Guru Chandgi Ram, who passed away last June was honored at a dangal in New Delhi on November 9, National Wrestling Day. The late guru was a Padma Shri award winner (one of the most respected titles in India and bestowed by the president) a three-time Hind Kesari (the lion of India) and was one of the greatest Indian wrestlers. He defeated Iranian Olympic champion Abulfji in 1969 to become world champion. He started women’s wrestling in India, which was a taboo before, and also appeared in a few Bollywood films.
The dangal began with junior wrestlers’ matches and the welcome address of Guru Satpal, the guru of world champion wrestler Sushil Kumar. He talked in length about Guru Chandgi Ram and his love of wrestling and how he introduced the sport to women in India.
While Sushil Kumar was the star guest of the event, there was a long list of dignitaries attending, including the lady councilor of the area, gurus and coaches from almost all the akharas around Delhi, MPs and MLAs, Surender Singh of Bawana. Veteran cricketer Sunil Gavaskar, Chetan Chauhan, MP, Dharmender Yadav, who is Tulsi ram ji councilor of Karol Bagh, nephew of UP’s Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav (Mulayam Singh Yadav was himself a good wrestler) and Sumer Pahlwan also attended.
The girl wrestlers were just awesome and they showed a great wrestling spirit much to the delight of spectators.
Wrestlers competed for prizes between 2100/- and 5100/- rupees
Rs 2100 matches
- Manjit of Hanuman vs wrestler from Premnath Akhara
- Pramod of UP Police defeated Parveen of Guru Hanuman
- Virender Tomar of Premnath Akhara vs Amit of Capt. Chandroop Akhara
- Balram of Chatrsaal Stadium vs Monu from Capt Chandroop
- Sukhdev of Guru Jasram Akhara vs Sonu of Chandgi Ram
- Satish of Guru Jasram vs Vinod of Sanja akhara
- Dinker defeated Rajesh
- Parveen of Chandgi Ram vs Arun Naraina
Rs 5100/- matches
- Satyavarata of Guru Satpal, Chatsaal Stadium vs Montu of Lala Ram Pahlwan
- Somveer of Suresh Akhara vs Surjeet of Band Village,
- Devar of Guru Chandgi Ram vs Vijender Najafgarh
- Pawan of Chatrsaal Stadium vs Anil Leelu Akhara
Satya Varta Pahlwan (son of Arjun awardee Satyavaan Pahlwan), who won bronze at the Youth Olympics in Singapore this year, won his match with Sonu.
The first prize match of rs 21000/- was between Sohan of Harayana Police and Narender of Chatrasaal Stadium. Sohan Pahlwan is one of the top wrestlers in India and is a Bharat Kesari winner. He is an inspector with the Harayana police, a great wrestler, and an all-around great guy. Narender Pahlwan is an Arjun awardee and Hind Kesari winner. He fought for the final of Bharat Kesari a few days before the dangal.
The match was according to international freestyle rules -- 3 rounds, 2 minutes each with 30 seconds rest in between. The first round was won by Narender in last moments, and the second round was won by Sohan. The wrestling match then reached the third and final round and the suspense was building as both wrestlers seemed to be equally matched. The wrestlers went out of bounds with no points awarded. The were brought back to the center of the mat and in the final 15 seconds, Sohan attacked, but Narender defended and countered, scoring a point and winning the match. He was presented with rs 21000/- and a cup. Sohan also was presented with a cup and 11000/-.
It was also a day of celebration for all the gurus, coaches, and people involved in wrestling. All the gurus and coaches were presented with trophies for their contribution to Indian wrestling. Am award was also given to a veteran journalist, who did his doctorate on wrestling and also wrote a book on wrestling.
It was great to see all the great coaches together. But the best thing for me, which I will never forget, was seeing Guru Jasraam, whose akhara I belong to, named best guru of all. He was given a trophy, a shawl, and a cash prize, which he generously donated to Guru Chandgi Ram’s akhara. It was an emotional and proud moment for the all the wrestlers of Guru Jasraam Akhara.
The dangal ended with the announcement of the upcoming Delhi Kesari Dangal, on 13-15 Feb 2011 at Guru Chiranji Akhara.
Pahlwan Jagdish Kaliraman, son of Guru Chandgi Ram thanked all the gurus, coaches participants, and dignitaries, and concluded the event by inviting all of them for refreshments. It was already getting dark. I thanked him for inviting me to the party and filled my belly as the wrestlers do. I told the gurus about my work and this report and assured them that they can take their photos from the blog.
For more photos visit http://picasaweb.google.com/kushtiwrestling