New Delhi/Chandigarh/Bangalore/Varanasi, August 11 : Celebrations erupted all over the country today after Abhinav Bindra won gold in the men's 10m air rifle, the country's first ever individual Olympic gold.
Despite a population of over one billion people, India had won only four individual medals, none of them gold, since sending their first team to the Summer Games in 1928.
Politicians cutting across party lines hailed Bindra's effort.
Oscar Fernandes, the Union Labour Minister said, "This is a commendable work by Abhinab Bindra."
Parkash Singh Badal, the Chief Minister of Punjab has announced a reward of one crore rupees ($ 237,191.61) to Bindra when he returns home.
Rajiv Pratap Rudy, spokespersons of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said, "Abhinab Bindra has made the country proud with his win and I hope in the coming times we will see many more such wins."
St Stephens school, from where Bindra passed out in northern Chandigarh was ecstatic.
Bindra's victory was particularly sweet following the Indian men's hockey team's failure to qualify for the Games for the first time.
India's one day international (ODI) cricket skipper Mahinder Singh Dhoni also extended his congratulations to Bindra.
India's only other Olympic medals were a bronze for freestyle wrestler Keshav Jadav in Helsinki in 1952 and a bronze for tennis player Leander Paes in 1996.
Weightlifter Karnam Malleswari became India's first female Olympic medallist with bronze in the 69 kg category in 2000 and shooter Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore won silver in the double trap event four years ago in Athens.