Skip to content

Misplaced Loyalties: ‘Bharat Ratna’ for Sachin Tendulkar and Google Re-union Ad

November 21, 2013

Both Sachin Tendulkar and the old man in Reunion ad., seem to be in pursuit of unabashed, selfish interests in my humble opinion!

Nothing angered me more last week than Sachin Tendulkar being conferred with the nation’s topmost honour  ‘Bharat Ratna’ (the Jewel of India).  Crowd hysteria was deafening in the cricket stadia, media was over-charged, and not to be outdone, my Facebook buddies flooded my Homepage with anxious news of how they would ever get on with their lives as usual, with Sachin not being around for India batting from now on …  Oh no, how could God retire?!  He must go on and on and on, right?  Otherwise what would become of India?!  The emotional farewell speech by the Little Master was the clincher.

I posted re-buffs to all sad but excited FB posts which were at once re-buffed nonchalantly with such a mighty force of words as to how anyone could miss that Sachin was such a nice family man whose name never got linked to any scandal whatsoever, how it is not easy for anyone to take up the bat for 24 straight years and still stay grounded and how Sachin Tendulkar was role model and inspiration for an entire nation of one billion, ours.

Not to be cowed down, i countered my buddies as to how Sachin blocked many youngsters for years, how Sachin never got dropped in last 24 years (which is an impossible feat by itself) and how Sachin created all his records (well almost all) on Indian soil, in desi pitches.  An honourable retirement on world cup win could have been better, though still not early, and anyway it was not to be…

Only the previous week i had had to take on some of my buddies single-handed for their adoration of the Google Reunion ad (India-Pakistan friendship ad).  I had posted a rejoinder stating that the ad was someone’s fanciful imagination and not a reality.  A friend reminded me, friendship is between two individuals and so must not be mistaken as that between two nations.

By all means, then one feels that i have to rethink and sort out my feelings for Sri Lankan Tamils who are linked closest to me over these Dilliwallahs seriously – ethnically and culturally speaking.  Anyway, the old man’s generation is an almost extinct community with hardly a handful of seniors from pre-partition era surviving as of today.  What is the reason for re-kindling such an unwanted emotion in naive citizens is beyond my understanding.  Easy to fool our passive lots who love to give flight to their  vivid imaginations on any pretext, easy pretext.   Hafiz Sayeed, the mastermind of Mumbai 26/11 could be a pre-partition man himself, a septuagenarian, who knows.    Beautiful ad no doubt, but my mind drifts to our hundreds of jawans dying everyday in Kashmir border (and as of now for months there has been unprovoked and non-stop cross-border firing and shelling) and Kargil and Mumbai and Delhi and etc and etc.  I neither want overt friendship with Pakistan nor enmity.  The whole world is wary of Pakistan, not without a reason.  If anything, the timing is wrong.  Google must have tried the ad from Pakistan end first and my friends would do better if they watch ‘Waar’ or atleast read the reviews.

So the very  next week when the nation swayed to yet another mad emotional drama, i could barely control myself.  Astutely refused to watch Tendulkar’s final speech that everyone hoohahed universally to the extent that i became sort of a ‘freak’ (with the risk of being mistaken for ‘complexed personality’ on account of two back-to-back arguments on posts in Facebook hating a very beloved mass-hysteric ad and now on this about Tendulkar).  Some friends said they were moved to tears.

My hubby dear, once a biggest Sachin-fan himself, who had quietly read through the thread called me up from work and said, I was the only one who spoke the bold truth about Tendulkar online.  For once he was happy i did not tow the line like every other friend of ours did.  In fact he wondered whether without Reliance and Mukesh Ambani and Sharad Pawar and BCCI backing, Sachin Tendulkar could have managed to do so much on his own. get to where he is today.  But he is smart, avered my hubby, because he knows to keep a low profile, is mature enough not to get revved up by/in any controversy and disassociate and distance himself from any kind of trouble.  Very level headed given his age.  What a powerful rapport!  And not to undermine his game of cricket in his peak years and the solid strength and backbone that he was for the team for years.   And now, that’s what i like about Tendulkar.  He is on his own league, in full control.  This is one good lesson we all must learn from him.

Guess over years, we spouses become the best of friends really.  How much we read others’ minds and how much we know how each of us will react and how strongly we feel for each other!  Whether national or international or family matters, for years now we are thinking the same, feeling the same!  (Recently i went to a dentist with my MIL.  The doctor turned to me and asked, ‘are you her daughter?’  I said no, i was the daughter-in-law.  He said, we resembled each other.  Strange.  Recall reading somewhere that after living for a period together, the family members, even if from different backgrounds, including husband and wife, start looking like each other!

Anyway, what i thought was my winning argument was that Sachin chose to retire exactly after his 200th test and if it is for the love of the game, he wouldn’t have had to linger on for the magical number.    Kapil Dev did not for instance.

Someone said, Tendulkar deserved the award because he carried the dreams of a billion on his shoulders who the young and the hopeful of this nation looked forward to emulate.  There could be some truth here.  Still ‘Bharat Ratna’ could be nothing short of over-doing Tendulkar.

While the media went gaga over the news, atleast one newspaper, my local one played fair on ‘Bharat Ratna.’

Not Vishwanathan Anand, the five time world chess champion from among us could win the honour.  Nor  P T Usha, the Asian games gold medalist and the greatest athlete ever in Indian history.  Not even grandslam tennis players/winners like Leander Paes or Mahesh Bhupathi.  Not Sania Mirza nor the Badminton ace Saina Nehwal.  Not any hockey player.

But it had to be Sachin Tendulkar who played a glorious inning of a lifetime, for personal records among other things.

I want to know if mass popularity is indeed a criteria for deciding on ‘Bharat Ratna’ awarding.  Because the award was conferred posthumously on ex- Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M G Ramachandran, by Rajiv Gandhi when he passed away in the eighties.  I don’t think anyone other than the ADMK party cadres were delighted as a shell-shocked nation looked on in perplexity!  Yes, the elections were around the corner then as they are of now!

But ever since the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for lifetime achievement in film industry was given to bollywood actor Pran, i have lost all respect for government awards and honours.

I could pile up a list of over a thousand south Indian contenders in front of whom Pran does not stand a chance.  The recognition came too late for even K. Balachander, thespian tamil film director.  That Dilip Kumar and Pran must be awarded the coveted distinction has belittled the title’s honour and value in my eyes  (as it has now happened with ‘Bharat Ratna’).  I would rather, Shivaji Ganesan or Nagesh for instance.  Swear on this because being a south Indian i have access to both Bollywood films and south Indian films and my awareness is not limited by sense of geography or language.  There is this thing called ‘class difference’.  Ignorance must not be the reason for anyone to be awarded with undeserved title and for anyone to be neglected from being conferred with an honourable distinction.


From → Dilli Durbar

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: