The fall of Sushil Kumar and Indian wrestling

Sagar Dhankhar's death, following a beating allegedly at the hands of his mentor, exposes the seedy underbelly of the sport, one where greed, egos and megalomania are intertwined with crime.

The bout has a racy start. No sooner does the referee blow his whistle, knuckles lock and the two bodies collide, like two giant logs, with a thud. The wrestlers move fast. Their muscles bulge and glisten with sweat as they coil and uncoil, twist and turn, trying to gain an early advantage. A quick attempt is made by the wrestler in blue, Kaiyue Cheng from China, for a headlock, but the wrestler in red, Sagar Dhankhar, recoils his torso to escape the hold. Knuckles lock again. Kaiyue’s left leg is open and, for a split second, Sagar contemplates a …


Pradip K. Saha

Pradip is a co-founder at The Morning Context and leads our newsletters vertical. He has previously worked at The Ken as a staff writer, at Mint as an assistant features editor and the Deccan Chronicle as a copy editor. He works with a slew of expert newsletter writers across subjects and domains. His own writing spans the gig economy, farmers caught in the crossfire of technology, global warming and parents trapped in the edtech wave. Some of his best stories have come at the intersection of technology and human endeavour.

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