Mahavir Singh Phogat produced a string of women champion wrestlers staring with his eldest daughter, Geeta Phogat(Geeta Phogat’s Twitter account)
Mahavir Singh Phogat produced a string of women champion wrestlers staring with his eldest daughter, Geeta Phogat(Geeta Phogat’s Twitter account)

Geeta Phogat’s wrestler dad Mahavir Singh glorified in Aamir Khan’s Dangal

Geeta Phogat wrestled to a historic gold medal in the women’s freestyle division of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. Aamir Khan’s Dangal is a film on Geeta’s father Mahavir Singh Phogat, who dared to go against the system in Haryana and produce a string of champion women wrestlers. Dangal is already making waves.
UPDATED ON DEC 23, 2016 06:14 PM IST

Bollywood’s increasing love for sporting subjects has now brought women’s wrestling under the spotlight and more importantly, how a family in Haryana grappled with social issues to produce a slew of champions.

Amir Khan’s latest movie, Dangal, is based on the life of one of India’s finest woman wrestler, Geeta Phogat. Amir Khan plays the role of Geeta Phogat’s father, Mahavir Singh Phogat, an amateur wrestler and a Droncahraya Award winner from the Indian government.

In Haryana, where every mother probably wants to give birth to a son, the story of Geeta Phogat and her father, Mahavir Singh Phogat, is truly amazing. In recent times, Dangal is the second Bollywood movie based on a rustic sport like wrestling. Salman Khan’s Sultan was also based on the muddy background of wrestling.

The Phogat family is unique. Geeta Phogat’s success as a wrestler set the ball rolling for sisters Babita, Ritu and Sangeeta to take up the sport and play it at international level. First cousin Vinesh, a Commonwealth Games gold medallist, was also trained by Mahavir Singh Phogat.

Amir Khan’s Dangal underlines a man’s enormous conviction level to produce champions from a system that probably thinks a woman’s best place is in the kitchen. Geeta Phogat, who won gold in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, was Mahavir Singh Phogat’s first big success story.

Geeta Phogat was born to be a wrestler who would go to conquer the odds of the society with her father.

When Geeta Phogat, the first Indian woman to win a gold in wrestling at the Commonwealth Games was born in 1988, her mother was quite disappointed as she was wishing for a boy, claims a new book on the Phogats.

The book “Akhada: The Authorized Biography of Mahavir Singh Phogat” tells that surprisingly Geeta’s mother Daya Kaur and not her father Mahavir was disappointed when she learnt that her first child was a girl.

Coached by her father, Geeta wrote her name in the record books as she became India’s woman gold medallist at the Commonwealth games prevailing over Aussie grappler Emily Bensted on October 7, 2010. That she was from Haryana, a state infamous for female foeticide, made her feat even more remarkable.

“As Mahavir stood amid the cheering crowd that day, his gaze locked in on his daughter with pride, the cold winter morning of 1988 flashed before his eyes. That was the day when he had held her in his arms and emphatically proclaimed one day she will make her family proud,” says the book.

“It was not so much a declaration made by a father overwhelmed at the birth of his firstborn as the solemn promise of a man torn apart by his family’s contempt towards his newborn because she was a girl,” says the book written by Hindustan Times journalist Saurabh Duggal.

“One can perhaps imagine the state of Mahavir’s mind as the father of a daughter in the late 80s, when girls were considered a liability. But, ironically, it was not Mahavir but his wife, Daya Kaur, who was hoping that their first child would be a boy,” writes Duggal.

“When the baby was born, the chill of the winter morning stung a little more fiercely as Daya realised that their firstborn was a girl. Her disappointment showed clearly on her face,” the book says.

“I have introduced the girls to wrestling with the aim of winning an Olympic gold for the country and until that happens, my mission will not be accomplished,” says Mahavir Singh Phogat.

(With PTI inputs)

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
FILE PHOTO: Tennis - Australian Open - Melbourne, Australia, January 14, 2018. Tennis balls are pictured in front of the Australian Open logo before the tennis tournament. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File Photo(REUTERS)
FILE PHOTO: Tennis - Australian Open - Melbourne, Australia, January 14, 2018. Tennis balls are pictured in front of the Australian Open logo before the tennis tournament. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File Photo(REUTERS)

2 test positive for COVID-19 in Australian Open qualifying

AP
PUBLISHED ON JAN 12, 2021 08:00 AM IST
Tennis Australia confirmed in a statement there’d been two positive tests at the tournament and both men had been transferred to a government-run medi-hotel, where strict quarantine procedures were in place.
Close
File photo of Tennys Sandgren(REUTERS)
File photo of Tennys Sandgren(REUTERS)

Sandgren allowed to board Australian Open flight despite positive test

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON JAN 14, 2021 12:34 PM IST
Sandgren said on Twitter he had tested positive in November and returned another positive test on Monday and might not be able to board the flight, one of 15 carrying players and coaching staff to the first Grand Slam of the year.
Close
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Carabao Cup - Semi Final - Manchester United v Manchester City - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - January 6, 2021 Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks dejected after the match Pool via REUTERS/Peter Powell/File photo(Pool via REUTERS)
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Carabao Cup - Semi Final - Manchester United v Manchester City - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - January 6, 2021 Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks dejected after the match Pool via REUTERS/Peter Powell/File photo(Pool via REUTERS)

Man United and Liverpool to meet in 4th round of FA Cup

AP
PUBLISHED ON JAN 12, 2021 07:02 AM IST
They are currently the top two in the Premier League. Between them they have won 19 FA Cups.
Close
DELRAY BEACH, FLORIDA - JANUARY 11: John Isner of the United States serves against Sebastian Korda of the United States.(AFP)
DELRAY BEACH, FLORIDA - JANUARY 11: John Isner of the United States serves against Sebastian Korda of the United States.(AFP)

Isner says he'll skip Australian Open because of COVID-19

AP
PUBLISHED ON JAN 12, 2021 07:57 AM IST
Isner, a former top 10 player now ranked 25th, lost to Korda 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. Korda and American Christian Harrison each won playing in his first career quarterfinal.
Close
West Ham's manager David Moyes walks on the pitch at the end of the English FA Cup third round soccer match between Stockport County and West Ham United at Edgeley Park in Stockport, England, Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. (Martin Rickett/Pool via AP)(AP)
West Ham's manager David Moyes walks on the pitch at the end of the English FA Cup third round soccer match between Stockport County and West Ham United at Edgeley Park in Stockport, England, Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. (Martin Rickett/Pool via AP)(AP)

West Ham squeeze past non-league Stockport 1-0 in FA Cup

AP
UPDATED ON JAN 12, 2021 07:00 AM IST
It earned West Ham a home match against third-tier Doncaster in the fourth round.
Close
Photo of Indian badminton player PV Sindhu.(Twitter)
Photo of Indian badminton player PV Sindhu.(Twitter)

India shuttlers look to shake off pandemic blues

UPDATED ON JAN 11, 2021 10:31 PM IST
  • PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth are among players who will feature in the three-leg Asia Series.
Close
File image of Sofia Kenin(AP)
File image of Sofia Kenin(AP)

Kenin and Svitolina lose in Abu Dhabi Open quarterfinals

AP
PUBLISHED ON JAN 11, 2021 09:59 PM IST
  • Kenin lost to ninth-seeded Maria Sakkari 2-6, 6-2, 6-0 in the quarterfinals. Svitolina lost to unseeded Russian Veronika Kudermetova 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (3).
Close
File photo of Paris St Germain's Neymar(REUTERS)
File photo of Paris St Germain's Neymar(REUTERS)

Back from injury, Neymar resumes training with PSG

AP
PUBLISHED ON JAN 11, 2021 08:50 PM IST
Neymar has been sidelined since he was taken off on a stretcher in stoppage time on Dec. 13 when PSG lost at home to Lyon 1-0 in the French league.
Close
Anirban Lahiri of India(Getty Images)
Anirban Lahiri of India(Getty Images)

Lahiri improves his best at Sony Open in Hawaii with superb 64

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 07:32 PM IST
Starting on the back nine of the Waialae course, Lahiri made good use of the conditions on a day when the scoring was low and it included a 61 by the leader, Steele, and Kevin Na, who shares the second place with Mexican Joaquin Niemann.
Close
Wrestler and politician Babita Phogat and husband, wrestler Vivek Suhag recently became proud parents of a baby boy.
Wrestler and politician Babita Phogat and husband, wrestler Vivek Suhag recently became proud parents of a baby boy.

Babita Phogat on motherhood: Looking forward to learn, unlearn and relearn

PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 03:02 PM IST
Wrestler and politician Babita Phogat says how husband, wrestler Vivek Suhag is on cloud nine and it seems nothing exists for him in the world except for their son.
Close
File image of Max Holloway.(AP Photo/Jose Juarez)
File image of Max Holloway.(AP Photo/Jose Juarez)

UFC: 445 strikes landed in one fight-Holloway is making his hands do the talking

By YASH BHATI
UPDATED ON JAN 17, 2021 02:07 PM IST
  • It came to such a stage that the commentators were suggesting for Kattar’s coaches to throw the towel in to save the fighter from further damage.
Close
Nick and Nate Diaz.(Screengrab.)
Nick and Nate Diaz.(Screengrab.)

UFC and its complicated history with marijuana

By YASH BHATI
UPDATED ON JAN 16, 2021 01:04 PM IST
  • USADA has announced that it has struck the use of marijuana as a punishable offence. USADA is the anti-doping partner of UFC and has seen several fighters being flagged for its use.
Close
Photo of Indian motorcycle racer CS Santosh(Twitter)
Photo of Indian motorcycle racer CS Santosh(Twitter)

Santosh back in India, out of induced coma

PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 04:37 AM IST
“CS Santosh was transferred by air ambulance from Riyadh to Bengaluru on Thursday without any issues,” Santosh’s team Hero MotoSports said in a statement on Friday after the 43rd Dakar Rally ended.
Close
Peterhansel managed Nasser Al-Attiyah win the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia(Twitter)
Peterhansel managed Nasser Al-Attiyah win the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia(Twitter)

Peterhansel wins Dakar Rally 30 years after first victory

AP
UPDATED ON JAN 15, 2021 10:48 PM IST
Peterhansel took a handy 15-minute lead into the 12th and final stage from Yanbu, and stuck close to Al-Attiyah, who gained only 40 seconds overall on the 200-kilometre (125-mile) special south to Jeddah, where the race began on Jan. 3.
Close
Indian shooter Saurabh Chaudhary(PTI)
Indian shooter Saurabh Chaudhary(PTI)

Saurabh smashes world record in finals to win T1 air pistol trials, Manu too win

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 15, 2021 09:13 PM IST
Haryana's Manu Bhaker also emerged victorious in the T1 women's 10m air pistol trials at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting range.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP