Many professional athletes, including wrestlers, follow vegetarian or vegan diets to meet their nutritional needs and maintain their strength and stamina.
In the shared infographic poster, we see a man in a black-and-white image. He is seen wearing only his underwear and carrying a gada in his hand. The viral claim states that “Many professional athletes, including wrestlers, follow vegetarian or vegan diets to meet their nutritional needs and maintain their strength and stamina.”
The poster reads, “This Brahmin vegetarian wrestler beat to a pulp a Muslim pehalwan, thrice!”
What’s the truth?
When we analysed the viral image using a simple Google reverse image search it led us to multiple reports. According to the India Times article, “Gama Pehalwan was born as Ghulam Mohammed in 1878 in Amritsar. Gama, a Muslim by faith shifted to Lahore in early 1947 due to the political atmosphere. Gama settled on Mohni Road in Lahore. At 17, he faced the then Rustam-e-Hind, Raheem Bakhsh Sultaniwala. The match looked like a cakewalk for Sultaniwala as he was 7 feet tall, but Gama riding on youth and strength gave the champion a run for his money and the dual ended in a draw.”
The article also added, “Pehalwans are known to be tough and muscular, but Gama was way beyond rhetoric and conjectures. His exercise included five thousand squats and three thousand pushups every day which to most of us is next to impossible. His diet followed his exercise – in his heydays, Gama would end his day with 10 liters of milk, six desi chickens, and a pound and a half of crushed almond paste made into a tonic drink in his belly.”
When we advanced our search, we found a YouTube video by Brut India titled “Meet the Great Gama Pehlwan” describing Gama’s achievements.
Additionally, we got our hands on the visual stories by Aaj Tak News which has also covered the lifestyle of Gama Pehlwan.
All the above information clarifies that the viral image doesn’t show any Brahmin vegetarian wrestler as the claim suggests.
We thus conclude that the widely circulated claim—which asserts that the individual in the picture is a Brahmin vegetarian wrestler—is untrue. The wrestler is actually Ghulam Mohammad Baksh, a Muslim.