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Oct 28, 2010



Wrestling Association Holds Felicitation Function

The Northlines
JAMMU, October 26: To further encourage and to extend gratitude to those involved in successful conduct of the recently held 6th Mission Dosti Rustam-e-Indo-Pak wrestling competition, Jammu and Kashmir Indian Style Wrestling Association felicitated wrestlers, officials and those technical people in a function held at Katra.
In this well attended function, Member Legislative Assembly (MLA) Reasi, Baldev Raj Sharma was chief guest while Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police, Udhampur- Reasi range, Gulzar Singh Slathia presided.
Appreciating the role of J&K Indian Style Wrestling Association in promoting the indigenous game in the Jammu and Kashmir, the chief guest said that it was due to the dedicated efforts a team led by president of the Association that Indo-Pak dangal held at the holy town for the sixth time in a row.
Speaking on the occasion, DIG complemented the organizers for providing the local masses a grand sporting event of international repute at their door steps. He appreciated the efforts of the Association for popularizing wrestling game among the rural masses.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Anand Jain, Assistant Commissioner Revenue, Sukhdev Singh, Assistant Director Youth Services and Sports Department, Ashok Kumar, Retd. SP, Prithivi Raj Sharma, Rakesh Wazir, Advocate Kuldeep, Advocate Swatanter Dev Kotwal and Sher Singh also lauded the efforts the Association.
Later, president of the Association, Shiv Kumar Sharma expressed his gratitude to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, J&K Tourism Department, Navratra Festival Committee, Katra Municipal Committee, District Administration and locals of Katra for extending their active support for the successful conduct of 6th Mission Dosti Indo- Pak wrestling event.
Among others present were president Hotel and Restaurant Association of Katra, Sham Lal Kesar, sports lovers and prominent citizens of the town.

Oct 25, 2010


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Lahore's Tari Pahlwan Wins Flood Relief Dangal

LAHORE – Tari Pahlwan of Lahore clinched the Flood Relief Dangal title which was organised here at the Wrestling Stadium to help raise funds for flood affectees.

The Lahore Wrestling Association and Arshad Bijli Pahlwan Foundation jointly organised the dangal at the Iqbal Park Wrestling Stadium for the noble cause and around 20 bouts were held on the day.
Tari Pahlwan clinched the main title bout by downing the champion of Lodhran Shahid Dahria. In the second main bout of the day, Papu Pahlwan Lahoria beat Usman Gujranwalia to lay his hands on the second prize.
In other bouts, Janu Pahlwan beat Mir Ali, Asif beat Ja hara, Qamar beat Jan, Kuttu beat Nomi, Umar beat Abdullah while Mitthu-Baba, Shahbaz-Zahid, Mama-Danish, Ali-Junaid and Usman-Hamza fought out a draw.
Deputy Speaker Rana Mashood was the chief guest while Khawaja Imran Nazir and Haji Zulfiqar were also among the guests and distributed the prizes among the winners.



By Joseph S. Alter

For those of us who follow the sport of wrestling in India, the recent victory on the mats of the Commonwealth Games has been a long time coming, but is also an echo of the past. The victory of our champion pahalwans is a reminder that the history of the sport is long and runs deep into the soil of

South Asia. Ravinder, Anil and Sanjay stand as champions on the shoulders of giants.

The sport of wrestling in India, as elsewhere in the world, has been modernised, standardised and is highly refined in terms of training regimens, coaching, the development of skills and techniques. No small part of the success of our wrestlers and other athletes is a function of the development of world-class facilities and expertise at all levels of the state-sport complex. To twist an adage concerning the devil, and knowing the devil’s language: to beat the best in the world, one must play by their rules.

For those of us who have a historical perspective on sport in India, success on the world stage must also be understood in a slightly different way.

Few will remember that exactly a century ago, in the era of colonial rule, a young boy from a very small town near Datiya in Madhya Pradesh wrestled his way to the heart of the empire and became world champion by defeating one world-class wrestler after another in London, 1910. Gama’s remarkable story is worth remembering at this point in time, and not simply because the CWG invoke the legacy of imperialism. Gama’s story draws attention to the history of a sport that has a complicated and conflicted relationship with modernity and nationalism. In this sense it is allegorical of other histories.

Gama’s early 20th century victory in London opens up a perspective on a world of wrestling in the villages, small towns and city neighbourhoods of South Asia. Most people know almost nothing about this world. One tangent of its history, however, can be traced back to the epic era, and in relation to this tangent it is not surprising that a powerful, tireless, lightning fast young Muslim boy from near Gwalior came to be called “Krishna of the Kaliyuga” on account of the way in which he seemed to embody supernatural power and was able to vanquish giants. Merging with this tangent of history is a form of wrestling that involved the earliest manifestation of a “Greco-Indian” style that developed when the soldiers in Sikandar’s army grappled with their challengers on the banks of the Indus. Elements of this style have percolated down from generation to generation of pahalwans supported through the patronage of kings and princes, including the ruler of Datiya who established an akhara and recruited a stable of champion wrestlers among whom was young Gama.



Early Times
JAMMU, Oct 18: Wrestler Billu of Jammu lifted Pallanwala title by defeating wrestler Qadir of Punjab in a tough fight which lasted for 15 minutes.
Wrestling competition was organized by Pallanwala Dangal Committee in the premises of playground of Government Higher Secondary School (GHSS) Pallanwala. After witnessing 35 fights, the jam packed ground came to life when wrestler Billu matted wrestler Qadir of Punjab to win the first prize.
The winner was awarded a cash prize of Rs.5000. Second position was won by wrestler Monu of J&K Police who defeated Jeet Paul of Amritsar whereas the wrestler Hira of Himachal Pradesh defeated Gopi of Punjab to win the third place. A total of 35 bouts were fought in the competition in which wrestlers from Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir participated.
About 5000 people from adjoining areas had come to witness the Dangal. On the occasion, old wrestlers of the area were also honoured and presented a Pagri and a shawl. Secretary, Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) Sudershan Kumar, Jeet Raj Kalsi, Balwant Kataria and Prof. Hans Raj were among those present on the occasion.

Oct 18, 2010


Deepak Ansuia Prasad attends a dangal in the village of Dundaheda in Gurgaon where the wrestling is so intense that the fans offer their own money to increase the cash prizes.

A great dangal was held Sunday at the local stadium of Village Dundaheda in Haryana. The dangal was held to celebrate Vijayadashmi, the last day of the Dassara festival, when people go to see the burning effigy of Ravana, the cruel king of Lanka. But in Dundaheda, wrestling was the center of attention and thousands of spectators crowded together like sardines to witness some unforgettable bouts.




As I approached the dirt pit, the wrestling had begun and the intensity was already rising. Two wrestlers were fighting hard, each determined to win. The referee held a microphone in hand, watching the athletes’ every move and making sure they kept to the rules (like not grabbing hold of the langot during bout). The wrestlers were locked up, showing off the skills honed through years of practice under their gurus at their respective akharas. The crowd grew boisterous as the thousands of spectators who had packed into the local stadium clapped and shouted. For the wrestlers, the honor of their akharas, their pride as athletes and a lot of prize money was at stake.

As the two wrestlers in the center of the put struggled against each other, one of the fans approached the referee to contribute more money for the prize, in an effort to lend encouragement to his favorite wrestler. The referee announced that the prize money had grown and excitement began to build. The spectators clapped louder, yelling support for their favorite wrestler as the two combatants poured all their power into the match.

Then the referee announced that the prize had increased by another Rs. 500/-, and then 11000/-. Then another fan put in even more money, and another, and another until the original prize of Rs 11000/- swelled to 44000/-. The stadium became a battlefield as the crowd cheered and clapped.

Then came 2 X 21000 Rs bouts. And then the 1 X 1000 Rs. bouts all made the same fortune. The most amazing match of the dangal was originally for a first prize of Rs. 31000/-. But by the time it ended, the pot had ballooned to 100000/- with more and more contributions from the public.

The time limit for the bouts was extended and the wrestlers put everything they had into the match. I had never witnessed such a sight before. Mukesh Kumar, the main referee, himself increased the prize money by 21000/-. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Everyone who participated and watched the dangal deserves credit for its success, including the great wrestlers themselves, the spectators, the village committee, the SHO of two police stations and HUDA or the Haryana Urban Development Authority, which gave Village Dundaheda the local stadium.

Like every year, the dangal was organized by the village committee of Dundaheda, Haryana and the village head, who is the son of Khalifa lt. Om Rao Pahlwan. It was Khalifa Om Rao who started this dangal in the 1960s and the whole village would always pitch in to help stage the event. While Khalifa Late Om Rao is gone, his love for the sport and legacy of the dangal in this village continues.

At times, the relatives and friends of defeated wrestlers disputed the decisions of the referees, but the referees were great judges. They never made mistakes and above all the assurance and presence of Station House Officers of both the Udyog Vihar and Palam Vihar police stations made the event hassle-free and chaos-free. They did an excellent job maintain security and ensuring that everything ran smoothly.

The Dassara Dangal committee was led by President Bharat Singh Yadav.
Members included:
  • Pandit Leela Ram,
  • Narain Singh
  • Dhram Veer Yadav,
  • Virender Singh Yadav
  • Narsingh Yadav
  • D.K. Yadav
  • Manmohan Singh s/o sh. Omrar Singh
  • Surjeet Singh Yadav
  • Tara Chand Yadav

The main referee was Mukesh Pahlwan.
Among others were:
  • Naresh Yadav, Pappu,
  • Devender Pahlwan,
  • Rajinder Nambardar

The funding for the prizes and other arrangements were made by the committee and by the whole village of Dundaheda.

The Chief Guests included:
  • Local MLA – Badshah Pur MLA. Rao Dharmpal Ji
  • Khalifa Pahlwan Kirpa Ram Yadav. – of Jafarpur Najaf Garh

Prize Money
  • First Prize 31000/- increased to 100000/- during the bout.
  • Second Prize 21000 X 2 Which rose to 60 000/-
  • Third Prize 11000 X 4, which increased to 44000/-

  • 3100 X 6
  • 2100 X 10
  • 11 X 20
  • 500 X 30
There were an unlimited number of matches for 200/- and 100/-

There were some unforgettable matches throughout the day – by young wrestlers as well as seniors. There were more than 100 winning wrestlers who were awarded prizes as well as a few pairs of wrestlers who split their prize because their bouts ended in a draw. The costs of staging the dangal went well into lakhs of rupees because on top of the prize money, there was also the cost of lighting and audio equipment as well as food and bathing facilities for the wrestlers.
The participating wrestlers came mostly from Delhi and neighboring states, like Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, but there were even some wrestlers from Maharashtra. I was lucky enough to be accompanied by Khalifa Guru Ajit Singh Ji of Ghitorni Village, who is from Guru Shyam Lal Akhara. He was honored with a pagree (head dress) and was welcomed by the village committee. After the dangal concluded, Guru Ajit Singh Pahlwan invited me for refreshments, so I took the opportunity to express my thanks to the organizers for staging such a great event. By that time, it was getting dark, so I said goodbye and left, and even now am looking forward to the next dangal.