Thursday, October 5

Tribute To The Flying Sikh: Milkha Singh

Making a special place in the heart of millions of people Padamshree Milkha Singh died in 18th June. The reason of his death was Coronavirus . Milkha Singh and his wife Nirmal Kaur both died due to this virus. Meanwhile Milkha Singh had recovered  from that but the side effect of the virus took away his life. He is commonly known as ‘The flying Sikh’.

Milkha Singh


He was born on 20 November 1929 in a Sikh family of Rathore Rajput origin in Govindpura (a village 10 kilo metre away from Muzaffargarh city in Punjab Province, British India, now in Pakistan).


 In 1956, Milkha Singh represented India in the 200m and 400m competitions of the Melbourne Olympic Games. In 1958, he sets records for the 200m and 400m  in the national games in the India. He also won gold medals in the Asian games. He then won a gold medal in the 400m competition at the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games with a time of 46.6 seconds. This achievement made him the first gold medallist at the Commonwealth Games from Independent India

In 1960 , he was decoded by Jawaharlal Nehru to set aside his memories of the Partition era to race successfully against Abdul Khaliq in Pakistan. After then a post-race comment by General Ayub Khan led to him acquiring the nickname of ‘The Flying Sikh’.

 According to sources, he has registered 7 Gold medals  and one silver medal in his name. He has been honoured by Padmashree  by the President of India in 1959.


His death has dealt a great blow to the nation. When his dead body was taking to graveyard, in despite of corona, millions of people gathered to see him. After  giving  the guard of Honour of Punjab police, Chandigarh Police and CRPF, his son Jeev Milkha Singh lit the fire. He said “ I did not even dream that within five days I lost my parents. I was thinking that they defeated the corona. Dad had even defeated corona but the side effects of corona killed him. I cannot describe my feelings in word but still I am comforting my heart that corona still, did not separate my parents. That’s why my family kept the picture of my mom in his hand.”

Paramjeet, who broke Milkha Singh’s 400 meter record said “as I am the first athlete who broke the record of 400m in 45.73 second so he gave me a prize of one lakh.”

His friend at the Rome Olympics 1960 and Tokyo Olympics 1964,  hurdles runner Gurbachan Singh Randhwa was one of the few surviving athletes who saw Milkha Singh’s 400 meter run. He said “ I was there and the entire Indian Contingent hoped that history would be made in Rome. Everyone was waiting for that race with bated breath. He was in great performance and his timing was equal with the giants of the world at that time. It was difficult for Gold and Silver but everyone was sure about Bronze medal. He was able for this.  He finished that race in 45.6 seconds and missed out on Malcolm Spence of South Africa by 0.1 second. Then he won the Gold in Commonwealth Games in 1958 by defeating the same opponent. Milkha regretted this mistake throughout his life.”

Farhan Akhtar who played his role in movie “Bhag Milkha Bhag” shared a picture and wrote a emotional note-  Dear Milkha ji, my one  part is not accepting that  you are no more. It may be that stubborn side I inherited from you. The truth is that you will always be alive.”

Besides Farhan Akhtar, Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli , Saurav Ganguli, Boxer Mary kom paid tribute to him and wrote about him.

His son Golfer Jeev Milkha Singh is keeping his legacy a flying sikh Padamshree Milkha Singh alive.

Central  sports minister Kiren Rijiju paid tribute to Milkha Singh in Chandigarh with  the behalf of Prime minister Narendra Modi. He said that Milkha Singh achieved success after hard work and his struggle that’s why he will be the inspiration of millions of youth. I met him some time ago and he told me about his dream. He wanted that some one won the medals in Olympics from India. I made him trust that we will fulfill your dream. We will prepare such players in the country who will fulfill his dream.


A pedestal will be set up  in Sports University in Patiyala on the name of Milkha Singh. Caption Amarinder Singh, the Chief Minister in Punjab said that university took a decision to set a pedestal of Milkha Singh so that coming generation will know about the great personality like Milkha Singh.

Along with great athlete, Milkha Singh was a great person. He struggled a lot in his life. He is critical to the young athletes who want to reach the top position via short cut. All medals and trophies won by Milkha Singh, including his running shoes and uniforms have been donated by him to the National Sports Museum at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi.

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