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Nov 26, 2010


If you ever go to Delhi and want to see some Indian-style wrestling, head over to Jama Masjid on a Sunday afternoon, where bouts are held every week near the gate of the mosque. Deepak Ansuia Prasad attended a special dangal there recently.

November 14 is celebrated as children’s day all over the world. This day is also the birthday of Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, freedom fighter, Congress Party president and first prime minister of independent India. On this day, a wrestling competition was organized by Yamuna Youth Centre ( regd.) at Ittehadi dangal maidan (ittehadi wrestling ground.) This spot is famous for its weekly dangal that is held every Sunday. The place lies at the gate of Jama Masjid, the biggest mosque in Delhi opposite the Red Fort.

The atmosphere at the dangal was very festive as it was Eid ul zibha time. The streets were full of goats being sold for sacrifice. There were also sweets for sale and other traditional dishes. Nearby, an old Muslim man was selling langot and janhia, the traditional gear of Indian wrestling.

The chief guests at the dangal were the president of Delhi Pardesh Congress Committee, the ruling party of India, Mr. J.P Agarwal, Health Minister of Delhi Dr. A.K. Walia, and MLA of the area Surender Kumar.

Many gurus and coaches were also there, including coaches from Guru Chandgi Ram Akhara, Guru Ravinandan Brahmchari of Guru Munni Akhara, Rajinder Pahalwan from Aya Nagar, Rahmna Pahlwan, Bela Pahlwan, Haji Mohd. Salim, Brij Mohan Sharma.

The organizing committee included Ajay Yadav, Rajesh Lamba, and Vijayshankar Chaturvedi.

Junior wrestler showed their skill and techniques in the spectacular event. Although it was dark and cold, people came in large numbers to see the competition and remained there till the end.

There were so many junior wrestlers, and so many bouts to be judged that the referees seemed in a hurry, and the spectators seemed upset over a few fast decisions.

The first prize match of Rs 5100/- was between a wrestler from Guru Munni Akhara and a wrestler from Guru Chandgi Ram Akhara. Neither wrestler scored a fall so the match time was extended. The crowd grew agitated, but the wrestlers were so evenly matched that the bout ended in a draw and the prize money was split between the two.

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