Google Doodle Celebrates Pioneering Indian Woman Wrestler Hamida Banu - Vibes Of India

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Google Doodle Celebrates Pioneering Indian Woman Wrestler Hamida Banu

| Updated: May 4, 2024 18:16

The Google Doodle on Saturday honoured Hamida Banu, a pioneering Indian woman wrestler who fought all odds to enter the male-dominated world of wrestling in the 1940s and 1950s.

The doodle is paying tribute to her achievements. Hamida Banu is popularly known as India’s first professional female wrestler and her journey to prominence was remarkable. It included a lot of bold challenges and she did not shy away from facing them. Everyone should know her story.

In February 1954, when she was in her early 30s, Hamida Banu announced that any man who could defeat her in a wrestling match would earn her hand in marriage, according to a report by BBC. She beat two male champions.

One of them was from Patiala and the other one was from Kolkata. For her third match, she went to Vadodara. She fought Baba Pahalwan after another male wrestler refused to fight against a woman. Hamida Banu won the challenge in 1.34 seconds.

It is important to note that Hamida Banu has earned a powerful reputation over a decade. She was popularly known as the “Amazon of Aligarh”, according to the BBC report.

In 1954, Banu defeated Vera Chistilin in Mumbai, who was known as Russia’s ‘female bear’.

Even though Hamida Banu gained immense recognition in her field, her career was marred by problems and controversies. Some of them claimed that her fights were pre-arranged and some criticised her for challenging societal norms.

One match against Ramchandra Salunke was cancelled due to objections from the local wrestling federation.

Hamida Banu’s personal life was equally troubled. Banu’s coach, Salam Pahalwan, had tried to stop her from going to Europe by breaking her hands. Reports suggest that she was left with fractured legs after the attack. She disappeared from the wrestling scene after this incident.

Her last days were difficult. Despite her struggles, Hamida Banu’s legacy is a testament to her indomitable spirit. She paved the way for women in sports, fighting against the norms and pressures of the times she lived in.

Google Doodle on Saturday, celebrates her life and achievements. We should remember her on this day and take inspiration from her story.

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