Leave Sachin alone
The recent competition between politicians to demand a Bharat Ratna for Cricket Icon Sachin Tendulkar is an exercise to be one up on each other. Tendulkar is undoubtedly one of the greatest cricketers in the world and certainly does not need any certificates for his brilliant performances from our politicians. He has achieved what no other cricketer has achieved and there will always be a debate whether he is better than say Sir Don Bradman, the greatest of them all or even Sunil Gavaskar considered by many as the most technically sound batsman India ever had.
But these are views which various people are entitled to have and therefore not meant to undermine any of the three gentlemen mentioned above and many more like Brian Lara, Vivian Richards, Gary Sobers, Ricky Ponting and Rahul Dravid. But the point is that why are we needlessly making a premature demand for giving the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour to Tendulkar.
There is no doubt that he will get it one day but why should we be putting pressure on him while he is still playing and going strong. He already has so much pressure on him and will be happy playing without any additional burden. The Bharat Ratna can certainly wait till his playing days are over and when he has many more achievements under his belt. Cricket is a team game and therefore even Tendulkar will agree that a Bharat Ratna after the Indians win the World Cup once again will be a very befitting award. Even if we do not win the World Cup this award should go to this little Master.
I can understand that the hype, which has been created, is also because millions of rupees are invested in Sachin so far as his endorsements go and the advertisers are keen that he must get it now so that their products get further benefits by his association. As he himself has said on many occasions, he wants to play for India and there is no greater glory for him than to take the men in blue to victory after victory. I think we should stop pushing this talented cricketer and instead allow him to concentrate on his game. He deserves the Bharat Ratna and should get it one day.
But while on the subject, I shall be happy that other great sports persons could also be considered for this prestigious award. For instance, I would be delighted if Milkha Singh, the Flying Sikh perhaps the greatest athlete produced by this country is given this honour. We must remember that Milkha competed in the Olympic sports and though he was unable to win in Rome in 1960, he became an icon in this country. His record still stands after 50 years and he is a living legend. Similarly, somebody like Ajitpal Singh, the Captain of the World Cup winning Hockey team in 1975 and at that time the best center half in the world is also an able candidate. P.T.Usha, V. Anand and many others could also be amongst those who can be considered.
Outside the arena of sports, somebody like late Mohammad Rafi, the most versatile and gifted singer in post Independence India could be a nominee as also late Ustad Vilayat Khan, the Sitar Maestro. But then many a times, the awards do not go to the most deserving. I hope this does not happen to Sachin when his time comes.