Identity crisis for Mewa Lall
Kolkata (PTI): In death also, former Olympian Shew Mewa Lall had an identity crisis.
Having gone through the humiliation when authorities refused to recognise a sick Mewa Lall and denied admission in South Eastern Railway's BNR Hospital last month, the former Indian centreforward, who died after a prolonged illness was made 'Sahu Mewalal' much to the dismay of his son Krishna Lall.
"It's terribly shocking to see my father's name appearing wrongly as 'Sahu Mewalal' in all the newspapers. That shows despite his years of service to Indian football, people hardly know his name," his son lamented.
"He was not 'Sahu Mewalal' but his name -- Shew -- was derived from Lord Shiva's name. It reflects the plight of former sportspersons who have done so much for the country but without any recognition of their efforts," Krishna Lall told PTI.
"Even, India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had praised my father's skills. After his goal against Iran in the Asian Games final in Delhi (1951), Nehru had told him: 'You did India proud ... History will never forget you'. It's really ironical that, even in death people did not know his name properly," he claimed.
Krishna Lall added his father had two shocks in his glorious football career. "First was when he was ignored for Padma Shri. The award was first given to Gostho Pal (1962) then Sailen Manna (1971). After Mannada, we expected him to be given the honour.
But later, Chuni Goswami (1983), PK Banerjee (1990) and Bhaichung Bhutia (2008) were given the recognition. They are all great footballers but my father too should have figured among them (Padma Shri winners)," he added.