Sayyid Muhammad Moin-ul-Haq, popularly known as ‘Moin Saab’ is one of the most eminent coach figures India has ever seen. His contributions to sports culture and education in India are unforgettable. He is also entitled to be the guardian of sports culture in Patna.
Born in Patna, Bengal presidency, British Empire, Moin Saab was studious and exceptionally ardent about sports and games since childhood himself. He was a pioneer of the Olympic movement in India, championing the causes for sports all his life. Talking about his achievements, he served as:-
- General Secretary of Indian Olympic Association (IOA)
- Chef-de-mission of Indian Olympic contingent during 1948-1952 Olympic held in London And Helsinki respectively.
- Indian Olympic Association (IOA) representative to many games such as the 1950 Indian National Games in Bombay.
- Founding Vice President of Bihar Cricket Association (BCA) in Jamshedpur, Bihar.
- He was the main organiser of the Inaugural Asian Games. Held in Delhi in 1951.
- He also served as English professor and principal of Bihar National College (BNC) from 1935-1953.
- President Of Patna University’s teacher association in 1953.
“Moin Saab was like the guardian of sports culture in Patna. He feverishly promoted all kinds of sports among students, first in colleges and later in universities and urged them to take part in sporting competitions. In fact, the sports quota in educational institutions in Bihar owes its genesis through his efforts only,” said Shabab Anwar, veteran sports journalist and commentator based in Patna, who has written on Moin-ul-Haq’s life and legacy.
In his tenure, he had always promoted all kinds of sports and always asked children to take to sports and education. Apart from cricket and football, he also promoted badminton, squash and tennis as well.
He was immensely impressed with the strong-nation character of the British people and their resilience,” says author and retired IPS officer, Sudhir Kumar Jha in his book ‘Patna Reincarnated: A New Dawn’.
Secretary, Bihar Olympic Association, Mushtaque Ahmad, who is currently attending the London Olympics, said, “I have seen him when I was very young.
We used to call him ‘Moin Dada’. He would stand on the sidelines and watch youngsters play, and not just cricket but other games too.”
“He’d observe and scout for sporting talents and nurture them, and encourage those who didn’t play to take up some sports,” reminisced, BOA secretary.
Awards and Honors
- The British government appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 1930 Birthday Honours.
- For his immense contribution to the field of sports and as a mark of honour, the then Bihar Chief Minister Abdul Ghafoor in the 1970s renamed Patna’s Rajendra Nagar Stadium as ‘Moin-ul-Haq Stadium’, after the icon’s death.
- He was awarded the Padma Shri award in the field of sports in 1970 by the Government of India.
Today, much like the moin-ul-haq stadium, moin saab’s legacy has also faded into oblivion and it is a matter of disgrace that the man who is the guardian of sports culture is now forgotten.
- Wikipedia: Moin-ul-Haq
- Remembering Moin-ul-Haq: An administrator par excellence