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Triple Olympian Hari Pal Kaushik no more (1/27/2018)
--K. Arumugam
My long time friend and Olympic gold medallist Hari Pal Kaushik, 84, passed away in his home town Jalandhar.

Hari Pal played three Olympics (1956, 1960 & 1964) and refused to play the 1968 number on him sidelined for the captaincy.

I met Hari Pal Kaushik, of all the places, in Tamil Nadu Express in October 1998 while returning after covering MCC Murugappa Cup held after India's disastrous KL Commonwealth Games.

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When I found MK Kaushik in the train - he was just appointed chief coach of Indian Men's team - he showed me the top berth of his compartment. There was Hari Pal Kaushik, who was also returning from Chennai. He was there as Selector.

Since then we have developed a good friendship.

Hari Pal was frank and forthright in his views, and never hesitated to speak against the administration when he found they were wrong, or coaches when he found them wanting in their approach, attitude and giving results.

In one of the selection committee meetings in the early 90s, he castigated a Coach who did not want a particular defender as he is not taking hit-ins properly. "Then what were you doing till now. You should have corrected as he was with you in various camps for over a year". This drew him closer to administration.

He was manager of Indira Cup internationals, and guided the stars like Joaquim Carvalho.

He was my special guest when I organized a condolence meeting for Shankar Laxman. He took all the pains to travel from Jalandhar to Delhi. When the IHF officials did not turn up for the meeting, which was held in the green lawns of Major Dhyan Chand Stadium, where the IHF office was also located then, he fumed.

When he and other Olympian RS Bhola went near Dyan Chand statue to take a photo, guards objected. They told the duo to get permission from Stadium administrator Goindi.

Haripal blasted the administrator, telling if this is the case the statue should have been installed in his room, not in public glare.

He certainly belonged to old generation which valued values.

He was thrice made Vice-Captain for the Olympic teams. On this he used to often joke, "Vice captain without any vice"

He was a star forward of his times, and he got paens when he toured New Zealand in the 60s of which Gurbuxs recent book is full of details.

Hari Pal was from Indian Army, got vir chakra award for his services during the 1962 China war.

"I survived a war, but not against faulting administrators", he used to often say in the context of missing out being appointed as team's captain.

May his soul rest in peace

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