Way before Salman Khan popularised the image of the muscular man, Dara Singh was India's man of steel. Brawny, and standing over 6 feet tall this man was the archetypical pehlwan and more. To many Indians he was Hanuman in the Ramayan television series, he was a wrestler who brought glory for his country, and above all, he was a good human being.
Today, he has left us.
Wrestler-turned-actor Dara Singh, who had been battling for his life in a Mumbai hospital since the last four days, was shifted back home last night after doctors said he has “less chance of recovery” due to significant damage to his brain. He passed away this morning.
The 84-year-actor was admitted to Kokilaben Hospital in a critical condition on 7 July. He had suffered a cardiac arrest and was in the ICU since then.
The Commonwealth wrestling champion entered the film industry in the fifties and is known for his roles in King Kong and Faulad. He was last seen in Imtiaz Ali’s Jab We Met (2007) playing Kareena Kapoor’s grandfather.
The veteran actor was however, best known for his portrayal of Hanuman in Ramanand Sagar’s epic television series Ramayan.
The quintessential Punjab da puttar also patronized Indian styled wrestling and represented India in various wrestling championships and won many accolades for the country. He was also nominated member of Rajya Sabha by the Bhartiya Janata Party and served between 2003 and 2009.
Actor Dharmendra, who visited Dara Singh two days back, had asked people to pray for his recovery.
“He is my darling brother. Let’s pray for him. Doctors are trying their best. Please pray for him,” Dharmendra told reporters after his visit.
The demise of Dara Singh is a great loss to the film industry. Much loved, he was the brother of all.