Legendary Indian sprinter Milkha Singh died on Friday at the age of 91 following a month-long battle with Covid-19. Soon after the news of his death, tributes started pouring in from around the world including film personalities and sports stars. Following his death, many fans started relieving his life through Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ starring Farhan Akhtar as the “Flying Sikh". Amidst the tributes, a photo of a poster of Akhtar as Singh installed at the Noida Stadium surfaced online and has since then been facing flak on Twitter.
Journalist Anisha Dutta first shared the photo and said in her caption, “Would request @noida_authority to replace these boards along the running track at Noida Stadium with the picture of the real Milkha Singh and not Farhan Akhtar’s character in the movie."
Would request @noida_authority to replace these boards along the running track at Noida Stadium with the picture of the real Milkha Singh and not Farhan Akhtar's character in the movie. 🙄 pic.twitter.com/7Y60uIQ1ja— Anisha Dutta (@A2D2_) June 20, 2021
Soon, people started criticising the move on the microblogging platform and asked for the immediate removal of the poster.
When Mandela died, some guys had placed poster of Morgan Freeman in condolence meeting in Tamilnadu.— Sandeep (@Sandeep47742662) June 20, 2021
Agree, even if you put him in normal dress. Stars only potray the real Heroes. Salute the heroes, stars received money to become heroes. Real heroes are driven by dedication, passion & fighting spirit.— Rajesh Narang, (@rajeshn22) June 20, 2021
Following the backlash, the Noida authority responded by saying, “Images were placed many years back; these have been removed today and will be repainted as per norms," and even shared an image of the removed poster stand.
Singh’s death came days after his wife and former national volleyball captain Nirmal Kaur died due to the same ailment. A family statement following his demise read, “It is with extreme sadness that we would like to inform you that Milkha Singh Ji passed away at 11.30 pm. on the 18th of June 2021."
It added, “He fought hard but God has his ways and it was perhaps true love and companionship that both our mother Nirmal ji and now Dad have passed away in a matter of 5 days."