss Pooja mesmerized the audience with their chart buster numbers with hundreds of dancers beautifully choreographed setting a stage for mega show.
The opening ceremony began with the cadets of NCC march past in the stadium on the beats of Army Band. The visual snippets gave an overview of first two editions of World Cup Kabaddi that has brought the traditional game of Punjab on the center stage of world’s sports arena. As the show began the famous compere Joy Bath and Satti took the center stage and Joy in his famous style energized the audience preparing them for a live two hour star studded show that would make the beginning of 15 day sports carnival. As Satti spoke about the rich cultural heritage of Punjab and importance of Kabaddi in Punjabi Culture, the countdown began for a musical show with 22 drummers announcing the determined arrival of traditional Punjabi game on International scene.
The show began with 24 Zorbing Balls show in which dancers in 8’ transparent zorbing balls created a choreographed spectacle as they moved in ground into various patterns and forms beautifully assisted by colourful LED lights. The show performed first time in India transformed the total environment of the stadium.
The second act of the colourful evening began with the show ‘Hindustan Dee Shaan-Punjab’, in which 1200 children with frames depicting to create five rivers of Punjab interspersed with water screens and laser lights with voiceover giving the rich cultural history of Punjab and also underlining the vision of present Government to meet the challenges of future. As the puppets joined the children on the stage and on the ground the act concluded with huge colourful GOBOS on the ground.
The Punjabi masculinity was on full scene as Captains of 23 teams entered the stadium riding on the pillion bullet motorcycles, each bullet tagged with the country they belonged to. The Kabaddi Teams entered the stadium in a geometrical order and took position on the stage against the respective flags of their country. As the players lined-up, the whole stadium was lit up with a laser show. As the third group of children made a choreographed pattern on the ground and flip their calesthenic boards to create the face of Deputy CM Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal, at that moment the Deputy Chief Minister appeared in the ground on a hydraulic lift. As he reached the stage and shook hands with Captains of each team on the stage the voiceover spoke about the initiatives of Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal in popularizing the traditional game of Kabaddi.
The moment introduction ceremony was over the ‘JAANBAAZ’, the mascot of the game appeared dramatically on the hydraulic with a baton on his hand. The Jaanbaaz hands over baton to first athlete in the VIP Box and baton passes on from first athlete to second waiting athlete and so on in anti clockwise direction and where it is finally handed over to Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal and Chief Minister declared the 3rd Edition of World Cup Kabaddi Open. As the games were declared open Captains of all the teams step forward to take a oath that they would play the game in the true spirit of sportsmanship.
Speaking on the occasion Punjab Deputy Chief Minister said that it was his dream to take traditional game of Kabaddi to Olympic level. He said that an humble beginning has already been made with Director of Sports of International Olympic Association sending a communiqué to him wishing the 3rd Edition of World Cup Kabaddi a grand success. He said that the first edition of World Cup Kabaddi that started with 9 nations has reached a level in which 23 teams, 17 male and 6 female from 18 nations descended in Punjab to participated in this game. Mr. Badal said that he was happy for the fact that teams of 8 nations have no player of Indian origin and Kabaddi has now become a truly international game.
Striking an emotional chord with the people, the Punjab Chief Minister Mr Parkash Singh Badal dedicated this world Kabaddi Cup to the late former Prime Minister of India Mr Inder Kumar Gujral, who was a true son of Punjab. In his inaugural address the Chief Minister said that the World Kabaddi Cup was a real tribute to the late former Prime Minister Mr Inder Kumar Gujral as it was his mission to promote brotherhood, goodwill and peace in the Indian Subcontinent, a work that was being ably done by this tournament. He hoped that this event would go a long way in accomplishing the mission of friendship and harmony between the participating countries especially between India and Pakistan, which was a cherished dream of Mr Gujral. Mr Badal further said that to pay homage to the departed leader he had cancelled all his official programs till December 6 however as this prestigious event was an international affair so it could not have been cancelled on the spot.
Terming the day as a ‘Red letter day’ in the history of the state, the Chief Minister congratulated the team of Deputy Chief Minister Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal and his team for organizing this gala event aimed towards recognizing the Kabaddi at international level. He said that as the people of state regard Punjabi as their mother language in the same manner they consider Kabaddi as their mother sport however unfortunately it had been ignored since long. However Mr Badal said that owing to the stupendous efforts made by the Deputy Chief Minister the game has been recoginesed not only in the country but in Asian, African and even the European countries. “I am sure that the day is not far when this popular game of the Punjabis will be included in the Olympics also” added Mr Badal.Has he declared vthe game open the stadium lit up with colourful lights.
Cabinet Ministers including Mr. Bikram Singh Majithia, Mr. Janmeja Singh Sekhon, Mr. Sikander Singh Maluka, Mr. Parminder Singh Dhindsa, Mr. Sarwan Singh Phillaur, Mr. Ajit Singh Kohar and Chief Parliamentary Secretary Mr. Pawan Kumar Tinu and scores of MLA participated in the mega event. From Afghanistan Mohammad Zahir Aghbar, President Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and Begum Anarkali, Senator came specially to become part of this mega show.