Kaur Singh from Punjab is the only Indian who met Muhammad Ali in the ring. So he should be one person that we all should remember right?. But how many of us know about him. This post just introduces him to you and reminds you how bad a nation we are when it comes to respecting and remembering our heroes.
When Muhammad Ali came to India in 1980 , Rajiv Gandhi asked him to showcase his talent here in India.
Kaur Singh was selected to fight against Ali from India.Singh was dumbstruck. At the same time, he was scared that Ali may hit him hard. “But Ali was a good man and fought with me in a friendly manner,” Singh said.
Ali didn’t hit me hard. He was a good man
Kaur was not an amateur boxer at that time. He was a professional boxer when he met Ali in the ring
He was a subedar in the Indian Army and was also the heavy weight champion of India at the time when Ali was here .
He was also a gold medalist in Asian games held in 1982 in boxing and that shows he was not just any other boxer. He also qualified for the 1984 olympics in Los Angeles
Recipient of Arjuna and Padma Shri Awards
Kaur singh was also bestowed with the Arjuna and padma shri awards by the Govt of India for his achievements and his contribution to the sport
Despite all this how many of us know about him. He is currently a farmer in Punjab going about his chores like any other person .
After conferring Arjuna award, the government had promised to give him a cash award of Rs 1 lakh, which he has not received so far.
Disgusted with government’s apathy, Kaur Singh discouraged his children from making a career in sports. He did not want them to suffer the way he did.
At present, Kaur takes cattle to plough his farm every morning. With his name forgotten and his medals gathering rust, Kaur Singh does not have much to own except the memories of his days as a boxing champion.
If this is the way we treat our heroes and our sports men do you think India will ever have a vibrant sporting culture. This is one of the reasons we are not producing world class athletes here in India.
What do you think. Please put in your thoughts as comments below and share this story so that people know about Kaur singh. He deserves to be known.