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Roop Singh's saga go unrewarded and unrecognized (9/7/2009)
--K. Arumugam
Roop Singh's saga go unrewarded and unrecognized

Editorial: We, as a nation, unabashedly have no history sense. It is more so in sports, and in particular with hockey.

This nation did not celebrate the Centenary Year of Dhyan Chand, though his anniversary is being hailed as National Sports Day. undefined

Now comes the case of his illustrious brother, Roop Singh. Dhyan Chand himself has rated his only younger highly -- even better than him. Those were not the words uttered in simplicity or or the heck of it. Those were true rating.

Roop Singh, an insider right in the pre-independent era, had been a stylish player, adept at both setting up goals for others, and when time comes, or when the team is desparate need he scored on his own as well.

Roop Singh did not score much in the every game he played, because he was focussed to main target -- international outing and the Olympics.

Unfortuntely whatever literature we have have mixed up domestic matches with international ones, and the biggest casuality is Roop Singh.

He did not amass goals in useless outings -- which were played to collect money or to get free hospitality -- in thsoe times.

A perusal at the 1932 and 1936 Olympics and an intervening New Zealand trip gives an idea how he was the top scorer ahead of others.

Roop Singh not only a charmer on the field, and off too. A grduate of his times, his off field mannerism and habits earned him enormous fans, the distaff version at that.

This writer is in possession of so many 'platonic love letters' he received, and the great player was getting them even decades after the 1936 Olympics, his last foreign trip.

Roop Singh, born in what is then known as Central Provinces, worked at Bombay Customs for a brief spell, before invited by the Gwalior Kingdom as ADC to the then ruling king Scindia.

When the kingdoms evaporated with India's Independence, this gentleman's long penniless career commenced.

With a dozen siblings to support, he had suffered to no end.

And that's how many legends career went in this hockey land.

As a society, we all failed to highlight the achievements of our forefathers which is why national fervour lacks in day today life and in our way of life.

See History watch for earlier articles on Roop Singh

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