Who is Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the controversial WFI president (2024)

The year 2004 should have been a turning point in the life of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, then BJP MP from Balrampur. His 22-year-old son, Shakti Singh, used the politician’s licenced pistol to kill himself. His suicide note read: “You have not proved to be a good father… you have never cared about my sister or me… you thought only of yourself… we see our future as dark”.

But, the recent allegations by India's top wrestlers against the Wrestling Federation of India president, some say, prove that the tragedy has not led to any soul-searching by Singh in all these years.

Born in 1957 in Bishnoherpur in Gonda district, Singh had witnessed tragedy quite early in his life. One of his brothers was murdered. He himself came under attack several times while on the way to school. Mounting business rivalries saw his family house being demolished when he was just 16.

Singh holds a master’s degree in arts and a bachelors in law from the K.S. Saket P.G. College, Ayodhya. His love for wrestling found greater expression as a college student in the akharas of Ayodhya. His guru was Baba Gyan Das, mahant of Hanumangarhi’s Sagariya Patti.

Story goes that once, on his way to college, he saw some girls being molested and sprung to their defence. His popularity grew, and in 1979, he contested the student union election, and won by a record margin.

In 1991, he was elected on a BJP ticket from Gonda. The 1.13 lakh-vote margin remains a record. His earliest political inclination, however, was towards the Congress (which he recently labelled, “a producer of terrorists”). But, once he joined the saffron party, he was an active participant in the temple movement. He was one of the 40 named in the demolition of Babri Masjid.

Singh's image as a “desh bhakt” had got a further boost when, in 1993, he took out the ‘Matra Raksha Rath Yatra’ against the activities of the ISI (Inter Services Intelligence) in India.

By the time the 1996 polls came around, Singh was in jail under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act. He was charged with sheltering Dawood Ibrahim’s associates.

The polls were was fought and won by Singh’s wife Ketki Devi. He was absolved of the TADA charges a few years later, as the main witness never testified.

From 2008-14, Singh was with the Samajwadi Party and was elected for his fourth term in Parliament, which ended in a resignation in March 2014. Once out of the party, he tore into it. One of his most quoted statements is about Akhilesh Singh Yadav being the last king of the Mulayam Sultanate.

It is noteworthy that Singh uses the word ‘shaktishali’ (powerful) to describe himself. The ‘bahubali’ (strong man) tag is not for him. And no one is too big for him to take on. In May 2022, he dared Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray to enter Ayodhya without apologising for the ‘hurtful’ remarks he had made against north Indians. Thackeray’s visit ultimately did not happen and some speculate that BJP had used Singh to cut Thackeray down to size.

There are many controversies surrounding Singh. Two prominent ones are his confession on camera that he ‘put a rifle to the back and shot’ a man who killed his associate, one Ravindar. The other is of him slapping a wrestler from UP on stage in Ranchi as the young man was insisting that he be allowed to participate in a competition where the age limit was 15.

For all his failings, Singh has a decent performance record as MP. His attendance in Parliament stands at 86 per cent - much higher than the national average of 79. He has, however, participated in just two debates (from June 2019 to December 2022), much below the 39-plus that MPs score on an average. He has asked 113 questions against the state average of 108.

The list of the subjects he has touched upon for questions includes national suicide prevention strategy, lumpy skin disease, e-waste management, net-zero carbon economy and the nutritional status of the elderly population.

Singh has a taste for high life and owns a helicopter and horses. The former though, he says, was just leased. There is also a fleet of fancy cars - all of them bearing the number 9000.

He also claims to be a great patron of education and lists some 29 colleges he has founded. He is the manager of another four.

Who is Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the controversial WFI president (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Duncan Muller

Last Updated:

Views: 5783

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (79 voted)

Reviews: 86% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Duncan Muller

Birthday: 1997-01-13

Address: Apt. 505 914 Phillip Crossroad, O'Konborough, NV 62411

Phone: +8555305800947

Job: Construction Agent

Hobby: Shopping, Table tennis, Snowboarding, Rafting, Motor sports, Homebrewing, Taxidermy

Introduction: My name is Duncan Muller, I am a enchanting, good, gentle, modern, tasty, nice, elegant person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.