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Rajya Sabha pays homage to Milkha Singh, Dilip Kumar

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 19

Rajya Sabha on Monday paid homage to sprinter Milkha Singh and matinee idol Dilip Kumar who were among the 13 people whose deaths were mourned by the members on the inaugural day of the monsoon session of the House.

Describing Milkha Singh as a legendary sprinter, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said his life would continue to inspire sportspersons and the general public in the country. Known as the Flying Sikh, Milkha Singh was the first athlete of independent India to have won a gold medal at an international sports event (Asian Games, 1958), Naidu said.

Naidu added that the sprinter had lost both his parents at a very young age in the pre-Partition riots but managed to overcome the challenges thrown at him by life and shine as an athlete.

Paying glowing tribute to Yusuf Khan (Dilip Kumar), Naidu said an era ended with the death of Dilip Kumar. Known as “the tragedy king”, Dilip Kumar’s iconic films included ‘Devdas’, ‘Mughal E Azam’ and ‘Ram aur Shyam’. His films were popular both in India and abroad, Naidu said.

Since making his debut in 1944, Dilip Kumar’s career lasted for five decades, the chairman said. Born in Peshawar in undivided India, Dilip Kumar had received the Fimlfare Award a record eight times, Naidu noted. The iconic actor was a recipient of the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award of the country, Naidu said.

After observing silence for a minute to mourn the 13 departed souls, Naidu adjourned the House for an hour in deference to the memory of Raghunath Mahapatra and Rajeev Satav, sitting members.

Mahapatra, an architect and a sculptor, was a nominated member of the House, who died of coronavirus infection in May this year. He was 78.

Rajeev Satav (47), Congress member, also died in May this year following post-Covid complications.

Nine others, whose names figured in the list for obituary reference, were ex-members Ajit Singh. NM Kamble (ex-member), Bhagwari Singh, Balihari Babu, Matang Singh, JL Bhatt, Ramendrakumar Yadav, Jagannath Prasad Pahadia and Shanti Pahadia.

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