Google Doodle Honors Hamida Banu, India’s Wrestling Pioneer

Google Doodle Honors Hamida Banu, India's Wrestling Pioneer

Google Doodle Honors Hamida Banu, India's Wrestling Pioneer

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Google Doodle celebrates Hamida Banu, India’s wrestling pioneer, on May 4, 2024, marking the anniversary of her historic victory over famed wrestler Baba Pahalwan in 1954. Illustrated by Bengaluru-based artist Divya Negi, the Doodle pays homage to Banu’s trailblazing career.

Born in the early 1900s near Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, into a wrestling family, Banu’s passion for wrestling blossomed early. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, she dominated the ring, accumulating over 300 victories.

Challenging Social Norms:

Banu fearlessly challenged societal norms that discouraged women’s participation in athletics. She boldly challenged male wrestlers and even offered her hand in marriage to any man who could defeat her.

Historic Victory and International Acclaim:

May 4, 1954, marked a pivotal moment in Banu’s career when she defeated Baba Pahalwan in just 1 minute and 34 seconds, leading to his retirement from professional wrestling. She also secured an impressive win against Russian wrestler Vera Chistilin.

“Amazon of Aligarh”:

Banu garnered widespread attention, earning the affectionate nickname “Amazon of Aligarh.” Newspapers across India chronicled her victories, training regimen, and unique diet.

Legacy of Inspiration:

More than just a wrestling champion, Hamida Banu was a true pioneer whose fearlessness shattered societal barriers. Her story continues to inspire women to pursue their dreams and defy expectations in India’s male-dominated sports arena.

Hamida Banu’s legacy as India’s first professional woman wrestler serves as a testament to the power of perseverance and determination in breaking down barriers and paving the way for future generations of female athletes.