India is often associated with beggars and fakirs. Not many in the West especially the United Stats, know that its people rank amogst the most athletic and warlike in the World.
In India, wrestling is as old as written history. Indian wrestlers are huge men almost as big as the sumo giants of Japan. However, no man can become champion through brute force alone. There are a thousand "holds" in Indian wrestling, and the most skillful grapplers like Great Gama reign supreme.
His real name was Ghulam Mohammed. A Muslim of Kashmiri wrestling stock. Gama defeated all comers in India with the exception of the extraordinary Ghulam Mohiuddin, with whom he had a two hour draw. His toughest opponent ever, was the 6'9" 270lb, Rahim Bux Sultaniwala. His victories over foreign wrestlers include Stanislaus Zbyszko (Poland), Dr. Benjamin Roller (U.S.), Johann Lemm (Switzerland), Maurice Deriaz (France), Jesse Peterson (Sweden), etc.
Although he challenged many others including Japanese judo champion Taro Miyake, no one dared to come forward. Georg Hackenschmidt and Frank Gotch also declined to face Gama or others of his troupe. According to Nat Fleischer of Ring Magazine he was the only grappler of modern times who could have been a master of both Gotch and Hackenschmidt. Gama was employed by the Maharajah of Datia after the death of Gama's father, Aziz Pehelwan. Later he was patronized by the Maharajah of Patiala.
After patition of India, Gama moved to the new state of Pakistan where he lived with his brother, Indian Champion Imam Bux and nephews: the famous Bholu Brothers. In 1963 he lost to the angel of death and is burined in Lahore - The City of Wrestlers and Warriors.