India is a very strange country where goddess are worshipped and daughters are abandoned.While sons are well cherished in the society as they are expected to look after the aging parents it is basically done by the daughter in laws which themselves are never treated equal to their husbands. Leave equal they are hardly treated well by the in laws! Our’s a very man made society and that is why it sounds really strange and welcoming too at the same time when we hear a story where A dad, A husband and A man leaves everything including his job to raise his kids that too daughters. Yes not to teach them to be a wife or at the max someone like a doctor which is considered as one of the best suited job to our daughters but to be someone rough,tough,cruel and ruthless. Yes, He left everything to make his daughters some world class wrestlers! Wrestling is considered as an odd option where marriages are the only options for pretty girls. Isn’t it something really unique when beauty weighed less than the biceps on a girl? And you know while the freedom and space are boasted by the educated people in cities this story comes straight from a small village in Haryana which still tops the chart for female foeticide. Phew! Everything is unique,strange and inspiring and gives you goosebumps while watching Dangal not because it’s an Aamir Khan movie but because it’s a real life story of ‘Mahavir Singh Phogat’. Dangal is going to be a movie which will inspire generations! And here is the real life story of ‘Mahavir Singh Phogat’.
Dangal the movie
The story of wrestling sisters of Balali village of Bhiwani village is picturised in this movie where Aamir Khan plays the protagonist who chose to become the wrestling coach of his own daughters and defies all the odds to make his daughter world wrestling champions. The struggle and determinations of Mahavir Singh Phogat who eventually succeed in pursuing his impossible dreams despite the inhibitions from society is the beauty of this movie.
It’s so different and I feel better than Salman starrer Sultan (either way I have waited two years for a Aamir Khan release) which was also a wrestling movie. So many women organisations had problems with Sultan where Anushka leaves the olympics because of her pregnancy and to support Sultan. Sultan was all about the massive stardom that Salman projects basically. But Dangal is a story which highlight Geeta and Babita story with Aamir in the background who basically plays stay at home dad to support his girls to rise as world champions.
Mahavir Singh Phogat
So this Balali village lad Mahavir who himself was a mercenary wrestler fathered four daughters Rita,Babita, Ritu and Sangeeta and also looked after two of his nieces Vinesh and Priyanka after his brother was murdered in a land dispute.They all share numerous medals between them along with many first women wrestling medals India has ever received. They were not only the first women in the village to take up wrestling but they also set many milestones to inspire many Indian girls for generations. Mahavir left his Haryana state electricity board job to train and coach his daughters by himself as there was hardly any wrestling centres to allow women for wrestling practices.
The story to create legends
Mahavir himself was trained under Padma Shri winning wrestler Chandgi Ram at the age of 16 when he came to Delhi. He also fought and won may Dangals in different villages of Punjab, HP, Rajasthan and UP. He said in an interview
“Masterji used to tell me, what you are doing for your girls, you will see one day that it will bring you great happiness. So keep doing it, don’t be scared, face your difficulties like you face opponents, and be deaf to the criticism.”
In 2014 Geeta and Babita revealed on Aamir Khan’s hit show Satyamev Jayate that how much effort their father has taken to teach them wrestling. In 2000 when Indian weight lifter Karnam Malleswari became the first Indian woman to win Olympic medals then Phogat said to them
” When she can win a medal in the Olympics why can’t you can?”
He made a makeshift Akhada for his girls beside his house and asked them to train with boys as there were no girls to train around.
“I thought my girls can lead the country in women’s wrestling if I train them properly. So I taught them all the tricks that I knew and then took them to local Dangals. But they were not allowed to fight and I was warned to not bring my girls to the Dangals, which the villagers said were fiefdom of boys,”
Mahavir told The Times of India in 2015. Later, he took Geeta and Babita to the Sports Authority of India centre in Sonipat for further training.
The rest is history
Geeta said in Satyamev Jayate
“He would scold us too. We often think that if we had a coach like our father we would have never gone back. We would have come home.If we lost to the boys in a race or fell weak before them , our father would hit us too.”
Mahavir never for once compromised on the quality and integrity a wrestler should have. He would always be extremely tough and strict on his students including his own daughters who are now world class wrestlers. They giggle
” Whenever we will won a tournament papa will say fine. Not bad. Now you can rest.”
In 2010, the eldest of the Phogat siblings, Geeta, won India’s first-ever gold medal in women’s wrestling in the 55 kg freestyle category at the Commonwealth Games. She followed it up with a bronze at the 2012 World Championship, another first for Indian women, and became the first-ever Indian woman to qualify for the Olympics in 2012. Her success was emulated by her other sisters, with Babita winning the silver at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and gold in the same competition four years later. Vinesh won a gold a the 2014 Commonwealth Games and a bronze at the 2015 Asian Wrestling Championships.
The rest is history.
The stardom today
Amir Khan attended Geeta Phogat Wedding to Pawan Kumar yesterday on 21st of december 2016 and gifted her dry fruits, sweets,dresses and shaguns in envelopes. Though he wanted to gift the bridal dress to Geeta as her Wedding gift but couldn’t as traditions are that the bride’s mama gifts the bridal joda to the bride. But at the end whatever it is today is the initiative and imagination of a super dad that a superstar chose to bless his daughters as his own.
I wish every Indian father try to make a woman first out of her daughter before a princess and teach her to fight her own battles than to lean upon some one’s else shoulder.
Mahavir Singh Phogat is just not a father today but also a vision for us and we so wish that every father be like him.
And if you want to read more on inspiring people and celebrities here are the links
if you haven’t watched this Aamir Khan Fit to Fat video then here it is