Gama Pehalwan, the legendary Indian wrestler, is still remembered in sports history.
His extraordinary power, unrivaled talents, and steadfast dedication to the sport garnered him worldwide renown and admiration.
However, Gama Pehalwan's narrative is not only one of triumph and glory but also one of mystery when it comes to his untimely demise.
In this article, we will look at Gama Pehalwan's life and career, as well as the mystery surrounding his death.
Who Is Gama Pehalwan?
Ghulam Mohammad Baksh also known as Rustam-e-Hind[a] and The Great Gama, was a pehlwani wrestler and strongman in British India.
He was British India's unbeaten wrestling champion in the early twentieth century.
He was born in 1878 in Jabbowal hamlet (Amritsar District) in British India's Punjab Province and was given a version of the World Heavyweight Championship on October 15, 1910.
He is regarded as one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, having gone undefeated in a career lasting more than 52 years.
Gama emigrated to Pakistan after India's partition, where he died on May 23, 1960, in the city of Lahore.
How Did Gama Pehalwan Die?
After India's partition, wrestler Gama relocated to Lahore, Pakistan. Following that, he struggled to make a living/make money.
He was neglected and had a sibling named Iman Baksh. Gama has two marriages.
His wife's name was Wazeer Begum. Gulam Mohammad has nine children with her, five sons and four daughters.
They all died at a young age. Gama Pehelwan's height and weight were 5 feet 7 inches and 110 kg, respectively. His chest measurements were 46′′, waist 34′′, and biceps 22′′.
Gama had asthma and heart trouble after retiring from wrestling. Gama experienced numerous financial limitations in the latter moments of his life.
His financial situation deteriorated to the point where he had to sell his medals. Gama passed away on May 23, 1960, at the age of 82.
Gama struggled to pay for his therapy in his final days. GD Birla, an entrepreneur and wrestling lover, gave INR 2000 as well as a monthly pension of INR 300. Pakistan's government also covered his medical expenses until his death.
How Did Gama Pehalwan Rise to Fame?
In 1888, Gulam Mohammed began wrestling at the age of ten. It was a strongman tournament in Jodhpur that included numerous difficult activities.
There were about 500 wrestlers who competed, and Gama finished in the top 15.
Because of his youth, the Maharaja of Jodhpur named him the winner. Later, the Maharaja of Datia put him through instruction.
Gama used to squat with a 95 kg doughnut-shaped disc, which is now on exhibit at Patiala's National Institute of Sports (NIS) Museum.
When he was 17, The Great Gama burst onto the scene. He challenged then-Indian Wrestling Champion Raheem Bakhsh Sultani Wala of Pakistan at that age.
Their wrestling match finished in a tie. It proved to be a watershed moment in Gama's career.
On October 15, 1910, he won a version of the World Heavyweight Championship.
Except for Raheem Bakhsh, he had defeated every Indian wrestler by 1910. Later on, he moved his focus to the global stage.
Bruce Lee, the world-renowned martial artist, was one of his ardent supporters.
Nawaz Sharif's wife is Gama Pahalwan's granddaughter, Kalsoom Nawaz. Saira Bano, another grandchild, is the wife of Jhara Pahalwan.