Dangal is one of the biggest hits this year. Aamir Khan and the entire cast has delivered a spectacular performance the audience just can’t stop raving about how good the film is. The film is based on wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat and how he trains his daughters Geeta and Babita Phogat and niece Vinesh in wrestling. While the audience is all gung-ho about the movie, Geeta Phogat’s real life coach is upset with Aamir Khan for having portrayed him in a negative role. PR Sondhi, the real coach of Geeta Phogat is miffed with the actor and had even issued a statement yesterday saying that Aamir should have checked with him before enacting the scenes. In an interview to ANI, he had said, “Mai ek baar Aamir Khan ko kehna chahunga ki unhe coach se baat karni chahiye role dikhane se pehle; Action lene ka koi irada nahi (I wish to tell Aamir Khan that he should talk to the coach before portraying the role. I don’t wish to take any (legal) action (against him).”
The film shows the coach in a negative role but PR Sondhi, the real chief national coach was the one who invited Mahavir to the pre-CWG camp in Patiala. But he had to banish Mahavir only because of his overzealous nature. He said that the father was providing training on the side, which would have led to injuries for his two girls according to his quote in a leading daily.
Akhada, the book on the Mahavir Singh Phogat mentions that Mahavir Phogat was not convinced with the training sessions and methods and hence he decided to intervene. “I was not convinced with the intensity of the training the girls were undergoing at the camp. Hence, I decided to conduct extra training before their morning session at the camp. I knew the girls were not happy with double training, but one has to burn the body in the furnace to achieve something,” he said. (ALSO READ: No legal action to be taken against Aamir Khan’s Dangal, confirms real Geeta Phogat’s coach – read statement here)
“During the camp, he expressed a keen interest in learning some techniques and our training protocol. We had no problem with that and wanted to support his mission of empowering women to achieve Olympic glory,” he says in the book.
Sondhi encouraged parents to visit the camp, but Mahavir, who temporarily shifted from Balali in Haryana, 250 km away from Patiala, with family to help his daughters and ensure home-cooked food, added training sessions of his own. Mahavir Phogat initially made Geeta Phogat and Babita train all day long and work out in the evening. It left the girls exhausted at the camp and led to a confrontation between Sondhi and Mahavir.
“Mahavir is an old-school thinker. For him, the more intense the workout, the more strength you gain, and the level of strength ultimately decided how you did on the mat. But modern wrestling has evolved into a blend of technique and strength,” the book quotes Sondhi as saying. “Finally, to stop him from imposing his school of thought on his daughters, we decided to ban him for entering the hall during the session and even made it a point to lock the hall afterwards.”
“While we salute Mahavir for what he has done for the sport and for the society, we could not let him run things his way for the good of the girls. That’s why he was banned from entering the camp. Fortunately, he didn’t resist our move and later even understood my point,” says Sondhi.
So, according to Sondhi, the facts have been tampered with in the movie. Does this mean that the story of Dangal is unreal? We wonder what Aamir has to say to this.
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