RUSTAM e HIND Dara Singh Dulchipuria has died.

A known wrestler of yesteryears, he should not be confused with film and TV star Dara Singh of Dharamchak. A sudden slip ‘once crippled his backbone and confined him to bed. Diabetes also attacked. Paralysis finally knocked him down. He was 66.

Besides their name, the two Dara Singh’s had many similarities. Both belonged to Amritsar district. Both began wrestling freestyle in Malaysia. Both beat Hun Gary’s King Kong and other established wrestlers in freestyle. Both remained undefeated.

Dulchipuria was 6’10”, Dharamchakia is 6’2”. The former considered the latter his “chela”’, but the latter did not regard him as his guru.

‘The Dulchipuria Dara also dabbled in films. He acted in “Samson” and “Khoon Da Badla Khoon.” However, unhappy with the unhealthy Bombay film atmosphere, he quit and returned to his village.

Born in 1922, Dara Singh of Dulchipur, near Tarn Taran, never entered school. His lower middle class family could not afford it. His father, Piara Singh, sent him to Malaysia where his strong physique secured him a police job. But his mind was elsewhere — on wrestling.

Dara Singh had to return home as his brother, Dalip Singh, was murdered. In retaliation, he killed his brother’s killer. He was sentenced to death by the State High Court, but the Supreme Court changed it to life term on March 26, 1951. He was kept in Feroze pore jail.

In 1955 Khruschey visited India. Along with Nehru, Khruschev witnessed a wrestling bout at Bhathga on village, near Sonepat, where Dara Singh “Jailor”, as he was called then, floored noted wrestler “Atom Bomb” within seconds. The audience shouted for Dara’s release from jail. Khruschey intervened, and through Nehru, got Dara freed on December 12, 1955.

‘The next year Dara Singh won the RustameHind title at Lucknow.

‘The later years of Dara Singh were financially and physically painful. The Giani Zail Singh Government sanctioned him a pension in 1976. But the successor Government stopped it. His only son could not carry life’s heavy burden.

Poverty and disease defeated the man, who otherwise remained undefeated. His life is a sad comment on our uncaring society which neglects the old age of a man whose youth it had enjoyed.

Article extracted from this publication >> August 12, 1988