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The Great Gama: Google commemorates undefeated wrestling champion

Being undefeated in a career spanning more than 52 years, Gama Pehlwan was one of the greatest wrestlers of all time.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: May 22, 2022 11:19:02 am
Google doodle, Google doodle today, google, The great Gama, Gama pehlwan, wrestler, Ghulam Mohammad Baksh Butt, Amritsar, 1947 partition, India news, Indian express, Indian express news, current affairs"Gama’s legacy continues to inspire modern day fighters. Even Bruce Lee is a known admirer and incorporates aspects of Gama's conditioning into his own training routine," Google said. (Source: Google)

Google’s doodle for the day celebrates the 144th birth anniversary of the Amritsar-born wrestler Ghulam Mohammad Baksh Butt, popularly known as Rustam-e-Hind and by his ring name “The Great Gama”. The Google Doodle — created by guest artist Vrinda Zaveri —  not only celebrates Gama Pehlwan’s accomplishments in the ring but also the impact and representation he brought to Indian culture.

Being undefeated in a career spanning more than 52 years made Gama Pehlwan one of the best wrestlers. Coming from a family of wrestlers, Gama started practicing for the combat sport at the young age of 10-years-old when his workout routine included 500 lunges and 500 pushups daily. In 1888, he competed in a lunge contest in Jodhpur with over 400 wrestlers from around the country and was named the winner by the Maharaja of Jodhpur. His success at the competition gained him fame throughout the royal states of India, after which he was taken into training by the Maharaja of Datia.

It wasn’t until he turned 15 that he picked up wrestling. “By 1910, people were reading Indian newspapers with headlines praising Gama as a national hero and world champion,” according to Google. Gama is also considered a hero for saving the lives of many Hindus during the partition of India in 1947. He spent his remaining days until his death in 1960 in Lahore, which became a part of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

Gama earned many titles during his career, notably the Indian versions of the World Heavyweight Championship (1910) and the World Wrestling Championship (1927) where he was bestowed with the title of “Tiger” after the tournament. He was even presented a silver mace by the Prince of Wales during his visit to India to honour the great wrestler. Today, a 100 kg doughnut-shaped exercise disc called Hasli, which Gama used for squats and pushups, is housed at the National Institute of Sports (NIS) Museum in Patiala.

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“Gama’s legacy continues to inspire modern-day fighters. Even Bruce Lee is a known admirer and incorporates aspects of Gama’s conditioning into his own training routine,” Google said.

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