A Milkha Singh burdened by memories from Partitionthis biopic turns him into a nationalist hero
In India of the 1950s, sports was amusement. Leisure, at best. Sports infrastructure ought to have been at the bottom of the Jawaharlal Nehru government’s priorities. When Milkha Singh won the gold medal at the 1958 Commonwealth Games, the prime minister rang him up, and taking the Punjabi athlete’s whimsical wish seriously, declared a national holiday honouring the win. In the 1960 Rome Olympics, the lanky, turbaned athlete missed the top three honours. But he was fourth in the world, an irrefutable achievement at the time. It’s unlikely that Rome had ever seen a turbaned Sikh before.