Sports is now a profession but in those times when the country was under the clutches of the Britishers it was a pastime After Independence in 1947 and till about 1998 sports in India was a pastime The only exception in the arena of sports was cricket where the cricketers especially those playing for India were paid some money for playing the Test matches and were accorded at times the five star hospitality but overall the scenario was more and less the same Sports was a pastime and the Indian sports, in particular, was something which was a tale of peanuts being served to the players.
India first Was recognized in 1928 when she won the Olympics gold at Amsterdam In the finals they then had defeated Holland/ Netherland bu 3=0 The Indin team then was led by Jaipal Singh who happened to be the relative of Veer Kunwar Singh He was a ruler of Bihar during those days and he fought a brave and a valiant battle against the foreigner than to liberate his kingdom but was killed in the battle Jaipal Singh was doing his studies at Cambridge during those days and he was summoned to join the Indian team as a Captain for the 1928 Olympics He was the first one to Captain the victorious Indian Hockey team which won the Olympics title and later when he returned to India he was in the service of the British Administrative Service.
It was Mr Pankaj Gupta then who had managed the Indian team to the 1928 Olympics Mr Pankaj Gupta was also the Manager of the Indian Hockey team in 1936 as well when the Indian team led by Major Dhyanchand routed Germany by 8-1 to win the finals of the 1936 Olympic Hockey.
Mr Pankaj Gupta that way was a Banker He was serving the Punjab National Bank at Kolkatta during those days He had a great penchant for the game and he was instrumental in approaching the Bank to finance the Indian hockey team in three consecutive Olympics in 1928, 1932 and 1936 and on each occasion India had won the Gold.
It was hockey and the Gols through which then at that time, India was known to the World Nobody then at abroad knew anything about India These three Hockey Gold during that time made the world to know what India was all bout and at least they got to know what India is all about.
During those days when Mr Pankaj Gupta was managing the Indian team India had Dhyanchand who was the wizard of hockey Such was his game that Mr Pankaj Gupta would before and after every game , discuss everything about the composition of the team with Dhyanchand, all about it’s strength and weakness and about whom to field at at what position He first discussed the entire composition of the side with Dhyanchand and later he would form or compose the team.
First Sign of Professionalism of Sports In India
India during those days played the 5-3-2-1 combination with audacity, perfection and authenticity The most significant decision that Mr Pankaj Gupta took was that he in his capacity asked Jaipal Singh who knew every tact of the British hockey to join the team as Captain During those days to raise the expenses of the Indian team the national hockey team would play at each centre were the ship that was taking the Indian hockey team through the sail would anchor itself The Indian hockey team would play exhibition matches against the local team then.
These matches in a hurry were arranged by Mr Pankaj Gupta The sponsorship money or the amount which was financed by the Banks were not enough to meet the expenses for the team As such the extra money raised by playing these matches would be taken care to meet the expenses of the team The essential expenditure were fed the team with fruits and with almonds and enough milk to supplement their diet.
Great Britain withdrew its participation in 1928: Sun stopped rising at Great Britain
We know that India was a slave of Great Britain In those days India had to participate under the flag of the Union Jack In the Olympics of 1900 which was held at Paris at France India’s Norman Pritchard had won two Silver in that games Those two silver were taken away by Great Britain on the pretext that Norman Pritchard.
Was a Britisher though his father was serving the Tea plantation at India. This was something that had the Indian burning at heart, and Mr Pankaj Gupta was no exception.
The Indian team while landing at Great Britain at London while it was sailing to Amsterdam approached the GBHF ( Great Britain Hockey Federation ) and requested them to arrange two games against India Mr Pankaj Gupta as a coach and as a Manager told the players all about the Norman Pritchard incident and advised the players to go and play in a manner that the team not only beat the Britishers but it also avenged the act of those two Silver medal which was taken away by the Britisher’s that Norman Pritchard had won.
In England the Indian was, and it had to be at a halt for about a month before the team took it’s sail for Amsterdam India in that span of 30 days played about 15 matches all exhibition games India won all the 15 matches it played which included Two games against the British Olympic Hockey team.
The last three exhibition match saw India beating a selected British Army team by 17-0 and the two games that it played against the British Olympic team saw India beating them by 15-0 and 13-0 The British team was in loss of words They were the Olympic Hockey champion of the 1920 and 1924 Olympics They were preparing to complete the hattrick of winning three consecutive Gold at the Olympics. The Royal family of Great Britain were financing the British Olympic team then.
Looking into the the scoreline the Royal family ordered Great Britain to take it’s team off from the Amsterdam Olympics Mr Chatterjee who was accompanying the Indian team as an Assistant Coach later wrote an article about the Sun being not able to rise at all in Great Britain after this shocking marauding and the pounding that the Indian team gave it to them.
THAT WAS THE FIRST OCCASION THAT A SPORTS PERSONALITY WROTE IN THE NEWSPAPER
After that in the late eighties, it became a habit of the sports personalities to write their syndicated columns in the newspaper.
That was how Mr Pankaj Gupta moulded the Indian team then for the Amsterdam Olympics In that Olympics India played about seven games before winning the finals India scored 35 goals without conceding one Mr Pankaj Gupta’s most significant decision was in 1936 when he after advising Dhyanchand and taking his piece of advise made Ali Ishtiaque Hassan Dara to fly to Berlin and join the Indian team for the 1936 Olympics beside asking the Indian cricketer Ifthikar Ali Khan Pataudi, father of Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi to play as a full back for the team The team defeated Germany by 8-1 to win the finals That were the start of the managership or as we call it the coaches now and their contribution to India and it’s game in the Olympics.
It was Mr Pankaj Gupta who changed the name of Dhyan Singh into Dhyanchand He had described Dhyanchand as the lovely moon spreading it’s light to the world to repress the darkness, and that is how Dhyanchand later was known in the fraternity of Indian Hockey.
Mr Pankaj Gupta is thus the PIONEER of the coaches, and it was he who transformed the Indian hockey, and it’s playing those magical games in that formation of 5-3-2-1 to lay a strong foundation of Indian hockey This gentleman is NOT known to anybody and this is a gesture on my part to rekindle his name and his contribution to Indian sports in general and Indian Hockey in particular.
S A Rahim: Sowing of the seeds for Football in India
He was from Hyderabad A simple man who knew just one thing that if one has to live and survive he has to choose one subject and has to immerse himself into that subject ultimately He was not very educated The poverty that he saw in his family did not give him enough money and anything of that sort to continue his studies He started playing football but as the luck could be his leg the right one was very badly damaged after.
An illness For many days stroked him. He could not stand on his legs. However, the Hakimi treatment saw him standing on his leg one day. The irony was his youth was wasted and also that he could not find himself to play that game again.
He somehow joined the Hyderabad Police, and a British Police officer noticed the immense knowledge of the game of football he carried it with him The officer gathered many an information about this man and one day he told him-
GIVE YOU THE INSTRUCTION TO FORM A HYDERABAD POLICE FOOTBALL TEAM.
It is said that LUCK KNOCKS ONCE AND THOSE WHO MAKE IT IN THE FIRST TIME MAKE IT FOR A LIFETIME
He completely immersed himself in football, and it’s coaching Him with the help of some of the top Police officers then placed at Hyderabad Police got some magazines about football and the way it was played at abroad especially in Europe He made an influential study of the game, it’s strategy, all about the team building, the team formation and the strategy of the game and all about the various combination that goes in to play football.
He was responsible to change the formation of football from 5-3-2-1 to 4-2-4-1 in India The method of knowing about what would make one a very good footballer just by a look and then converting that entity into a world-class footballer was something that he expertise at His eye could at a glance and a wink could make it whether one would be a great footballer and if he was convinced he spared no effort to see that he wasted to pick that one and turn him into a world class footballer.
His first teaching was the Hyderabad Police team, and that success made him an automatic choice for the National team as a Coach. The authorities told him to take the entire charge of the national team, and the results were astounding.
He was the Coach of the Indian football team which qualified for the London Olympics in 1948 He was the Coach of the Indian team that won the Soccer Gold at the Asiad in 1951 He coached the Indian team to qualify for Olympics in 1952, 1956 and in 1960 at Rome. He was the Coach of the Indian team which again won the Gold in the 1962 Asian games at Djakarta Under his coaching India reached the semis in the 1956 Olympics at Melbourne.
Penury and his failing health especially cancer and it’s ailment which was poorly needed by him but possessing no money to cure himself he left football only to go into the wilderness and later he was a forgotten man of a game in India which is played mostly by the poor of the most impoverished individuals at India.
He incidentally remains still as one of the five greatest coaches that India had ever produced in the annals of her sporting history.
Ilyas Babar: Running Made Easy
He could not make it to any Indian team which participated in the internationals. It was because he and his family could not even borrow the idea of going it far and travelling it many a mile in terms of distance to help Mr Illyas Babur to take part in any athletics championship at India.
He kept on running, and that was his passion He developed an excellent knowledge about how to produce a running champion in the 800metres, 1500 metres, 5000 metres and in the 10, 000 metres race He formulated some formulae about how to convert a runner from running at one event and again switched on to the next He in fact is credited about absorbing the OXYGEN while running and how to preserve that while running.
Illyas Babur as it is searched for a job, and he got one in the Army It was a short service commissioned job It was there he met Shriram Singh and he took him inder his belt Shriram Singh won the Silver in the 800 meters in 1970 at the Asiad and two consecutive Gold in the 1974, 1978 and three successive Gold in the Asian Track and field championship in 1973 1975 and again in 1977 Sriram Singh in the Olympics in 1976 made it to the finals of the Olympics finishing seventh overall but producing the BEST timings in that event ever produced by any Asian Sriram then participated in two World Athletics Championship in 1977 where he again mage it to the finals finishing seventh and in 1979 finishing a losing semis and his last was the 1980 Olympics at Moscow where he lost in the semis Babur did not stop there He was the Coach in Chief of the Indian Athletics Contingent in the 1978 Asian games where he helped India to win the maximum number of medals in the track events The wonder was the GOLD DOUBLE by Harichand in the 5000 metres and in the 10 000 metres He converted Shivnath Singh once he joined him from changing over to the Marathon from the 5000 and the 10000metres race Shivnath Singh finished 11th out of a possible 92 runners in the Montreal Olympics in 1976.
He was then invited by the Sri-Lanka Olympic Association to take care of their national athletics team for the 1990 Asia which was held at Beijing He helped the Lankans to win FOUR Golds in the trach event He laid the foundation of the Sri-Lankan athletics in churning out the athletes in the track event and his effort saw the Lankans producing Sushantika Jayasinghe who won the World Athletics Silver in the 100 metres in 1997 and an Olympic Bronze in the Melbourne Olympic in 2000 That was his contribution in providing so many an athlete both in India and Sri-Lanka and helping them to win the medals in the Asian games as well as in the Olympics.
Guru Hanuman:- A Jostlers to produce in Wrestlers
Coming from a small village at Haryana he took to wrestling when he was only five He could not participate in any of the wrestling events all through his life because he had to take care of the land and the farm that his family held at Haryana
Not being able to fulfil his promise, he took a VOW to produce a GOLD medal for India in the Olympics. He opened his Vyamshala at Delhi and started his sojourn to produce wrestlers with the aim of producing at least ONE Gold medallion for India His another vow as he would not marry until he PRODUCED ONE Gold medal winner for India in the Olympics.
His Vyamshala soon started hitting the headlines The first such success came to him when his protégé Ved Prakash won the Commonwealth Gold in the 1970- Edenborough games at Canada Ved Prakash then was only 14 years of age
VED PRAKASH IS THE YOUNGEST EVER, INDIAN MEDAL WINNER, TO WIN A GOLD AT THE AGE OF 14 IN THE MEN’S SECTION OF ANY INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION
That CWG games saw India winning some more Gold in the wrestling event of which Sudesh Kumar another protégé of Guru Hanuman won a God for India The next was the Olympics at Munich in 1972 where for the first time two Indians Satpal Singh and Sudesh Kumar made it to the semis of the Olympic Wrestling event Came the 1973 World University Games and for the first time one saw India winning a Bronze in the wrestling event with Sudesh Kumar winning it in the event Sudesh Kumar later won the Gold at the 1978 and the 1974 CWG games as well.
One of his protégé Satpal Singh won all the titles of wrestling that were held in India from 1972 to till about 1982 till the moment he participated in the wrestling and the highlight was the New Delhi games where Satpal Singh won the Heavyweight Gold in his event It was for the FIRST occasion that an Indian was winning the HEAVYWEIGHT Gold in the wrestling.
He received no aids from any Government at any time Yet he would bring tonnes and tonnes of Ghee that was prepared at his agricultural land where his family would engage themselves in farming and would feed the protégé at his Vyamshala with milk ghee and kheer on certain days This he did till the end of his life.
He remained a bachelor till the end of his life His only aim was to see that his akhada produced a GOLD medallion in the Olympics He died of a car accident near Haryana at the age of 95 His protégé Satpal later took it over and produced Sushil Kumar who won a Bronze and a Silver in the two successive Olympics in 2008 and 2012 and a GOLD at the World Wrestling event at Russia.
From 1970 when he opened his akhada till about 2008 when the akhada was closed the hanuman Vyayam Akhada situated at New Delhi must have produced more than 50 wrestlers who won the medals for India in the various international games.
Colonel Devine Jones: The ” Fist of Fury ”
He was a boxer He studied at the Christ Church Boys’ Secondary School at Jabalpur and then went in to join the Indian Army He was the FIRST ever boxer in the annals of the Indian boxing to represent India in the Olympics in 1948 He had lost in the first round in that Olympics He left Boxing to start a new chapter as a Coach of Boxing.
The first success that he tasted was in the year 1951 when Padam Bahadur Mall won the Gold for India in the 1951 Asian games that were held at New Delhi. That was the start.
He took a BOLD step by introducing the Boxing as ONE of its sports in the Army The result was the Indian defence Boxing team won the national boxing titles for 21 times in succession From 1960 to the time he retired from the service of the Indian Army he produced boxers like Munnuswany Venu, Chandra Narayan, Hawa Singh, Mehtab Singh, Mool Singh, Bhagwan Singh, Kaur Singh and these boxers went to win medals after medals in the international boxing meet.
The hallmark was that of Munnuswamy Venu who made it to the quarters of the 1972 Olympics this becoming the first ever boxer from India to make it to the last eight of the Olympic boxing in the history of Olympics for India.
He was responsible for conducting the World Boxing Championship at India in 1990 and one saw Zoramthanga winning a Bronze medal to become the first Indian boxer to win a medal in the World championship He laid such a field to plough it thereafter that the Indian boxing contingent started getting all the respect and won many medals for India in the boxing history that a country like India could have ever imagined.
INTRICACIES OF THESE COACHES & IT’S GREATNESS
Just imagine a field- all barren Just imagine a field where the rainwater hardly meets it Just imagine the land of Hiroshima and Nagasaki after it was bombarded with atom bomb Just imagine the best of the agricultural scientist telling the Japanese Government that neither in the history again the agricultural field of Nagasaki and Hiroshima would ever see any blades of grass or vegetation on it and just imagine the happiness of the Japanese when they saw the maize being ploughed at the field of Nagasaki and Hiroshima Just imagine their happiness when they saw it and just imagine how the harvesters could have done that.
At a time when nobody ever gave any importance to the games and sports and even the Government was not spending any voluptuous amount of money into the games to produce champion and medallions for the nation and with the annual budget then providing only 1.5% of its outlay in and for its national budget for Women Development and Education, which also included sports, and only one dollars per day ie Rupees Ten only then, as out of the pocket expenses it was a herculean task for anybody to take sports and make a career out of it on a national level With these kinds of barricades and the bed that was filled and full of deadly poisonous thorns, these coaches went on with a sole purpose to produce talents and turn them into champions and that was something which the people world over appreciated these five Indian coaches mentioned here.
The same theory applies here as well With nothing at their hand , getting no aids from any quarters , having nothing to fend them for anything these coaches mentioned here laid a field for ploughing them and for those to plough it after them to produce galaxies and arrays of the Indian sportsman and sportswoman in these arena of games or the sports who produced not only wonders but produced those champions who won the medals for their country with contempt of ease and elan.
Imagine for yourself Just imagine yourself eating a mango while travelling on the train After you have finished eating it you simply throw that Mango kernel out of the window in a moving train With no proper plantation and transplantation, with nobody to mature it and put water into that kernel and with nobody to take care about that and of that kernel, you find all of a sudden that kernel transplanting itself into a mango tree and yielding fruits very sweet and tasty to produce mangoes after mangles, the ” king “ of fruits How would it would be That is how it was with these coaches who produced those ” king ” of Indian sports in the discipline that I have mentioned here That was the GREATNESS of these coaches We later had Mr Amal Dutta the football coach doing the same, and he should be awarded the Dhronacharya Award, but who listens?
These are the five games where India has won the medals at the Olympics of course football and Athletics did not win but reaching the semis of the 1956 Olympics is itself is no mean a success and helping the Sri-Lankans to win TWO medals in the world Athletics Championship and the Olympics thereafter simply demonstrates the greatness and the intelligence of the Indian coaches.
These “ HI-FI “ are the ones who have completely turned and have produced a sort of hysteria, and they built the castle of the Indian sports and games through their scientific coaching and their contribution wholly brought into the forefront – the Indian sports to be respected and admired in the international arena.
THEY ARE THE “PAANCH-PANDAV“ OF INDIAN SPORTS
That is the GREATNESS of these Indian coaches, and today nobody remembers them. That lies the FALLACIES of everything.
Today is the day when HOMAGES are paid to the late Mr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee His father the late Maharishi Dr Aushutosh Mukherjee was the one who has a long history of his connection not only with football but also producing a WORLD LEADER like Netaji Subash Chandra Bose. It may be recalled here that Mr Ashutosh Mukherjee was not only the one who transformed the East Bengal football club after it was formed but played a long time in establishing football for the University in India and the Trophy Ashutosh Mukherjee Football Championship was the supremacy for football for the University and its football in India.
He made what football was and is all about in Bengal when it boils down to the history of Bengal and it’s football and produced a son who formed a party which now has become the BJP which is the largest and the most influential party by every way and by every mean not only in India but in the universe.
On this day when I write those piece, I dedicate this piece of my article the 21st in number to the late Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, the founder of Bhartiya Jansangh which is now the Bhartiya Janata Party.