MIlkha Singh: “You Can Achieve Anything In Life.

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Milkha singh, The Flying sikh
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“You can achieve anything in life. It just depends on how desperate you are to achieve it.” “Haath ki lakiro se jindgi nhi banti, aajm .hamara bhi hissa hai jindgi banana me.”These lines were spoken by Milkha Singh not only by saying but also by bringing to life. If you want to learn how to find your Goal by living in difficult situations, then Milkha Singh is an example of that.

Milkha Singh is India’s most famous and respected athlete till date. He is the first Indian to win a gold medal for India in the Commonwealth Games. For his incomparable contribution to sports, the Government of India has also honored him with the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest honor. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru also praised Milkha Singh after seeing his game. In addition, he was proud of Milkha Singh.

Milkha Singh: Personal Life:

Milkha Singh was born on 20 November 1929 in a Sikh Rathor family in Punjab, undivided India. He was one of the total 15 children of his parents. Many of his siblings passed away in childhood. Milkha Singh lost his parents and siblings in the riots that followed the partition of India. Eventually they came to Delhi from Pakistan by train as a refugee. He stayed for a few days at his married sister’s house in Delhi. After living in refugee camps for some time, he also lived in a resettlement settlement in Shahdara area of ​​Delhi.


Milkha Singh lost his parents in the chaos that followed the partition of India. Eventually they came to India from Pakistan by train as refugees. After such a terrible childhood, he decided to do something in his life. After gaining a reputation as a promising sprinter, he successfully ran the 200m and 400m, thus becoming India’s most successful sprinter ever.

For some time he was also the world record holder of 400m.


The whole sporting world got to know him when he accepted a medal with long hair for being a Sikh after winning gold at the 1958 Commonwealth Games in Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom. At the same time, he was invited to run in Pakistan, but he was reluctant to go there because of childhood events. However, he was asked to leave for fear of political upheaval if he did not go.


He accepted the invitation to run. In the race, Milkha Singh easily demolished his rivals and won easily. Mostly Muslim spectators were so impressed that even completely, Burkhanshin women took off their masks to watch this great sprinter pass by, since then he received the title of Flying Sikh.


In the army, he worked hard, established himself in 200m and 400m, and achieved success in many competitions. He represented India in the 200 and 400 meters at the 1956 Merle bone Olympic Games but could not succeed due to lack of experience at the international level, but his meeting with the winner of the 400 meters competition, Charles Jenkins, not only inspired him but also trained him.


After this, in the National Games held in Cuttack in 1958, he set a national record in 200 m and 400 m competition and won gold medals in both these competitions in Asian Games.

After this, he defeated the famous Pakistani sprinter Abdul Basit in Pakistan in 1960, after which General Ayub Khan called him ‘The Flying Sikh’. On 1 July 2012, he was considered as India’s most successful sprinter who has won about 20 medals in the Olympic Games. This is a record in itself.


A few years before the start of the Rome Olympic Games, Milkha was in the best form of his sporting life and it was believed that Milkha would definitely get a medal in these Games.

Shortly before the Rome Games, Milkha had also set a record of 45.8 seconds in France. In the 400 race, Milkha Singh did break the previous Olympic record but was denied a medal with the fourth place. Milkha, who was the frontrunner in the 250 meters race, made a mistake that he still regrets.


He felt that he would not be able to keep himself at the same pace until the end and he looked back and looked at his rivals, for whom he had to bear the brunt and the runner who had hoped for the gold could not even win the bronze.

Milkha is sorry for that until today. Singh was so disappointed with this failure that he made up his mind to retire from the race, but after much persuasion, he returned to the field.


Milkha said that his family members were murdered in front of his eyes during Partition in 1947. He was 16 at that time. He said, “We did not want to leave our village (Govindpura, a village not far from Muzaffargarh city in present-day Pakistani Punjab).

When we protested, we had to bear the consequences in the form of the ugly truth of Partition. There was bloodshed all around. That was the first time I cried.” He said that when he reached Delhi after Partition, he saw several dead bodies at the Old Delhi railway station.

Milkha Singh: Career

They did not have food to eat and a roof to live under. Milkha said that he missed a medal in the 400 meters race by a hundredth of a second due to a mistake at the 1960 Rome Olympics. At that time, also he was crying. Milkha said that he did not want to go to Pakistan in 1960 to participate in a race. However, on the persuasion of Prime Minister Nehru, he agreed to it. He was up against Abdul Khaliq, considered Asia’s fastest runner. After winning it, he got the name of ‘Flying Sikh’ from the then President of Pakistan Field Marshal Ayub Khan.


Milkha Singh did not achieve success in sports at a time when there were no facilities available for the players, nor was there any training system for them.

Even after so many years, no athlete has been able to get a medal in the Olympics. Milkha Singh became so popular at the Rome Olympics that when he entered the stadium, the audience greeted him with enthusiasm. Although there he was not the top player, but he was definitely named among the best runners. Another reason for his popularity was his growing beard and long hair. People did not know much about Sikhism at that time. So people used to think that some sadhu is running so well.

At that time, there was no practice of ‘patkha’, so Sikhs used to tie handkerchiefs on their heads. Another reason for Milkha Singh’s popularity was that before reaching Rome, he had defeated many big players in the Tour of Europe and before he reached Rome, his popularity had reached there. Two incidents are very important in the life of Milkha Singh. First Indo-Pak Partition incident in which his parents were killed and other relatives were lost. Second- event of Rome Olympics, in which he missed out on medal.

In the Tokyo Asian Games, Milkha created history for Indian athletics by winning the 200 and 400 meters races. Milkha also once said, ‘I ran 400 meters on the first day. I was already confident of victory because I had a record in the Asian region. The tension that was there at first subsided with the sound of the starter’s pistol. As expected, I first touched the lace. I had set a new record.

The Emperor of Japan wrapped a gold medal around my neck. I cannot express in words the excitement of that moment. The next day there was a 200-meter run. In this, I had a tough fight with Abdul Khaliq of Pakistan. Khalik was the winner of 100 meters. The race started. Both of our feet were falling together. Three meters before the finishing tape, my leg muscles pulled and I stumbled and fell. I just fell at the finishing line. In the photo finish, I was the winner and the best athlete in Asia. I will never forget the words that the Emperor of Japan said to me at that time. He told me – if you keep running, you can get the best place in the world. Keep running.’ Milkha Singh later retired from the sport and started working with the Indian government to promote sports. Now he lives in Chandigarh.


Milkha Singh: Achievements

  • He won gold medals in the 200m and 400m at the 1958 Asian Games.
  • He won the gold medal in the 1962 Asian Games.
  • He won the gold medal in the 1958 Commonwealth Games.


Milkha Singh : Award:

Milkha Singh was honored with ‘Padma Shri’ in 1959.

Nickname: The Flying Sikh

Date of Birth: 20 November 1929 (According to records in Pakistan), 17 October, 1935 (Other official records)

Place of Birth:  Gobindpura in Muzaffargarh district now in Pakistan

Profession: Athlete

Date of Death: 18 June, 2021

Place of Death: PGIMER, Chandigarh

Cause of Death: COVID-19

Sport: Track and Field

Event(s): Sprinting


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