It was around 1905. At that time, there were kings and emperors. There were arenas. One heavy wrestler used to be punished. There used to be wrestling matches. When a wrestler of 7 feet used to rub oil on his body and enter the arena, he used to put on his nappy. He used to bow down and lift the earth and shake his hand. And by tapping his thigh with his hand, he used to bow. He was currently used to running in the body of the people sitting outside the arena.
Rustam-e-Hind Rahim Baksh, Ghulam Mohiuddin of Datia, Pratab Singh of Bhopal, Ali Babasen of Indore, Hasan Baksh of Multan. These were the most famous and powerful wrestlers of that era—tall, strong wrestlers.
Then another wrestler came. As an exception. From Datia District of Madhya Pradesh. of short height. Just 5 feet 7 inches. A child of a family of wrestlers. But he was not of Laappuzhanna type. Body hardened. Such power in their arms that he crushed all these dangerous wrestlers one by one. There was an uproar. He was only one piece like himself. Whoever lifts and slams a wrestler one and a half feet taller than himself, then, in fact, the bone ribs and teeth were shattered like eighty-four.
He was a boy from Punjab. Gharana of wrestlers of Datia district of Madhya Pradesh. In Dular, the household and the villagers used to call ‘Gama.’ The outside name was Ghulam Mohammad Baksh. My Brother was Imam Baksh. Papa Mohammad Aziz Baksh was also a wrestler. Uncle-Mama-Tau used to do everything. Wrestling came in both blood and upbringing. Papa taught him to do penal meetings in childhood. Both the brothers used to wrestle with the famous wrestler Madho Singh of Punjab in their youth. Learned the tricks of the game.
When Gama Pehlwan turned 5 years old, his father died. At that time, Bhawani Singh was the king of Datia. He knew Gama’s father very well. He took the responsibility of further training Gama and his brother. At that time, there used to be wrestling in the courts of kings. Wrestling was a means of entertainment for the people.
Along with this, people also understood the benefits of exercise, yoga, etc. The kings had their wrestlers. The kings used to bear the expenses of their food, living, and training. The king of Datia wanted to make Gama a wrestler in his court.
Gama Pehalwan focused a lot on his training in Datia. He used to do 5000 punishments and 3000 push-ups in a day. Now, after so much exercise, we should eat the whole man. Gama also used to eat six-country chickens at a time. For agility and brainpower, he used to drink 10 liters of milk and half a kilo of ghee—Almond tonic from above.
Gama fought professional wrestling for a total of 50 years. But his record is that he did not lose even once. Made his mark around the world. Beat wrestlers around the world. Not once. For the umpteenth time. But he remained undefeated till his death.
Defeated more than 400 wrestlers in the first wrestling
Workout and wrestling were in the blood. The total deposit would have been 10 years old. The king of Jodhpur was getting a competition done. ‘The Most Powerful Man.’ Something similar. Like nowadays there are competitions like Mr. India or Man-hunt. Everyone had to show their strength in this. The one who lost after every match would be out. More than 400 wrestlers came from all over the country. All were much older than Gama Pehlwan in age, height, and experience. I had to do a challenging workout one by one. There were knock-out rounds. The wrestler who could not do that exercise or posture would have been out—the top 15 left in the end. Gama Pehlwan was also in those top 15. He was very impressed by Raja Gama of Jodhpur. 10-year-old child. Comes among so many big wrestlers. And gets engulfed in the whole competition. The king declared Gama, the winner. After this competition, people all over the country started knowing about Gama Pehlwan.
Three matches and Rustom-e-Hind
After the competition showed his strength in Jodhpur, Gama continued to focus on his training for a long time. When he was 19 years old, at that time, there was ‘Rustom-e-Hind’ of the wrestler, wrestler Rahim Baksh Sultaniwala. Kashmiri’ Butt’ living in Gujranwala, Punjab. His height was 2 feet more than Gama’s.
Height is being mentioned repeatedly because it becomes beneficial to have more size in wrestling or sports. The player gets a plus point over his opponent.
Yes, Gama’s training was going on in Datia. He challenged ‘Rustom-e-Hind.’ Rustom-e-Hind Rahim Baksh was now in the very last phase of his career. Gamma was much younger and more agile than him. But Rahim had the advantage of being more in height. There were a total of 3 wrestling matches between Gama and Rahim Baksh.
First match: Historic match
When Gama challenged Rahim Baksh at 19, people thought Gama had gone mad. Rahim Baksh will trounce Gama. Some people were saying that Rahim Baksh is old now. This new guy will beat him comfortably. The match started. One after the other, the bets started being played. Hold here, slam there. The fight went on for several hours. No one was winning, and no one was losing. After several hours, they got crushed when both the wrestlers were fighting. This match was declared a draw.
Gama could not win, but getting the match drawn with Rustam-e-Hind was no small matter. He became a star overnight. This match was one of the few historic matches in wrestling history.
The second time Gama came with a lot of preparation. As soon as he entered the arena, he started playing aggressive bets. During the wrestling, Gama’s nose started bleeding. They also cut off one of his ears. But this time, he only came to win. And won. Rahim Gama defeated Rustam-e-Hind.
Last match: Rustom-e-Hind
This match was for the title of Rustom-e-Hind. The year was 1911. This match went on for hours in Allahabad. Rahim had to retain the title of Rustom-e-Hind. Gama had to win that title. By then, Gamma had become a massive name in the whole world. A wrestler who did not lose a single match. The match started. Like last time, this time Gamma was very aggressive. When he slammed Rahim in the soil while playing a stake. Rahim started shouting. The organizers reached the arena. Rahim was shouting that his rib was broken. He couldn’t even move. Doctors were also present there. He investigated. No rib bone was broken. But Rahim could not bear the pain. Because of this, he couldn’t right now. In such a situation, Gama Pehalwan was accepted as the winner, and he got the title of Rustam-e-Hind. Gama did not let his ‘never lose’ record break even in this match.
In an interview, Gama was asked who had been the most formidable opponent. Gama mentioned Rahim Baksh. Said,
“In our game, a player bigger and more capable than himself is considered a guru. I beat him twice, of course, but after both, the matches did not forget to dust his feet with my forehead.
Western Wrestling and the ‘John Bull Belt’: When the World Champion Wrestler’s breath was blown away by Gama’s fear
From 1898 to 1907, Gama Pehalwan defeated all the wrestlers of India at least once. Now he wanted to go to London and challenge the wrestlers there. He tried to fight the wrestlers of the West. So in 1910, Gama reached London with his brother. Heavyweight Championship. But after going there, a matter got stuck. There were specific rules for participating in wrestling. According to which Gamma’s height and weight were less than the required height and weight to experience. Gama lost her mind on this matter. He had not come this far because he did not get a chance to fight wrestling.
He gave an open challenge to all the wrestlers of Western Wrestling. He said that he would wrestle with three wrestlers together. And will throw all three wrestlers out of the ring in just 30 minutes, even if that wrestler is too heavy. He will defeat all three together.
London wrestlers did not pay any attention to Gama’s challenge. Didn’t even take his words seriously. No one came to compete with Gama for wrestling. Then Gama tried to entice those wrestlers. If any wrestler in London defeats him, he will give that wrestler 5 pounds from his pocket. And will go back to India quietly. Still, no one was ready to wrestle with him.
Then Gama Pehlwan thought nothing would happen by speaking in such air. He challenged them by naming the biggest wrestlers of that time, Stanislas Jabisco and Frank Gotch. But first of all, his challenge was accepted by Benjamin Roller of America. The match started. It was only 1 minute 40 seconds.
The roller was lying on all fours. This match lasted for about 9 minutes and 10 seconds. In the end, Gama slammed the roller. And won the match. Then the next day, Gama defeated a total of 12 wrestlers. Now the Western Wrestler Tournament people were calling him in their tournament with folded hands. That ‘exception wrestler’ defeated 15 wrestlers in two days to take his place in the tournament.
Then Stanislas Jabisco accepted Gamma’s challenge. This was going to be a big fight. Neither the people of London nor the wrestlers there had ever seen such a brash Indian wrestler. The date of the match turned out to be 10 September 1910. Considering the weight of this match, the prize was also increased. Now the winner was going to get the ‘John Bull Belt’ along with 250 pounds, and getting this belt meant becoming a world champion.
Match started. The weight of Jubisco was too much. But in just one minute, Gama lifted Jabisco and threw him down so that he could not get up for a long time. When he did not get up for a long time, the match was considered a draw.
But someone had to get the belt. So the match had to be replayed. The next match was to be held exactly a week later. On 17 September 1910, when Gama reached the arena for the match, he saw that Jabisco did not even come. He must have felt insulted just thinking of losing to Gama. And having fainted from the last match, he must have understood that it was impossible to win for a long time when Jubisco did not come. Gamma was accepted as the winner. He got the ‘John Bull Belt.’ Now Gamma had become ‘Rustom-e-Zamana.’ which Means world champion.
Vault of Gama Pehalwan and Maithilisharan Gupta
Maithili Sharan Gupta’s in-laws were in Datia. And Gama lived in Datia. A terrible plague broke out in 1901-02. Till that time, Maithilisharan Gupta lived with his family in Chirgaon near Jhansi. When the epidemic started spreading in the areas around them. The entire secret family came to Datia after loading all the goods in a bullock cart. He had an iron safe with him. Too heavy. Together, 8 people had crowded that vault on the bullock cart. Somehow they reached Datia. Gama Pehalwan was supposed to visit Maithilisharan Gupta’s in-law’s house. When the bullock carts arrived, Gama was there. Many people came forward to take down the safe. But Gama single-handedly picked up that heavy safe and kept it in place. Like it’s a cardboard box. What a big deal it must have been for a man who lifts and slams 300 kg wrestlers.
Gama Pehalwan, alias Ghulam Mohammad retired from this sport in 1952 after fighting wrestling for a full fifty years. After that, he did not challenge anyone. During the partition of India-Pakistan in 1947, Gama Pehalwan went to Pakistan.
But the last days were spent very hard. I had to live in a hut on the banks of river Ravi. One after the other, diseases started happening. He had to sell his gold and silver trophies for treatment.
When the Government of India came to know about this, it was said that. The government was ready to send money for Gama’s treatment and accommodation. The Raja of Patiala and the Birla Group also discussed sending money to help Gama. But by then, Gamma’s condition had worsened.
Gama Pehalwan alias Ghulam Mohammad Wald Mohammad Aziz Baksh died in Lahore on 22 May 1960, battling poverty and disease.
small but big things
Gama Pehalwan’s training routine is a research topic in itself. Bruce Lee was a big fan of Gama. He made his routine according to Gama’s training routine. Gama taught Bruce Lee some postures of punishment sitting and yoga. Whom Bruce Lee followed for the rest of his life.
We lifted 8-8 kgs in the gym for a week, and our backs got stiff. When Gama Pehalwan used to impose punishment, he used to put a weight disc around his neck. The weight of that weight disc is 95 kg. And wearing this disc, he used to do 5000 penalty meetings.
In 1902, Gama Pehalwan went to Vadodara for some wrestling. There he picked up a stone, and people were shocked. Why? Because the weight of that stone was more than 1200 kg. Not a machine, but a man of flesh and blood had lifted it. Now that stone is kept in the museum of Vadodara. It is inscribed on that stone, ‘This stone was raised by Ghulam Mohammad on 23 December 1902.’
Gama’s great-granddaughter is Kulsoom Sharif. Who is the wife of Nawaz Sharif, the twelfth prime minister of Pakistan?
A video game character has been made on the surface of Gama Pehalwan. Darun Mr. Which comes in the series of Street Fighter EX video games. He is also mighty like Gamma.