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Meet Jeetu Pehalwan: The 24-year-old ‘Sultan’ from Delhi

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(Representational Image) Kushti. Image Source: YouTube.com
  • An akhara is full of mud where people practice kushti. One of such akhara is situated on the edge of South Delhi, Guru Shyam Lal Akhara.
  • Some of the wrestlers of this akhara will be featured in movie Sultan.
  • The akhara is also famous for Jeetu Pehalwan. He is the grandchild of Guru Shyam Lal after whose name the Akhara has been named.

Kushti is an ancient Indian form of wrestling and flourished during the Mughal reign. The earliest form of wrestling is called Malla-Yuddha and is also known as the the predecessor of kushti. The people following the tradition are known as pehalwan (wrestlers) and the place where it is practiced is known as an akhara.

India boasts of some very well-known pehalwans like Dara Singh, Narsinh Yadav and Shamsher Singh among others. An akhara  is a plain ground full of mud where pehalwans practice kushti. One such akhara is located on the edge of South Delhi called ‘Guru Shyam Lal Akhara’. It is situated alongside the yellow metro line and the nearest station to it is  Arjan Garh.

Dara Singh. Image Source: The Hindu
Dara Singh. Image Source: The Hindu

This akhara has been in news for quite some time now. Reportedly, some of the wrestlers from the akhara have featured in Salman Khan starer Sultan.

Apart from it, the akhara is also famous for its stellar wrestler Jeetu Pehalwan. Although Jeetu will not appear in Sultan, he enjoys the celebrity status in the neighbourhood and among the fellow wrestlers. He is the 24-year-old grandson of late Guru Shyam Lal, after whom the akhara has been named.

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The respect accorded to Jeetu springs from the fact that he has not lost any kushti competition to any pehalwan in Delhi and adjoining areas till date. Jeetu usually practices two times a day- morning and evening. Early mornings are reserved to practice ‘Jor’ and the evenings are dedicated to polishing techniques, ‘daav’.

He is not a stereotypical wrestler who believes that the pehelwans need to follow celibacy and must think about starting a family only post retirement. Jeetu is a father to a six-month-old daughter, Kanvi, with whom he likes to spend as much time as possible.

Jeetu Pehalwan won Bronze at National Wrestling Championship. Image Source: kushtiwrestling.blogspot.com
Jeetu Pehalwan won Bronze at National Wrestling Championship. Image Source: kushtiwrestling.blogspot.com

While he has been practicing only one time these days, he reiterates that the dangal season is synchronized with the farming cycle of the villages. Jeetu explains,”The kushti season in Punjab and Haryana ends by April and begins after August. The wrestling season starts a bit earlier in Jammu and Himachal Pradesh because it is a lot cooler there. The crops would have been harvested by now and people have time to go to dangals.”

He has also won a Bronze medal at National Wrestling Championship (U-17) held at Kanyakumari in 2011. While he was selected to the national camp, Jeetu couldn’t continue owing to a “lot of politics” involved in the selection, he added.

After being rejected during the selection process, Jeetu returned to the mitti. Contented with the decision he told The Indian Express, “I haven’t lost to any wrestler from the other big akharas of Delhi. Money is not bad either. Big wrestlers can make close to a crore every year. At the Nandurbar dangal in Maharashtra this year, I won Rs 1 lakh and a silver mace. It has been my biggest prize so far.”

 

Guru Shyam Lal Akhara. Image Source: YouTube
Guru Shyam Lal Akhara. Image Source: YouTube

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Talking about the perks of being in the profession, Jeetu explains that wrestling makes him feel venerated along with securing his future financially.

But there are setbacks too, he adds. Jeetu has undergone ligament surgeries in the past. Talking about the surgery he said, “The joke goes that my knees are made of plastic now.”

Jeetu also puts forth his discontent with the lack of government support to the sport. He complains, “Kushti is only seen as a popular village sport. The government doesn’t assist us in any way and the wrestling federation too doesn’t back mitti kushti.”

Irrespective of the demotivating attitude of the government bodies, he is positive about continuing pehalwani. “I am still referred to as Guru Shyam Lal ka pota (grandson of Guru Shyam Lal). I haven’t achieved anything close to what my grandfather did, but I have to take his legacy forward,” he added.

-prepared by Aparna Gupta, an intern with NewsGram. Twitter @writetoaparna99

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India Demands Data on UN Staff Misconduct, Use of Immunity

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India has demanded the secretariat disclose information about misconduct by UN staff. Flickr

United Nations, Oct 7: In an attempt to break the wall of silence around the crimes and UN staff misconduct and those on its assignments, India has demanded the secretariat disclose information about such cases and the immunity invoked against prosecutions.

Yedla Umasankar, the legal advisor in India’s UN Mission, touched a raw nerve here by criticising the UN on Friday for not vigorously following up allegations of serious wrongdoing by its employees who enjoy the equivalent of diplomatic immunity, a prized possession of its staff.

“It appears that the UN system itself may be reluctant to waive immunity even for serious misconduct carried out by its personnel while serving on its missions, so that such cases can be prosecuted by the host governments,” he told the General Assembly’s committee on legal affairs.

“Even a few of such instances or allegations of crimes committed by UN personnel is highly damaging for the image and credibility of the United Nations system and its work around the world,” he added.

His statement also touched on the practice of some countries that protect their wrongdoers at the UN.

Umasankar demanded that secretariat disclose how many cases of serious misconduct by UN personnel were registered and the number of cases where the UN refused to waive immunity to allow their prosecution.

He also wanted to know in how many cases the host country wanted the immunity waived so it can prosecute those accused; the number of times the UN asked the host country or the country that sent them to prosecute them; how many times it consulted countries before waiver of the immunity of their personnel and how many of them refused UN’s request to waive their citizens’ immunity.

The information he wanted does not cover the diplomats sent by member countries to represent them at UN bodies and enjoy diplomatic immunity with the nations hosting the UN facilities.

After scores of serious allegations of sexual misconduct by peacekeepers, especially exploitation of children, the UN vowed to uphold a policy of zero tolerance and began publishing data on such cases in peacekeeping operations including how they were dealt with.

Starting with the year 2015, it began identifying the nationalities of those accused.

However, it has not made public a roster detailing all the allegations and proven cases of serious misconduct across the entire UN.

While the focus has been on sexual exploitation and abuse reported on peacekeeping operations, Umasankar said that “at a broader level, the issue of accountability has remained elusive in some cases”.

He attributed it to “the complexities of legal aspects relating to sovereignty and jurisdiction”, the immunity or privileges that may be necessary for UN operations, and the capability or willingness of countries to investigate and prosecute the accused.

He noted that the UN itself cannot make criminal prosecutions.

While Indian laws has provisions for dealing with crimes committed abroad by its citizens, not all countries have them, he said.

Those countries should be encouraged and helped to implement such measures, he added. (IANS)

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5 Found Dead Inside a House in Mansarovar Park Delhi

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Police team conducts the investigation soon after the incident was reported. ians

New Delhi, October 7: Police found five people stabbed to death Inside a House in Mansarovar Park Delhi. The dead bodies of a an 82-year-old woman, her three daughters and a male guard were found lying inside a house here on Saturday.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Nupur Prasad told IANS that the four women belonging to the Jindal family were found dead at their house in Shahdara’s Mansarovar Park area.

The deceased have been identified as Urmila Jindal, and her daughters Sangeeta, 56, Nupur, 48, and Anjali, 38. The guard has been identified as Rakesh, 42.

The police control room received a call about the incident around 7 a.m.

A preliminary investigation showed there was “no forced entry” into the house and no valuables were stolen, a police officer said. (IANS)

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Indo-Pak Peace Talks Futile Unless Islamabad Sheds Links with Terrorism, says Study

A Study by a U.S. think tank calls India and Pakistan talks futile, until Pakistan changes its approach.

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India and Pakistan
India and Pakistan. Wikimedia.

A Top United States of America (U.S.) think tank, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace called the relations between India and Pakistan futile, unless Islamabad changes its approach and sheds its links with Jihadi terrorism.

A report “Are India and Pakistan Peace Talks Worth a Damn”, authored by Ashley J Tellis stated that such a move supported by foreign countries would be counterproductive and misguided.

The report suggests that International community’s call for the India and Pakistan talks don’t recognize that the tension between the two countries is not actually due to the sharp differences between them, but due to the long rooted ideological, territorial and power-political hatred. The report states that these antagonisms are fueled by Pakistani army’s desire to subvert India’s powerful global position.

Tellis writes that Pakistan’s hatred is driven by its aim to be considered and treated equal to India, despite the vast differences in their achievements and capabilities.

Also ReadMilitant Groups in Pakistan Emerge as Political Parties : Can Violent Extremism and Politics Co-exist? 

New Delhi, however, has kept their stance clear and mentioned that India and Pakistan talks cannot be conducted, until, the latter stops supporting terrorism, and the people conducting destructive activities in India.

The report further suggests that Pakistan sees India as a genuine threat and continuously uses Jihadi terrorism as a source to weaken India. The report extends its support to India’s position and asks other international powers, including the U.S., to extend their support to New Delhi.

Earlier in September, Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) slammed Pakistan for its continuous terror activities. She attacked the country by saying that India has produced engineers, doctors, and scholars; Pakistan has produced terrorists.

Sushma Swaraj further said that when India is being recognised in the world for its IT and achievements in the space, Pakistan is producing Terrorist Organisations like Lashkar-e-Taiba. She said that Pakistan is the world’s greatest exporter of havoc, death and inhumanity.

-by Megha Acharya  of NewsGram. Megha can be reached at @ImMeghaacharya.