One of India’s most successful track athletes, Milkha Singh, has died aged 91 after a long battle with Covid-19. Tributes to the athlete known as the “Flying Sikh” poured in after the news broke late Friday, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying he was “anguished” by the news.
PM Modi wrote,” (W)e have lost a colossal sportsperson, who captured the nation’s imagination and had a special place in the hearts of countless Indians. His inspiring personality endeared himself to millions.”
President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, on Saturday, condoled the demise of sporting icon Milkha Singh.
“The passing of sporting icon Milkha Singh fills my heart with grief. The story of his struggles and strength of character will continue to inspire generations of Indians. My deepest condolences to his family members, and countless admirers,” the official account of Rashtrapati Bhavan tweeted.
“Deeply saddened to hear that Shri Milkha Singh ji has passed away. Through his scintillating performances on the world stage, the legendary athlete has stirred and inspired every Indian – and not just in sports,” the official account of Vice President tweeted.
“Shri Milkha Singh ji’s heart-touching life journey will continue to motivate many more aspiring Indian athletes to dream big and push their boundaries. My condolences to his family and admirers in this hour of grief. Om Shanti,”Naidu added.
Union Minister Amit Shah, Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju along with Former Union Minister Suresh Prabhu also mourned the passing away of the legendary sprinter.
“India mourns the sad demise of legendary sprinter Shri Milkha Singh Ji, The Flying Sikh. He has left an indelible mark on world athletics. Nation will always remember him as one of the brightest stars of Indian sports. My deepest condolences to his family and countless followers,” Tweeted Shah.
Rijiju also took to Twitter and promised the departed soul that he will fulfill his last wish.
“I promise you Milkha Singh ji that we will fulfill your last wish. India has lost its star. Milkha Singh Ji has left us but he will continue to inspire every Indian to shine for India. My deepest condolences to the family. I pray for his soul to rest in peace,” the Sports Minister tweeted.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh took to Twitter and said the death of the legendry sprinter marks the end of an era and India and Punjab are poorer today.
“Upset and saddened to hear of Milkha Singh Ji’s demise. It marks the end of an era and India and Punjab are poorer today. My condolences to the bereaved family and millions of fans. The legend of the Flying Sikh will reverberate for generations to come. Rest in peace Sir!” tweeted Singh.
While mourning the demise of Milkha Singh, Manohar Lal Khattar said ‘Flying Sikh’ will always live in the hearts of Indians.
“India has lost a star. Milkha Singh Ji has left us, but he will always inspire every Indian to shine for the country. ‘Flying Sikh’ will always live in the hearts of Indians. I pray to God for the peace of the pious soul. Humble tribute,” Haryana CM tweeted.
Tributes continued to flow on Indian social media in the early hours of Saturday.
“Had the honour of meeting you and you blessed me so many times… the kindest and warmest RIP Milkha Singh sir… the world will miss a legend like you,” tweeted India tennis star Sania Mirza.
“A hero, an inspiration, a legend. His legacy will live on for generations to come. Rest in Peace, Milkha Singh sir,” tweeted cricketer Jasprit Bumrah.
Actor Akshay Kumar expressed deep condolences on the demise of track legend on his Twitter handle and wrote, “Incredibly sad to hear about the demise of #MilkhaSingh ji. The one character I forever regret not playing on-screen! May you have a golden run in heaven, Flying Sikh. Om shanti, Sir.”
Global star Priyanka Chopra Jonas also mourned the demise of the former athlete and recalled how his aura made their first meeting special.
“Warm and welcoming, you made our first meeting so so special. I have been inspired by your excellence, touched by your humility, influenced by your contribution to our country. Om Shanti #Milkha ji. Sending love and prayers to the family. #MilkhaSingh,” she tweeted.
Megastar Shah Rukh Khan too paid an emotional tribute to Singh on Twitter and wrote, “The Flying Sikh may no longer be with us in person but his presence will always be felt and his legacy will remain unmatched… An inspiration to me… an inspiration to millions. Rest in Peace Milkha Singh sir.”
Taapsee Pannu seems to have been numb by the sad news of the demise of India’s ‘Flying Singh’ as she wrote, “And he flew away,” with a broken heart emoticon.
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