Syed Modi

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Syed Modi
Syed Modi.jpg
Personal information
Country  India
Born 1962
Sardarnagar, Gorakhpur district, Uttar Pradesh
Died 28 July 1988
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Years active 1976-1988
Coach Dipu Ghosh[1]
Men's singles
Career title(s) 1982 Commonwealth Games, Men's singles
Bronze medal, 1982 Asian Games
National Badminton champion (1980-87)
Highest ranking No 1. in India[2] (1988)

Syed Modi (1962–1988) was an Indian badminton player, and an eight-time National Badminton champion (1980–87). He won the Austrian International in 1983 and 1984 and 1982 Commonwealth Games, Men's singles title.[3] His play displayed a mix of stylist Suresh Goel, of whom he was a protégé, and the effectiveness of Prakash Padukone, whom he succeed as a National Champion.[4]

Modi was murdered on 28 July 1988 in Lucknow as he came out of the K. D. Singh Babu Stadium after a practice session. After his death, a badminton tournament was constituted in his memory, "Syed Modi Memorial", All India Syed Modi badminton championship hosted each year at Lucknow,[5] which turned into "Syed Modi International Challenge" in 2004, and starting December 2009 it would turn into "Syed Modi Grand Prix", organized by Badminton Association of India.[6][7] The Railways of which he was an employee, opened the Syed Modi Railway stadium and auditorium at his native place, Gorakhpur.[8]

Early life and education[edit]

Syed Modi was born in 1962, in a middle-class Muslim family, in the town of Sardarnagar, 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) from Chauri Chaura, Uttar Pradesh,where he was brought up and received his education and his father was Syed Meer Hassan zaidi from Zaidi Sadat Kandipur,near Jalalpur town Ambedkar Nagar District, Uttar Pradesh. His family consist of 8 members six brother's and two sister's. Modi was youngest in his family.He was initially trained under guidance of his elder brothers. He was born Syed Mehdi but while playing a junior tournament in Mumbai his surname was wrongly written as Modi, which thereafter was continued to be used by him.[2]


He worked with NE Railways as a Welfare Officer, in Gorakhpur and later shifted to Lucknow. Syed Modi became junior national champion in 1976 and trained under P.K. Bhandari till 1982, and thereafter under Dipu Ghosh, National Coach of Indian team.[1][9]

In time, he became eight-time national badminton champion; won the Austrian International in 1983 and '84; won singles bronze in '82 Asian Games and received the Arjuna Award in 1981. At 1982 Commonwealth Games, he beat England's Nick Yates, 7-15, 15-5, 15-7 to take home the Men's singles crown.[10] He later married Amita, a fellow badminton player.They had a baby daughter who was born in May 1988.

Modi was shot dead on 28 July 1988 evening at the age of 26, as he was coming out of KD Singh Babu stadium, Lucknow after a routine practice. A brilliant career was cut short and a severe blow was dealt to badminton in India as Modi was touted to be a superstar like Prakash Padukone.[1]

Murder case[edit]

The scandal surrounding Modi's murder attracted worldwide attention.[11] Seven were named in a chargesheet following a CBI probe, including Modi's wife Amita and her future husband, Indian politician Sanjay Singh who were allegedly suspected of getting Syed murdered due to their extra-marital affair, but the case against Amita Modi and Sanjay Singh - for conspiracy - was dropped, and Akhilesh Singh and Jitendra Singh were separately exonerated. Sanjay Singh and Amita modi later got married. Two of the other accused - Amar Bahadur Sing and Balai Singh - died before their involvement could be judged. Bhagwati Singh was found guilty of murder and possessing illegal arms, fined and sentenced to life imprisonment.[2][12][13][14][15]


  1. ^ a b c "Modi flexing is muscles in the wings". New Strait Times. 16 May 1980. 
  2. ^ a b c "Syed Modi case closed, motive unclear". The Times of India. 21 August 2009. Retrieved 23 August 2009. 
  3. ^ "Pawar Clinches Austrian Open". The Hindu. 25 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-03. 
  4. ^ "A dream that came true". The Hindu. 13 February 2007. Retrieved 23 August 2009. 
  5. ^ Express News Service (8 December 2007). "Aparna Popat Regains His Crown at Syed Modi Badminton Tourney". Retrieved 2008-03-03. 
  6. ^ "First Syed Modi International tourney from Dec 8". Indian Express. 6 December 2004. Retrieved 23 August 2009. 
  7. ^ ""Also the Syed Modi Grand Prix will be organised every year starting from December this year,"..". Zee News. 27 March 2009. Retrieved 23 August 2009. 
  8. ^ "the 54th Railway Week prize distribution function held in the auditorium of Syed Modi Railway stadium,...". The Times of India. 11 April 2009. Retrieved 23 August 2009. 
  9. ^ "NSNIS chief badminton coach Bhandari retires". Indian Express. 4 May 2006. 
  10. ^ "Smaller countries winning medals". The Spokesman-Review. 9 October 1982. 
  11. ^ Bernard Weinraub (28 August 1998). "India Murder Scandal Mixes Sex and Politics". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-03. 
  12. ^ "Court Dismisses CBI Appeal in Syed Modi Murder Case". The Hindu. 9 December 2004. Retrieved 2008-03-03. 
  13. ^ "Life term for one in Syed Modi murder case". The Hindu. 23 Aug 2009. Retrieved 23 August 2009. 
  14. ^ "Love all !!". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 23 August 2009. 
  15. ^ "Killer of badminton player Syed Modi gets life imprisonment". Hindustan Times. 22 August 2009.