Giving awards back a political gimmick: Milkha Singh
Returning National awards is not the solution to any problem and seems to be a political gimmick, feels the Flying Sikh Milkha Singh who was in the city to attend the annual sports day of a private school.dehradun Updated: Nov 08, 2015 10:16 IST
Returning National awards is not the solution to any problem and seems to be a political gimmick, feels the Flying Sikh Milkha Singh who was in the city to attend the annual sports day of a private school. He said sportspersons, film personalities and artists should strive to do more and better work rather than returning awards.
The 87-year-old veteran Olympian, who was awarded Padma Shri in 1958 told HT on Friday that he felt very good, returning to Dehradun after 60 years. “I came here around six decades ago to attend the function of a girls’ school and here I am again, although the city has changed a lot”.
Milkha, who resides in Chandigarh, said his life has changed a lot after the release of Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, a biopic based on him. “I have been receiving umpteen requests from all over the country to attend programmes and give motivational speeches to children, but I go to very few places, where I feel I can connect with youngsters,” he said.
“The biopic is absolutely close to reality and I did stop for a moment at the Rome Olympics which cost me the first place”, said Milkha.
He is sore over the fact that though the country has produced Olympic medal winners in many games, not much has been done in the domain of athletics. “We have not been able to produce another Milkha in these past decades and this is despite the fact that there is no dearth of talent here.”
Milkha said it takes three things to emerge a winner in athletics. First, the sportsperson has to be fit and competent. Second the coaches have to be of top class and three the associations have to support the sportspersons. He said the country was not excelling in athletics despite the fact that there were 50,000 coaches.
Milkha is not happy with the fact that his record of 45.6 seconds for 400m set at the Rome Olympics which stood for a long time was broken using partial means in India. “I would not take the name of the person, but I came to know that the record was broken using partial means. I have said that I will give `5 lakh to any athlete who breaks my record, without partiality,” he said.