Pehlwani (wrestling) is a sport which is a Persian style of wrestling practiced in India, Bangladesh, Iran and Pakistan. The practitioners are called Pehalwans. The Pehalwans of India who stay undefeated are given the title of Rustam-e-Hind. The meaning of this title is “The Rostam of India “.
This title is entitled to those Indian wrestlers only who stay undefeated or they defeat the opponent within a short period. The title is also awarded to the wrestlers who defeat the champions. The title is precious for Pehalwan’s as this is the only thing which last forever. The beginning of this title was done by Imam Baksh Pehalwan and Ghulam Mohammad also known as Gama.
They were the sons of Aziz Pehalwan who was a great wrestler. This title was first given to Imam Baksh Pehalwan who was a talented and undefeated Pehalwan. He defeated more than 300 Pehalwan’s and his brother Gama who was also a great wrestler gave him this title when he defeated his opponent in a major tournament of Kolhapur. After Imam Baksh Pehalwan it was given to all those great wrestlers of India who stayed champions of India. It was given to Imam Baksh Pehalwan in 1910 but even now it is given to the Pehalwan’s of India.
The title is a landmark on Pehalwan’s of India as they are the champions and they avail their strength to defeat their opponents. After Imam Baksh Pehalwan this title was given to his brother Gama who defeated Raheem Baksh Sulatni Wala who was the other pillar of Indian wrestling. This fight took place in Allahabad. After the great wrestlers Gama and Imam Baksh the sons of Imam Baksh continued the trend of Pehalwani and Azam the second son of Imam Baksh was branded as Rustam-e-Hind in 1953.
Now there are many Pehalwan’s who are awarded with this titled but only those who practice Pehalwani in India. Pehalwan’s of Pakistan are awarded with the title of Rustam-e-Pakistan which was first awarded to Bholu who was the eldest son of Imam Baksh Pehalwan. He won this title in 1949 during the early times of Pakistan. There are many Rustam-e-Hind and India will keep developing undefeated and strong Pehalwan’s who will keep becoming champions of India such like Imam Baksh Pehalwan.