Former legendary Footballer Tulsidas Balaram passes away

Abhijit Ray,Kolkata:Former legendary Indian footballer Tulsidas Balaram passed away. He was 86 years old at the time of his death. The legendary footballer passed away quietly on Thursday afternoon. The Indian football team finished fourth in the 1956 Olympics. Balaram was a member of that team. He also represented the country at the 1960 Olympics. Balaram scored goals against Hungary and Peru at the Rome Olympics. Tulsidas Balaram means a long history of Indian football. Balaram’s name was once pronounced in one breath with Chuni Goswami and PK Banerjee. They were called Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar in Indian football. Chuni-Pk had already passes away. Balaram was deeply saddened by their death. Talking about their relationship, Balaram had once said, “PK, Chuni and I have been in touch for a long time.Pk first played for the national team in the 1955 quadrangular tournament. The tournament took place in Dhaka. I made my debut at the 1956 Olympics. We played together until 1962. Apart from playing for the country, the trio also played for Bengal in the Santosh Trophy. These three legends had a great understanding on the field of play. It was also reflected in the game.   He lived in the north. For several years, he almost kept himself under house arrest. I couldn’t see him outside much. Balaram also had pride in his mind. He used to play for East Bengal in Kolkata. He also brought success to the red-yellow club. He could score, he could score.Balaram did not receive the Padma Shri award despite receiving the Arjuna Award. He also had regrets for it. India won gold at the 1962 Asian Games. Balaram once told a funny story about that tournament. In an interview to a news agency, Balaram had said that it was because of PK that he was able to play in the Asian Games. A preparatory camp was held in Hyderabad for the tournament. Players are also selected there.After the final election, the footballers returned to Kolkata. Everyone was getting ready to go to Jakarta.  At that time Balaram was infected with the flu. He had become very weak. Balaram had decided not to go to Jakarta with the team. Because even if you go, it won’t be of much use. You can’t play for the team. It’s better to take someone else instead.  Balaram had sent a message to the All India Football Federation.Pankaj Gupta was one of the top officials of the AIFF at that time. He held meetings with Rahim Sahib, PK Banerjee and Chuni Goswami. The theme of the meeting was whether Balaram’s place would be taken on standby. In that meeting, PK cracked his throat for Balaram. PK said, “Balaram is ill. Even if he dies, we will take his body to Jakarta. The team needs Balaram. Put him on the plane.”Chuni Goswami was the captain of that team. He also agreed. The next event is history. India won the service gold by defeating South Korea 2-1. Balaram’s name was associated with the breathing of this city despite being a man of Hyderabad. Balaram’s death is not just the death of a veteran footballer. It is said to be an era. That era represents the golden past of Bengal football. Indian football and the East Bengal club will always remember Tulsidas Balaram for his immense contruibutiuon.