I liked Sharda Ugra’s column on the issue of awarding the Bharat Ratna to Sachin Tendulkar (A Jewel Deferred, Apr 9). What she says makes a lot of sense. But Sharda doesn’t ask the hard questions. Does Sachin deserve the Ratna if any of the following is true? Is it true that he filed income-tax under the heading of an ‘artist’ rather than a ‘cricketer’ to save tax? Is it true that he asked for corporation rules to be bent so he could get additional fsi to build a gym in his new house? Did Sachin get customs duty waived on his Ferrari, which he then ended up selling to a Surat-based businessman?
Abhiram Bhat, Mumbai
For God’s sake, stop this Bharat Ratna for Sachin. Think 10 times before you decide if he deserves it. When Kapil prolonged his career to break Hadlee’s record of Test wickets, the same people who looked on indulgently at Sachin and his pathetic scramble for century number 100, had criticised Kapil. And please, let’s not let M/s Ravi, Sunny and Manjrekar be the lead debaters on this issue. They think cricket is not played anywhere other than Mumbai. They had bayed for the blood of Sourav, Dravid and vvs; as far as Sachin is concerned, he can play for as long as he wishes.
R. Ramaswamy, Bangalore
Sachin has not done signal service to the country that has materially influenced the lives of his countrymen. Those who say he has changed people’s lives advance a naive, even immature, line of argument.
S.K. Jha, Darbhanga
This debate is just a storm in a teacup. Yes, Sachin’s cricketing record is staggering, but he has achieved this in a sport that’s played at its highest level by only 10 nations. Why, most countries in the world don’t even know what cricket is! That fact alone should put him back in an imaginary queue of possible Ratna awardees. The Bharat Ratna should not be conferred on someone based on popular opinion or public clamour, but keeping in mind the weight of achievement and the odds faced on the way.
C.K. Jaidev, Dubai
Given the popularity of cricket in India and the astounding batting records of Sachin, the demand to grant him Bharat Ratna is but natural. Yet, if internationally acclaimed performances in a sport can bring in our highest award, then many other sportspersons also deserve it. If popularity is the consideration, why not offer a Bharat Ratna to Amitabh Bachchan? Given Sachin’s commercial appeal in endorsement of various brands, I would not be surprised if the recent media chatter about his award is orchestrated by the sponsors.
Dipto, New York
What has Sachin done to even make people talk about his getting a Bharat Ratna? Has he played free for the nation? Tell him that for the next one year he’ll not be paid to play Tests. Within 20 minutes he’d fax in his medical certificates saying he has a shoulder injury. Please, we want real heroes to be honoured, not cricket merchants.
Even the Bharat Ratna has been won by people who don’t deserve it. It has become, like so many things in India, a place for petty politics and wrangling and favouritism. Sachin’s achievements would be remembered by his countrymen. He shouldn’t bother about awards given by corrupt netas.
Nasar Ahmed, Karikkudi
For someone like me, who actually likes watching cricket, Sachin provided great moments of pride. But you cannot get a Bharat Ratna by just doing your job!
Ashutosh Kaul, Toronto
Sachin is a great cricketer, like Gavaskar, Dravid, Lara and Richards. But he’s not greater than Sobers, and certainly not better than the Don. If there’s one Indian sportsman who deserved this award it’s none other than hockey wizard Dhyan Chand, who gave us three Olympic gold medals in 1928, 1932 and 1936.
R.K. Singh, Gurgaon
What she says makes lot of sense. The die hard fans may not like it but Ms Sharda Ugra missed some important questions that we should ask:
Does Sachin Tendulkar deserve the Ratna if any of the following that is widely reported is true? (1) That he filed his Income tax returns as an "Artist" and not a player to save on tax? If he himself says he is an artist just to save taxes, how can he be given the Ratna as a player? (2) Is it true that he asked for the corporation rules to be bent so that he can get additional FSI to build a gym in his new house? It is a different matter that politicians were falling over one another to grant him the permission (3) Did he get customs duty waived on the Ferrari and utlimately ended up selling that car to a Surat based businessman? Should he not have paid the customs when he at least sold the car?
So what life's work did Rajiv Gandhi have done that he was confered the Bharat Ratna? If just running a scam ridden government for 5 years earns one then why cant a person who is very symbol of Indian sports get one? May be a little wait but certainly he is far deserving than Bacchans or Khans....
Sachin is a great player like Gavaskar, Darvid, Lara,Vivian Richards and many. But he is not greater than Sobers and certainly not the Don of cricket Donald Bradman. In fact,he does not figure among top 5 players when it comes to highest innings in test ( Lara 400 not out), highest ist class ( Lara 501), Highest test average ( Bradman 99.74 ), No of double hundreds ( Bradman 12 in 52 tests, Sachin 6 in 183 tests) So this Bharat Ratna cacophony should stop. If there is one Indian Sportsman deserving this award it is none else than Hockey wizard Dhyan Chand who got us 3 olympic Gold medals in 1928, 1932 and 1936. The legendary Bradman after watching him play in Adelaide in 1935 said " He scores goals like runs in cricket" What more for a Bharat Ratna.
Why is everyone dissing Sachin in their comments? What is his fault? Did he ask for Bharat Ratna? He has done what he was supposed to do, and did it very well, better than 99.99% of our thankless countrymen. I remember a time before Sachin when at the mere sight of fast bowlers, our batsmen would start backing out or try getting out as soon as possible. Like it or not, he is an inspiration to hundreds of millions of us. For some reason, people are fixated on this idea that an inspiration can only come from a poet or a singer or a politician. Do I need to remind everyone about Jesse Owens? It's a measure of our crudeness and bigotry that we have even classified inspiration.
As for people claiming that he plays only for money, please have some grace. One can say the same thing about a lot of musicians who have got BR.
What the poor fellow does is play his game sincerely and with a wonderful craft without spewing jargon filled nonsense.
Given the popularity of cricket in India, given the astounding batting records of Sachin in the game and given the popularity of Sachin among a huge population of people watching cricket for last twenty odd years, the demand for his Bharat Ratna from a large section of Indians is natural.
Yet, if internationally acclaimed performance in one form of sports is the only measure for Bharat Ratna then there are present and former sposts persons from all forms of sports who have similar achievements to glorify India ( Abhinav Bindra- the only Olympic glold medalist from India or Vishwanathan Anand the world chess champion etc.) and merit Bharat Ratna.If popularity is the consideration, why not offer a Bharat Ratna to Amitabh Bachchan.
However if we cite other highly successful or highly popular artistes/sports persons to deny Sachin a Ratna and demand more from him to qualify for the award, we forget that not all Bharat Ratna recepients were extra-ordinary. Does Rajiv Gandhi merit a Bharat Ratna despite his tragic death? And we can also debate whether other luminaries in fields of Arts were not as acclaimed as those artistes who were awared Bharat Ratna. Shouldn't A.R Rahman deserve a Bharat Ratna for his global recognition in music direction despite local roots?
One should keep in mind that Bharat Ratna after all is an award that is vetted by politicians. So if UPA politicians unanimously favor someone he or she will get the award.
Given Tendulkar's commercial appeal in endorsement of various brands for so many years I am not surprised if the recent media chatter about his Bharat Ratna award is orchestrated by the media sponsors.
However,any attempt to belittle his achievement is quite unfair irrespective of whether one agrees to the idea of confering the highest civilian award to Sachin..
Some of the persons who do not deserve Bharat Ratna have already got it. If it is given to to Tendulkar,he will be one more addition to this category.
Thanks Alakshyendra, and completely agree with what you’ve explained. And Bhaja Govindam too. It was quite a few years after i started listening to MS that the lyrics of Suprabhatam were made clear to me. It only served to enhance the joy her rendering brought. I’m clueless with regard to the meanings of her other numerous recitations but it hardly matters. Such was (is) the quality of her voice and the bhakti that she was part of and managed to convey to the listener.
You might find this link interesting: http://www.flonnet.com/fl2126/index.htm.
Not defer, just forget. Bharat Ratna for this selfish cricketer is an insult for the other awardees. He was just another skilled batsman who made it big because he has the Mumbai lobby's backing. All those who think he should get the award--they do not grasp the seriousness of the award and they do not seem to have higher interests in life beyond sports.
I have been listening to MS Subhu Lakshmi since 1975 almost everyday. Never I got bored of her voice. She was a God's gift to us.
Santosh John Samuel,
Thanks for putting it better than I could ever have. MS Subbulakshmi's Suprabhatam (Bhaja Govindam is another one) is ubiquitious and even if we set aside its meaning (most Hindus do not know Sanskrit to appreciate the wordings), the quality of her voice and her flawless diction and rendition are awe-inspiring. Voices like hers indeed bring the devotee and god closer to each other. And despite the fame, she remained humble and rooted in devotion. A truly deserving Bharat Ratna.
Well spoken ma'am. Tendulkar's achievements are mind-boggling, and some of them might stand the test of time. It's been a privilege and joy to watch him on the field. He does not however deserve the Bharat Ratna, for far too many important reasons. And it is high time that more voices in the media start speaking out against this clamour.
Nasar from Karikkudi, was your question about MS meant to provoke or rhetorical? Surprising that you belong to a place not far from where she was located and yet ask if anyone knew her! It is possible that some would not have heard of her name, but Suprabhatam? It is a chant that has near universal acceptance in almost every part of our nation (i'm sure you would have heard it sometime or the other), irrespective of caste or creed. For the record, MS, Bismillah, Bhimsen and quite a few others are deserving recipients of the Bharat Ratna, and the decision to honour them is in no way political. If not them, who else? You could in fact argue that the political class enhanced its reputation by formally recognising these extraordinary people from the field of arts.
For God's sake stop this Bharat Ratna for Sachin. Think ten times before you decide h deserves it. When the great Kapil prolonged his career to break Hadlee's record, the same breed vouching for Bharat Ratna for Sachin was critical of Kapil, but when you see the same Sachin, throttling careers of others it suits all of them fine, please not Mr. Gavaskar, Manjrekar and Shastri, the trio of sychophant Mumbaikars, who do not seem to know that cricket is played elsewhere in India, if not better than the Kanga League of Mumbai. I hope we all know what Sunny did in New Zealand to the late T E Srinivasan, by bringing Shastri all the way from Mumbai, that's is fine, but anybody else does it should be thrown out like a tracer bullet.The same trio have bayed for Saurav's, Rahul and VVS's head, but when Sachin';s name, he can play till 2015. Please observe when the trio are in commentary, any Mumbaikar get's out, including the very ordinary Rohit Sharma, who does not deserve a place in Mumbai team, it is always an unplayable ball, but when others get out it is poor shot or ordinary shot.
How better has Sachin fared than Rahul in the last 3 years, boss, this is not a personal fiefdom for Mumbaikar, BCCI, should not be read as Bombay's Control of Cricket in India. If Rahul or Saurav were allowed to prolong the career like Sachin, they may have achieved much more as they played for INDIA, than records, it was evident that Sachin was playing for the record and not for India as he professes always like showing the Indian Flag, we lost miserably to Bangaladsh, because he played out maiden overs.
Think ten times and do not beliitle other Bharat Ratna receipients, who brought pleasure to Indians unlike some who played for records.
[[One of them is Ms Subbulakshmi.Does anybody know her.]]
MS Subbulakshmi is one of India's finest classical singers, if not the best. As a Muslim, you might not appreciate her talent because most of Indian classical music is rooted in Hinduism (although Hindustani does carry traces of Islam), but most Indians do. You can take your bigotry and peddle it somewhere else.
Zafar, if you're reading this, it is exactly the kind of attitude displayed by bigots like Nasar Ahmed that gets Muslims the bad rap.
For someone like me - one who actually like to watch cricket ; Sachin has provided great moments of pride , joy, excitement and even entertainment. But look here many years ago there was a street vendor of "Chholle Kulche" in front of my school. Maybe he is still there, if he has not retired. For years he provided great joy and contentment to over hundred boys and girls every single school day. In his own way he made a flawless and well appreciated century every time he came out to play. Will I root for him to get "Bharat Ratna"? For God's sake let us be serious. You can not get Bharat Ratna by simply coming out and doing your job exceedingly well. For that you get paid at the highest possible going rate and you get good press, you get fans and you get a talked about a lot. Sachin has got all that. We do not envy him his popularity, his fleet of mercedes, his millions of fans. He has earned a lot . Bharat Ratna is not one of them. It has been devalued a lot but giving it to Sachin will be the last nail in its coffin.
Bharath Ratna is the highest honor that an Indian can get and it has been given to people who do not deserve at all.One of them is Ms Subbulakshmi.Does anybody know her.Once these awards have been reduced to the level of petty politics, it is better for honest citizens refuse to accept it.Many have done in the past when different knds of national awards were offered. Regaedless of Sachin's qualifications he woul continue to live in history and in the hearts of people for generations to come for his acheivements and charector.He should not bother about the awards offered by these corrupt netas who have been elected by corrupt masses.
“At this stage conferring BHARAT RATNA on Sachin would be like naming a ‘CULTURED PEARL’ ‘KOHINOOR’.”
Now that the paeans praising the demigod of cricket for achieving the so-called 100th 100 have been sung and the effervescence of celebration almost subsiding, it is good time to pay attention to the retirement issue. In my opinion he should retire because of the following reasons:
1. Last one year’s poor performance: From 28.3.2011 to 28.3.2012 (the date of writing this blog), Sachin scored only 418 runs from 12 odis, averaging only 34.83 (this poor show has brought down his average from 45.13 to 44.83). Averaging 34.33 in the prized opening slot with a strike rate of 81 is, by no means, the work of a god. During the same period, he played 11 tests, scoring 778 runs with an ordinary average of 37.04 (this performance has brought down his career average from 56.94 to 55.44). During the same period, Rahul Dravid played 14 tests scoring 1225 runs with an average of 51.04. While Sachin failed to score a century, Dravid scored 5 centuries in the last one year. The irony is that Sachin thinks he is on top.
2. Responsibility as the senior most player for team’s horrible overseas performance: India’s last two overseas series of England and Australia cannot be called anything but nightmares. Blaming a particular person for this dismal show will not be proper, as cricket is a team game. But as the most senior pro in the team, he should take the maximum blame. His one or two good innings could have turned things in India’s favor.
3. Lack of motivation: Sachin claims he is madly in love with cricket. Love for cricket is essential for any successful cricketer. But the bigger factor is motivation. Recently, in an interview, Sachin said that he has no more targets to play for. Clearly, targets were his motivation, and there are no more targets to chase. Also, after participating in 188 tests and 462 odis for long 23 years, he can be compared with a squeezed lemon with very little juice left inside. So, instead of pressing the lemon harder, it should be placed in the basket of peaceful retired life.
4. Age factor and injuries: Tennis elbow took a heavy toll on Tendulkar. When he recovered from it, he was just a shadow of his former self. The injury turned him from a beautiful stroke player to an awkward accumulator of runs. This is precisely the reason for his failed centuries (since 2004, Sachin has scored 13 odi hundreds out of which on only 5 occasions India has won). Now, he is 39 years old (born on 24 April 1973), even though he thinks he is 37. He has been getting bowled frequently (even by the rookies), indicating a decline in reflex and eyesight. Therefore, it is high time for him to go.
5. Blocking young talents: After repeated failures of the old warhorses during the recent overseas tours, Gavaskar argued that had the juniors played in place of them, they would have gathered vital experience for the future. Also, they could not have performed worse that these guys. It can be argued that the junior have to earn their place in the team. Pujara, Tiwary, Rahane etc have been doing very well in the domestic arena. Tiwary was denied any match even after scoring a century in his last international match. The problem with Sachin is that he has reached such a legendary status that the selectors do not have guts to tell him that it’s time to hang up his boots. So, until the he decides it’s enough for him, a deserving youngster has to cool his heels.
6. Strong public opinion for his retirement: A glimpse of the public opinion can be found from the comments written in Internet. Not only in the net, but also in public places people are talking about his retirement. Even his ardent fans have become disgruntled with his lackluster performance, and they want him to retire. Former greats like Kapil Deb and others have also suggested him to retire. But Sachin is so enamored with his records that he simply cannot gauge the public mood.
7. Chances of declining record: I have shown in the first reason that how his performance has been declining and how it affects his record. As Indians, we feel proud about his record. If the decline in the averages continue its downslide, we will definitely feel sad.
8. More important role to play for cricket: It is time for him to contribute to the development of Indian cricket in other capacities. He can become the coach of the under 19 team or he can play any important role in the NCA, or he can do anything for the betterment of cricket.
9. Shameful current ICC ranking: Can you believe that the “God of cricket” is placed at 27th position in the current ICC ranking for the odis? This is shameful, and should be enough reason for him to call it a day.
10. Pay attention to the other aspects of life: Like Rahul Dravid’s case, it’s time for Tendulkar, too, to pay attention to the family. He could not pursue higher studies because of cricket. Does he want his son and daughter to be also like him? Isn’t it time to personally look after the family?
Full version at my blogsite Tamrakshar’s World
Sources of information: Wikipedia and ESPN cricinfo
Has this getleman done anything great to the nation.
Has he played free for the nation. Tell him that for next one year he will not be paid to play test matches for india. Within next twenty minutes he will fax his medical certificate , stating he is shoulder injury and inability to play. Its all money Honey. For Gods sake keep him where he deserves to be kept. We want real heroes to be honoured not cricket merchants.
sachin has not done any social work which can prove his credential towards society and country.Moreover he has lots of money by dint of his long innings in cricket.The gameplan will contnue.allthough this award has been awarded to such person who were not entitled for such a pretigios award.
Thanks for letting us think that there could be life beyond cricket for Sachin Tendulkar.Agree that he still has too go long way for that feat.The other part of his life has to be equally shining like a new cricket ball to play well ahead.
Of course, Sachin needs to wait before he is deserving of bharat ratna. He hasn't as yet attempted cynical moves to pander to different communities, abrogated constitution to support a regressive legislation in favor of the orthodoxy, has no taint of receiving kickbacks. Why, he hasn't even made a statement on the lines of "when a big tree falls, etc..". Of course, his father and grandfather were not cricketers so he doesn't, obviously, belong to blue blood of Indian cricket.
To confer Bharat Ratna on such a pigmy is to devalue other worthy recepient(s) of this exalted prize.
Awarding the Bharat Ratna to Sachin Tendulkar when not even one Olympic gold medalist from India has been awarded it, is simply unfair.
No Bharat Ratna to any living human being. Why, think yourself.
"Tendulkar economy" has already turned him into a caricature. There has to be a news item everyday no matter how stupid just to keep him visible.
1. His 100th century cost BCCI XI a place in finals.
2. Later he gets a Kohli haircut which looks ludicrous, wondering when he is getting a tattoo.
3. Next he is telling all and sundry not to put pressure on Kohli, like obnoxius kohli needs anyone to speak on his behalf.
4. He saw how much TV/media time and sympathy Yuvraj has garnered fom his illness, he promptly run's off to London for undeclared treatment and Lo! Behold! a photo op with recovering yuvraj.
What is next, Breaking news tendya did not have proper bowel movement today!
if this sachin guy is conferred the country's highest civilian award, what would it say about the country?
All this hullabaloo about Sachin's Bharat Ratna is just a storm in a tea cup. Yes, his cricketing scores etc. are staggering. But consider this, he has achieved this in a sport that only 10 officially recognised countries play. In many parts of the world, people don't even know that a sport known as Cricket is even played. Where I live, many Arabs wonder what this sport is all about. That straight away should put Sachin way back in the queue of sportspersons who many deserve the Bharat Ratna. And if it comes to sport, I think there are a handful who deserve to conferred it well before it is conferred on Sachin. You have named some of them in your article. The Bharat Ratna should NOT be conferred based on popular opinion or public clamour in the country but by keeping in mind the weight of these achievements, the odds they were achieved against and ofcourse off the field contributions. My vote is to put Sachin in the queue behind the other greats and confer it only when we are absolutely sure that he deserves it.
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