Ghulam Mohammad Baksh Butt, better known as Gama, was a legendary wrestler from India who was widely regarded as one of the greatest of all time. Born in Jabbowal, Amritsar District in British India in 1878, Gama had an impressive career spanning over 52 years and went undefeated in international matches. He is considered a national hero and a world champion, and his name continues to inspire modern-day fighters. Even today, his name is still synonymous with strength and bravery in India. In this post, we will delve into the life and legacy of The Great Gama.
Early Life and Rise to Fame
Gama was born into a Kashmiri Muslim family of wrestlers and was first noticed at the age of ten when he entered a strongman competition in Jodhpur. The contest was attended by over 400 wrestlers, and young Gama emerged as the winner. Impressed by his strength and potential, the Maharaja of Datia took Gama under his wing and trained him in the art of wrestling. Gama, a well-known figure known for his impressive physique, was celebrated for his strict dietary habits and grueling exercise routines.
At the age of 17, Gama challenged the Indian Wrestling Champion, Raheem Bakhsh Sultaniwala, in a bout that lasted for hours and ended in a draw. This match was a turning point in Gama’s career, and he was soon recognized as the next contender for the title of Rustam-e-Hind or the Indian Wrestling Championship.
Gama continued to defeat all the prominent Indian wrestlers who faced him and by 1910, he had his sights set on the rest of the world. Accompanied by his younger brother Imam Bakhsh, Gama sailed to England to compete with Western wrestlers. However, his height posed a challenge, and he couldn’t gain instant entry. But that didn’t stop him. In London, Gama organized a tournament and challenged the best Western wrestlers. He defeated them all, earning the title of World Heavyweight Champion.
Gama Pehlawan’s Diet
Wrestling is a physically demanding sport that requires a great deal of discipline and commitment. In order to achieve a physique that is both strong and muscular, wrestlers must adhere to a strict diet plan in addition to their training regimens. One wrestler who was known for his strict dietary habits was the legendary Indian wrestler, Gama Pehlawan.
Gama’s daily diet was comprised of a high volume of nourishing and protein-rich foods. To start his day, he would drink 10 liters of milk, which provided him with a substantial amount of calcium and other essential nutrients. This was followed by a hearty meal of six desi chickens, which were a staple in his diet and provided him with a good source of protein. To finish his meal, he would drink a tonic made from a pound and a half of crushed almond paste mixed with water, which was known to provide him with energy and improve his overall health.
National Hero and Champion
For decades, Gama Pehlwan has been a household name in India, and his impressive career and strength have made him a national hero. His rigorous workout routine, which included 500 lunges and 500 pushups at the age of ten, is still talked about today. In recognition of his achievements, the Prince of Wales even presented Gama with a silver mace during his visit to India.
Gama’s name has also been inducted into the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2015 for his undefeated wrestling career, and his legacy continues to inspire modern-day fighters. In fact, even Bruce Lee was a fan, incorporating aspects of Gama’s conditioning into his own training regimen.
A Hero in Times of Tragedy
Gama’s personal life was filled with deep personal tragedy, despite his impressive career and brute strength. He had five sons and four daughters, but all of them died young, leaving Gama heartbroken. The loss of his youngest child, Jalaluddin, in 1945, was particularly devastating, and he lost the ability to speak after that.
Despite these hardships, Gama remained a hero even during India’s partition in 1947, which saw the worst communal riots since independence. He saved the lives of many Hindus during this time and is remembered for his bravery and compassion.
Later Life and Legacy
Gama emigrated to Pakistan during the partition and tried his hand at various failed businesses, including a bus service in Karachi called “Gama Transport Service.” Despite these setbacks, the government provided him with land, a monthly pension, and funding for his medical expenses until his death.
Gama died on May 23, 1960, in Lahore, Pakistan, after a period of ill health. Despite his personal tragedies, Gama remains an important figure in the world of wrestling and will always be remembered for his strength and tenacity. His legacy lives on, and he is remembered as one of the greatest Indian wrestlers of all time