Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sachin Tendulkar and Bharat Ratna..

Last week Sachin Tendulkar retired from all forms of cricket, this put an end to his amazing journey of 24 years on cricket field which included making and breaking of many records and achieving many milestones for India as team member of one of the most successful Indian cricket team, he played his last test match against West Indies and received grand and emotional farewell. I am big fan of his batting and sportsmanship, I witnessed his career since beginning, he is one of the most celebrated and admired cricketer till date and according to me he deserved all admiration and adulation. On the day after his retirement Indian government announced him Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award, this announcement was bound to create some controversy and some uproar, undoubtedly cricket is the most popular sports in India and because of this cricketers receive more admiration, media coverage, fame and money but that doesn't mean they are the only achievers in the area of sports who make India proud, therefore many people will ask the question why Sachin, why not Dhyanchand or Abhinav Bindra or Anand? Is it just because he is famous or because he played cricket? There will be many questions like this. Government did try to play balancing game to award celebrated scientist Prof. C. N. R. Rao along with Sachin but Sachin's award is going to create some controversy and people are going to push their candidate and ask why not him or her?

I believe the decision was emotional one, entire country (at least who follow cricket) was feeling sad that Sachin is retiring from cricket, the game which he dominated for last 20 years or so, they all wanted to give him memorable farewell and may be our government thought this award will be like valuable cherry on his farewell cake, but did they get their act right? definitely not, there are many more deserving sports person who deserve this award before Sachin or at least along with him. By selecting Sachin's name government itself showed the inherent bias which exists in India against other sports compared to cricket. Field hockey is India's national game and achievements of major Chyan Chand in that sports are unparalleled and I wonder how come his name didn't pop up when government decided to give this award to a sportsperson, according to me he was the most deserving person to get this award in the area of sports, but unfortunately this didn't happen.

Actually if any one take a look at the list of Bharat Ratna awardees one often wonders why some people even got that award and why it took so many years (even after their death) for some very deserving people to get this award. The award looks very politicized, depending on which government is ruling people get it. Almost every prime minister who ruled for more than couple of years got this award, the list is heavily populated with politicians, mainly this is a political award, awarded sometimes to eminent artists, sports is recently included category in the list, Sachin is the first sportsperson to receive this award and he is also youngest to receive this award. I am happy for his success but at the same time feel that other more deserving people also should get the recognition and admiration which they deserve. I know that there is bound to be some controversy related with these type of awards, there are more than one deserving people at any given time but there is no restriction of number to this award at least, I hope our government will realize their mistake soon and take some corrective measures, if they don't then we have to satisfy our self by saying that some people are greater than this award, so they don't need it. I also noticed that even Mahatma Gandhi didn't receive this award, I am glad that he didn't get this award (like Nobel peace prize) because there are some undeserving names in both the lists (Bharat Ratna and Nobel peace) so it's good that his name is not there along with them, actually he doesn't need any award or recognition (and I really mean in his case) but others might need it for the sake of that sport (like field Hockey) or honor, so at least those names should be considered before it's too late.

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic.

[Copyright : Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing]

1. Bahrat and Ratna (article from Marathi news paper Loksatta)
2. http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/
3. तेंदुलकर, ध्यान चंद, राजनीति और भारत रत्न

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