‘And he flew away’: Bollywood mourns death of legendary sprinter Milkha Singh
Legendary sprinter Milkha Singh, also known as the ‘Flying Singh’, lost a month-long battle to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) on Friday. He was 91 years old and was admitted in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the PGIMER hospital in Chandigarh.
Soon after the news of Milkha Singh’s demise was announced by his family, tributes started pouring in for the sprinter. Several Bollywood celebrities took to their social media handles to express their grief.
“Sad to hear the demise of #MilkhaSingh ji Broken heart. Been a great inspiration will remain in our hearts forever,” director and producer Madhur Bhandarkar tweeted.
Actor Rahul Bose said it was a sad day for the country and said he was awestruck by Milkha Singh’s fierce determination and fierce generosity. “An inspiration, period. Rest in peace, Sir. We mourn deeply,” Bose wrote on Twitter.
“Had the honour of meeting you Sir, you will always have a special place in all our hearts ! Whenever we need to be inspired, “bhaag milkhe bhaag,” will resound in our ears ! Om Shanti,” actor Raveena Tandon tweeted and shared an old photo with Milkha Singh from 2015.
Actors Angad Bedi and wife Neha Dhupia also condoled the demise of Singh on their Instagram handles. “And he flew away,” actor Taapsee Pannu tweeted.
In 2013, a film was made on the life of Milkha Singh called ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’, which was directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and starred Farhan Akhtar as Singh along with Sonam Kapoor, Divya Dutta, Yograj Singh and Prakash Raj in supporting roles.
Apart from Bollywood, people from the world of Indian politics also expressed their condolences. Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that India lost a colossal sportsperson, who captured the country’s imagination and had a special place in the hearts of countless Indians. “I had spoken to Shri Milkha Singh Ji just a few days ago. Little did I know that it would be our last conversation. Several budding athletes will derive strength from his life journey. My condolences to his family and many admirers all over the world,” Modi said in a subsequent tweet.
Union home minister Amit Shah tweeted that Milkha Singh left an indelible mark on world athletics and Union sports minister Kiren said that India has lost its star. Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, meanwhile, said Milkha Singh’s death marked the end of an era and India and Punjab are poorer today.
Prior to Milkha Singh’s death, his wife and Indian volleyball player Nirmal Kaur succumbed to the Covid-19 disease on June 13 at the age of 85. Kaur was admitted at the Fortis Hospital in Mohali.