How has Gilli Danda evolved throughout these years?

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India is a melting pot of cultures, languages, and faiths. India has also given birth to a slew of video games. Kabaddi, Jalli Kattu, Silambam, Elephant Polo, Gatka, and Thoda are just a few of the many sports played in India. As a die-hard cricket fan, the game that piqued my interest was “Gilli-Danda,” a cricket-like game practised traditionally in Indian villages. This Indian sport, like many other Indian traditions, is succumbing to westernisation.

Origin 

During the Maurya Empire, the game is thought to have evolved 2500 years ago. 

Needed Items 

Two wooden sticks are used to play Gilli-Danda. A Gilli is a little stick that measures around 3 inches in length. A Danda is a two-foot long stick with tapered ends that is used as a bat. The sticks can be constructed at home or with the assistance of a carpenter. The game is usually played in the streets or other open areas, with no need for a ground.

How is the game played? 

Gilli-Danda has varied regulations in different locations of South Asia because it is an amateur game. Because it does not require expensive equipment, this Indian sport is a poor man’s sport. It is a game that is enjoyed by individuals of all ages and backgrounds. 

The following are the general guidelines for Gilli Danda: 

  • This is a sport that can be played as a team or as an individual. 
  • Players are divided into two teams during team games. Depending on who wins the toss, the winning team will either bat first or field first.
  • A four-meter-diameter circle is drawn on the ground, and an oval-shaped hole is dug in the centre of the circle. The Gilli, which is 3 inches long, is inserted across the hole. Placing the gilli between two stones is another option. The striker then throws the Gilli into the air with the Danda and strikes it while it’s in the air. The striker is declared out if a fielder catches the gilli. If it lands safely, the Danda is used to estimate the distance between the Gilli and the circle’s centre. One run is equivalent to the length of Danda. As a result, the striker scores as many runs as the number of times the Danda is used to traverse the distance.
  • If a striker misses the Gilli three times in a row, he gets sent off. In some regions of India, if the striker hits the Gilli in two consecutive attempts, the points are doubled. 
  • The first innings continues until all strikers are out, then the chase begins in the second innings.

Required Qualifications 

This ancient Indian sport necessitates remarkable hand-eye coordination, catching ability, and strong wrists. 

The Present Situation 

Gilli-Danda is progressively draining from India, as is the case with many Indian customs. Cricket’s arrival, as well as a busy lifestyle and a sedentary modern lifestyle, have all contributed to the game’s downfall in India, where it was formerly a popular children game.

Premchand, a Hindi writer, utilised this game in his short novel “Gilli-Danda” to explore the vast disparities between old and modern times, as well as to depict caste inequalities in India. 

Gilli-Danda-like games are played under different names in England, Italy, South Korea, and Poland. Tip-Cat, a game that is quite similar to Gilli-Danda, is popular in England. In South Korea, Jachigi is extremely similar to Gilli-Danda.