If there is ever a name associated with fitness and clean living habit Manohar Aich personifies that. At the age of 104 this legend of bodybuilding in India passed away. It may come as a surprise to many people but he was active till his last breath. Manohar Aich was India’s first Mr Universe in 1952 where he beat men who were whole lot more bigger than him. Aich was India’s first Mr Universe when he won the 1952 National Amateur Body-Builders’ Association Universe Championships.
He came into prominence in 1950 when he won the Mr Hercules title and went on to be known as ‘Hercules of India’ and ‘Pocket Hercules’ for his pint-size. According to PTI reports “Aich was on a liquid diet for last 10-15 days and had stopped talking. He breathed his last at 3.50pm,” his son Khokan Aich told. Aich is survived by two daughters and two sons.
Sadly Manohar Aich never received due recognition of his contribution to bodybuilding in India or given any of the civilian honor (Padma Honor) which this man truly deserves. He was a kind and gentle soul who believed in living the simple life. However not many people know but he was also a man of principle and when he felt that he and other Indians in the Royal Air Force, where he was a physical instructor were being discriminated he took a bold stand. After an argument ensued Manohar Aich ended up slapping a British officer, for which he was sent to a Calcutta jail a year before India achieved independence from British rule in 1947.
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