Flying Sikh aka Milkha Singh no more between us
Legendary sprinter Milkha Singh, who earned him the title of ‘The Flying Sikh’ for his athletic success on the world stage, died late Friday at the age of 91. As India woke up on Saturday with a gloomy, sad mood, people across the country mourned the Olympic racer's demise and paid their own tributes. Remembering Milkha Singh, India's largest public broadcasting agency Prasar Bharati went back to its archives, a treasure trove of memories, and created its own retro-tribute on the Internet - a multi-part radio autobiography that Singh wrote for the agency was recorded for. Public broadcasting agency Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Shashi Shekhar remembered Milkha Singh on his official Twitter handle on this day and shared a multi-part radio autobiography. He tweeted, “Saddened by the demise of legendary Indian athlete Milkha Singh. The flying Sikh was kind enough to record a multi-part Radio Autobiography with @AkashvaniAIR sharing his life story.” Singh's voice echoes on the radio as he begins his story in front of an eager audience. He said, “I'm happy that you've come here to Chandigarh to take my interview...” The autobiography titled ‘The Flying Sikh’ has been divided into three parts and uploaded on the official channel of Prasar Bharati Archives on YouTube. In radio interviews, Singh describes his career as a former track and field runner, recalling his experiences at the Asian Games, the '56 Melbourne Summer Olympics, the '60 Summer Olympics in Rome, and the '64 Tokyo Olympics among others. Milkha Singh, admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Chandigarh's PGIMER Hospital, lost a month-long battle with the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) on Friday. In life, the great athlete never shies away from a challenge, his legacy lives on in the hearts of millions of Indians.
Narendra Modi tweeted, “I had spoken to Shri Milkha Singh Ji just a few days ago. Little did I know that it would be our last conversation. Several budding athletes will derive strength from his life journey. My condolences to his family and many admirers all over the world.” He added, “In the passing away of Shri Milkha Singh Ji, we have lost a colossal sportsperson, who captured the nation’s imagination and had a special place in the hearts of countless Indians. His inspiring personality endeared himself to millions. Anguished by his passing away.” Neerja Chopra, Olympic-bound star javelin throwers tweeted, “We lost a Gem. He will always remain as an inspiration for every Indian. May his soul Rest in peace.” Sachin Tendulkar wrote, “Rest in Peace our very own ‘Flying Sikh’ Milkha Singh ji. Your demise has left a deep void in every Indian’s heart today, but you shall keep inspiring several generations to come.” Jasprit Bumrah wrote, “A hero, an inspiration, a legend. His legacy will live on for generations to come. Rest in Peace, Milkha Singh sir.”