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The Story Behind Dangal Movie




       Dangal True Story



Dangal is an Indian movie loosely based on the real-life story of a patriotic wrestler, Mahavir Singh Phogat.


Mahavir Phogat, a former wrestling champion had to quit the sport after he failed to win a gold medal for his country, and due to pressure from his father who forced him to give up wrestling and get a job to support the family financially.

Having retired from wrestling, he vowed that his unborn son will take after him and win a gold medal in wrestling for India.




But as fate would have it, after making four babies, —all girls —Geeta, Babita, Ritu, and Sangita, and still no son, he decided not to have more children.

Without a male child, he lost the hope of having a successor, so he locked away all his wrestling equipment and medals in a box.


About 14 years later, Mr. Mahavir got a complaint that his teenage daughters —Geeta and Babita had beaten two boys aged 13 – 14 in response to derogatory comments they made at them.


When the complainant left, he asked his daughters to explain how they managed to beat two boys about their age.

As the girls happily demonstrate to their father and Omkar, their cousin, his eyes sparkled, and felt greatly impressed that his daughters have a wrestler’s blood in them.

With great admiration and pride, he turned to his wife and said,



“All along, I was desperate for a son so he could win a gold in wrestling for India. But what didn’t occur to me was that gold is gold. Whether it is won by a boy or a girl.”

Mahavir Phogat then vowed to pursue and realise his dreams by training his daughters for the Commonwealth Games despite facing serious backlash from members of the community where there is less emphasis on women empowerment & involvement.


He went further to tell his wife, —Daya Shobha that, he has decided that both Geeta and Babita should not touch any cooking utensils or do any household chores because they are going to be trained to become wrestlers who will win a gold medal for the country.

So he began training his daughters, Geeta and Babita to prove that girls are no less than any male wrestler.


Their father who is a very tough coach wakes them up at 5 A.M every day and monitors their diet, restricting them from eating junk or spicy food, and ensures that they exercise very well.

When Geeta and Babita complained that their hairs are getting ruined because of the makeshift mud pit where they are being trained, he called a barber who came gave them a low-cut.


When he noticed that they didn’t have enough stamina due to lack of protein, as vegetarians, he arranged with a poultry farmer to ensure that his daughters have chicken in their diet every day.

All these angered the two sisters so much because they felt their father is being too hard in his pursuit to make girls like them to undergo very difficult training to become wrestlers. So they started playing little tricks on him by changing the alarm and eating spicy food whenever they can and not wrestling properly.




One day the two sisters attended the wedding (child-marriage) of Sunita, their 14-year old girl-friend. Sunita told them they are both very lucky to have a father who is thinking about their career and future and not getting them married at such an early age unlike what her family is doing to her. At that point, they realized their mistake and started training really hard.


After a long struggle, Geeta goes on to win the junior and senior championships at the state and national level which qualified her to be admitted into Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports: Patiala to train for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games.

When Geeta got to the National Institute of Sports, she made friends and began to disregard the discipline she has been taught by her father.


In addition to that, her coach’s, —Pramod Kadam’s methods and wrestling techniques were completely different from her father’s. As a result, she started losing every match at the international level.


During a visit home, she got into a brawl with her visibly exhausted father and defeated him in a ferocious bout after mocking him.


After that fight, her younger sister pointed out her mistake and told Geeta how important it is for them to respect their father.


Soon after, Babita also won the national championships and joined Geeta at the National Institute of Sports, Patiala where she had an emotional conversation with her elder sister and encouraged her.

Eventually, Geeta realised her mistake and tearfully made peace with their father.


Before the Commonwealth Games, Geeta’s coach forced her to compete in the 51 kg weight class instead of her usual 55 kg. When her father got to know about it, he travelled to Patiala with Omkar; his nephew, and began coaching the girls secretly.


When their coach heard about their father’s interference, he became furious and wanted the girls expelled; but the sports authority only issued a warning but allowed the girls to remain in the school.


However, Mahavir was barred from entering the school premises, and the girls were forbidden to go out.


Determined to continue assisting his daughters, Mahavir obtained tapes of Geeta’s previous unsuccessful bouts and started coaching her by pointing out her errors over the phone.


During The 2010 Commonwealth Games, Delhi, India —3 Oct 2010 – 14 Oct 2010, Geeta’s father sat in the audience, constantly giving her technical advice, albeit his instructions contradicted her coach’s instructions. At long last, she won the first round and semi-finals and qualified for the finals.


In a press conference, the coach tried to take all the credit but, Geeta made a statement that gave credit to her father’s hard work. As a result, the coach got jealous and angry and decided to take revenge.

Before starting the final match, the coach locked her father in a room and said to himself, let’s see how she will win without her father.


Mahavir tried to get out of the room, but all his efforts were in vain.

In the finals of the game, Geeta manages to win the first session but lost the second. Trailing 1–5 points in the final session and with just nine seconds left, she recalls the tactics taught by her father and a 5-pointer, and executes it on her opponent in the final three seconds, taking the score to 6–5 in her favour, thus winning the session, and the bout 2–1.


Ultimately, Geeta Kumari Phogat became the winner of India’s First-Ever Gold Medal in Women’s Wrestling at the Commonwealth Games in 2010 after she defeated Emily Bensted from Australia in the 55-Kilogram Freestyle Category.


She is also the first Indian female wrestler to have qualified for the Olympic Summer Games.


According to tradition, after the medal award ceremony, they play the national anthem of the country of the participant who won the gold medal, so when Mahavir Phogat heard the Indian National Anthem from the room where he was locked, he knew that his daughter has finally completed his dream.


When the room was finally unlocked, he rushed to the arena, as Geeta shows him the Gold Medal and for the first time both girls and Omkar their cousin, heard their father say,

“Well done!”.

Ultimately, Mahavir Singh Phogat trained 6 girls, 4 of them were his very own daughters, while 2 were that of his late brother —Rajpal Singh Phogat. Interestingly, all of them won medals at some level!

The movie is par excellent which enridges Women Empowerment in Nation Building.


Dangal, featuring Aamir Khan as the lead actor is a truly inspiring movie that will give you goosebumps.


The movie is set in the State of Haryana where female infanticide was quite common, however, a father teaches his daughters, Geeta Phogat and Babita Phogat how to wrestle amid heavy societal pressure. Thus, his progressive and never-say-die attitude encouraged his daughters to emerge champions at the Commonwealth Games and a voice for women.

The movie also has some insightful messages. Take a look at the lessons this epic movie teaches us, as a parent, teacher, manager, entrepreneur, civil and public servant, leader, etc.


1. Surround yourself with people who believe in you

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Remember when Geeta Phogat didn’t perform well at the international championship, her coach taunted her. He told her international competitions are not for every calibre of person.

At that critical time, it was her father’s confidence in her that motivated her to win the championship.


Similarly, if you surround yourself with people who believe in you, you can bravely cross any hurdle that comes your way.

Suppose, you’re scared, these are the people who inspire you to conquer your fear and help you “walk through the valley of the shadow of death“ until you “sit before a table prepared for you amid your enemies” where your head will be anointed until your cup overflows.


2. Surround yourself with people who will tell you the truth.

Recall that during one of Geeta’s visits home, she got into a brawl with her father which led to a fight.

After that fight, her younger sister pointed out her mistake and told her how important it is for them to respect their father. When she eventually joined Geeta in the same school, she had an emotional conversation with her and encouraged her which made Geeta realise her mistake and tearfully made peace with their father.


Similarly, If you want to be successful in anything in life, you need to surround yourself with people who will tell you the truth. These people don’t need to be your direct supervisor, the leaders in your organization, or your customers, although they may be. They can be your friends, family, coworkers, a social media friend, or even a total stranger.

“If you surround yourself with the wrong people, if you surround yourself with people that constantly tell you how great you are and never tell you the truth and just tell you what you want to hear, I would imagine it would be very easy to get above yourself.” —Johnny Reid


3. Learn to fight your own battles alone

The last scene where Geeta Phogat competed against the Australian wrestler is soul-stirring.

While her father was locked in one of the closets, far away from the stadium. Missing her father’s presence, she recalls an old conversation with him where he told her he’ll not always be there for her, so she should learn to fight her own battles alone and survive any hardships.

As an entrepreneur, entertainer, leader, etc, know that your family, friends, fans, and followers won’t always be available. Even at that point, don’t let your dreams suffer. Learn to fight solo.


4. Turn a deaf ear to people who say you can’t do it.

In this movie, initially, the villagers laughed at the thought of a female-wrestler. But, Mahavir Phogat and his daughters ignored their harsh comments.


Eventually, their victory at the Commonwealth Games prove them all wrong and the same people who mocked them became great fans of Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari.


As you pursue your dream, some people may tease you. People will doubt you, some will mock you, but don’t doubt yourself. When you eventually succeed, your success will silence them.

Work until those who doubted you, ask if you have a vacancy for them.

Work in silence, your success go shock them. God no go shame us.


5. Adapt yourself to new situations

Originally, the Phogat Family are vegans, but when Aamir Khan (Mahavir Singh) realises that lack of proteins was the cause of his daughters’ low stamina, he arranged with the owner of a poultry farm to ensure that his daughters have chicken in their daily food every day.


In pursuit of your dream, you may have to step out of your comfort zone, or traditional ways. In some of the places life’s journey will take you to, you may have to eat or drink according to climatic conditions, religious beliefs, etc, or what is only available there.


6. Don’t lose focus, trust your instincts

In this movie, after moving to Patiala, Geeta Phogat started to follow her coach’s techniques which were different from that of her father’s training leading to several losses.


On realising that her father knew her strengths and is the best trainer she can ever have, she switches back to his techniques which earned her a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.


In pursuit of your dream, you will meet people who may misguide you with their orientation or scare you with some negative thoughts or words. But, stay focused. Have a mentor, do your research, take advice from friends and people who have achieved what you are being there. Above all, trust your instincts!


7. Change Management

Society laughed at Mahavir Phogat for his decision of asking his daughters to become wrestlers.


Perseverance and the repeated sensitization of change is the key to effective change management.


The results which follow your actions will make people understand the importance of long term result.


Always maintain your focus on the results amidst misperceptions.


8. Talent Acquisition and Gender Diversity.

Mahavir Phogat was expecting a baby boy to complete his dream of an international gold medalist.


When his hope of a baby boy diminished, he decided to go ahead with existing resources (daughters) and equipped them to achieve the target of winning an international gold medal.


As entrepreneurs, business owners, teachers, parents, managers, leaders, etc, we should understand the fact that we cannot get that perfect candidate all the time. So we should identify internal talent first and equip them to achieve the goals. Yes, It’s possible.


Do not reject people for any position based on gender. Women if well equipped are well qualified to take up ANY responsibility.


After all, a lot of us have come to agree that “what a man can do, a woman can do better.”


9.Training and Development

Mahavir Phogat trained his daughters at home and later on sent them to Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports, Patiala, India for further training.


As entertainers, athletes, politicians, civil and public servants, entrepreneurs, managers, leaders at various capacities, etc, we should believe in utilizing internal/local manpower first before moving ahead to contract external training resources.


No one knows about the particular strengths and weaknesses of our people, employees, students, etc better than qualified internal trainers, though external training programs are obviously very useful to raise the bar and to understand the ongoing happenings in the external world.


10. Analytics

Mahavir Phogat studied past videos of his daughter, Geeta to understand the reasons behind her failure at international competitions.


This explains the fact that effective and useful analysis of available data is key to predict and prescribe future actions. Analysis does not only help to minimize mistakes but it also helps in driving the most appropriate actions now and in the future.


11. Goal Setting

The goal of the national coach for Geeta is for her to win a bronze medal, but her father’s goal is for her to win a gold medal.


Depending on our position, job title/description, we should be able to help set the right goals for our children, students, employees, mentees, etc, considering their potential.


Though Geeta Phogat had a poor performance in her initial international career, she later made a strong comeback following a clearly defined goal by her father. She not only made it to the finals of the Commonwealth Games but also won a gold medal for her country by defeating the world champions.


12. Coaching and Mentoring

Mahavir Phogat played the role of Coach and Mentor for both Geeta and Babita throughout their career.


Mahavir Phogat was seen coaching his daughters alongside the national coach.


Continuous coaching is as vital as continuous learning.


No matter what you have achieved in life, you will still need a coach or mentor to help you make the most appropriate decision to move to your next level.




Quotes from the movie:

“Gold is gold. Whether it is won by a boy or a girl.”


“Medalists do not grow on trees. You have to nurture them with love, with hard work, with passion.”



Source : Duru Saviour ( )

Duru Saviour Izuchukwu (YoungBoss) is the founder and CEO of, he is a webmaster, Programmer , Game Analyst.

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