Milkha Singh (left) finishing 4th, behind South Africa's Malcolm Spence (right) in the 1960 Rome Olympics 400 meter final race. (Youtube/screengrab)
Milkha Singh (left) finishing 4th, behind South Africa's Malcolm Spence (right) in the 1960 Rome Olympics 400 meter final race. (Youtube/screengrab)

Throwback: When Milkha Singh recorded a multi-part radio autobiography for Prasar Bharati

Remembering Milkha Singh, India's largest public broadcasting agency Prasar Bharati went back in time to its archives, a treasure trove of memories, and produced on the internet its own retro-homage -- a multi-part radio autobiography that Singh had recorded for the agency.
By hindustantimes.com | Written by Joydeep Bose
PUBLISHED ON JUN 19, 2021 09:18 AM IST

Legendary sprinter Milkha Singh, who earned the title of 'The Flying Sikh' for athletic success on the world stage, passed away at the age of 91 late on Friday night. As India woke up to a melancholy Saturday, overcast with a grieving heart, people across the country mourned the demise of the Olympic racer and paid tributes of their own. Remembering Milkha Singh, India's largest public broadcasting agency Prasar Bharati went back in time to its archives, a treasure trove of memories, and produced on the internet its own retro-homage -- a multi-part radio autobiography that Singh had recorded for the agency.

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Shashi Shekhar, the chief executive officer (CEO) of the public broadcasting agency, took to his official Twitter handle on this day to remember Milkha Singh and share the multi-part radio autobiography. "Saddened by the demise of legendary Indian athlete Milkha Singh. The flying Sikh was kind enough to record a multi-part Radio Autobiography with @AkashvaniAIR sharing his life story," he tweeted.

"I'm happy that you've come here to Chandigarh to take my interview...", Singh's voice resonates on the radio as he begins his tale before an eager audience. The autobiography, titled 'The Flying Sikh', is divided into three parts and uploaded on the official channel of the Prasar Bharati archives on YouTube. In the radio interview, Singh goes on to narrate his career as a former track and field sprinter, remembering his experiences at the Asian Games, the '56 Melbourne Summer Olympics, the '60 Summer Olympics in Rome, and the '64 Tokyo Olympics, among others.

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The first part of the entire interview can be accessed here. Listeners are advised to browse the linked playlist for the second and third parts of the radio autobiography.

Milkha Singh, who was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the PGIMER hospital in Chandigarh, lost a month-long battle to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) on Friday. In life, the legendary athlete never backed down from a challenge, his legacy continuing to live on in the hearts of millions of Indians.

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