India mourns passing of legend Dara Singh

Final funeral rites of the famed wrestler turned actor and former lawmaker takes place in Mumbai.

    India mourns passing of legend Dara Singh
    Singh was best known for playing the role of Hanuman in the television adaptation of the Hindu epic Ramayan [EPA]

    The mortal remains of legendary Indian wrestler, actor and former lawmaker Dara Singh has been consigned to flames in the presence of his relatives, friends and other well-wishers in Mumbai.

    The last rites were performed by Singh's son Vindu Dara Singh at the Vile Parle cemetery in Mumbai on Thursday.

    Singh best known for his role as Hanuman in the television series 'Ramayan', passed away early morning on Thursday
    July 12 in Mumbai. He was 84 years old.

    He had been battling for life in a Mumbai hospital for several days following a cardiac arrest.

    The life support system was removed and he was taken home late on July 11 after doctors said there was no hope of his recovery.

    The relatives grieved the death of the Indian wrestler and prayed for the peace of the departed soul.

    A teary eyed grandson of Dara Singh, Vijay Singh said he was proud to be related to the Indian wrestler.

    "Dara Singh came from a very small village in Amritsar and became successful in Mumbai. My grandfather has earned
    laurels in the world and I feel proud to be born as the grandson of Dara Singh," Vijay said.

    Singh, born in 1928 in Dharmoochak village in northern Punjab state, was trained in an Indian style of wrestling
    called Pehlwani.

    He is survived by his wife and six children - three sons and three daughters. One of his sons, Vindu Dara Singh, is
    a known name in showbiz.


    Paying homage to Singh, his colleagues and friends from the regional Punjabi cinema remembered him as a down -to -earth and friendly human being contrary to his physical built.

    Singh wowed audiences with his impressive physique [Credit: Official website]

    "He was a down to earth human being.

    When a person met him for the first time he used to get scared of his personality. People used to get nervous by sitting beside him but his approach and the way of talking was so friendly and informal that a person used to forget that he is interacting with such a great personality like Dara Singh," Jaswinder Singh Cheema, a film studio owner, said.

    During a successful wrestling career in the 1950s and 60s, he won the world wrestling championship in 1960.

    Singh went to Singapore in 1947, where he began with his wrestling career and toured almost all the far-east countries as a professional wrestler.

    Singh also competed against some of the greatest wrestlers like King Kong of Australia, George Gordienko of Canada and John Desilva of New Zealand.

    Apart from wrestling in tournaments, he also wrestled at fairs and carnivals at the requests of kings of Indian
    princely states.

    Singh often starred as the bare-chested superhero in Bollywood films, impressing audiences with his physique.

    Dara Singh, who has over 500 professional fights to his credit, played the role of Hanuman in the television
    adaptation of the Hindu epic Ramayan. He also worked in some television serial shows. He had acted in over 100 films.

    His last Bollywood role was in the 2007 film "Jab We Met" and his latest Punjabi movie was Dil Apna Punjabi.

    Besides acting, he had also produced and directed Punjabi films. 

    Singh had been nominated to the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Indian parliament, from 2003 to 2009.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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