desicritics · Opinion · sports

Sachin for Bharat Ratna??

CNN-IBN kicked off a debate. Are there personalities that are worthy of being awarded the Bharat Ratna? India’s highest award has eluded an Indian’s grasp for the past seven years.

One of the names that cropped up was Sachin Tendulkar. Is Sachin worthy of Bharat Ratna? Though the awards, in the past have been conferred on people who are old and have long done what they have done for India, giving the award to someone as young as Sachin, is it justified?

Either you can read this, or read the link to an article at the end of this. Or read both. :)

I think its totally justified. If you’ve decided to give it to a sports personality, age is the last thing that anyone would worry about. So, the question is, “Is Sachin worthy?”.

Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar is probably one of the very few Indians, who is worthy of Bharat Ratna. He has been playing for the past 18 years and even today, every Indian heart skips a beat, when Sachin misses a delivery or misses a century.No other Indian batsman, would command the amount of respect and admiration, that Sachin commands from his fans.

For a long time, its been Sachin Tendulkar who has shouldered the responsibilities and pressure of the Indian cricket team. Cynics will argue about his match winning capabilities, his ability to bat under pressure etc. But I don’t think its wise to do so. Sachin has been the greatest thing that ever happened to Indian cricket. A lot of matches that have been within India’s reach, irrespective of the outcome, have been so, thanks only to Sachin. It is quite disgusting and depressing, when many of us count his success, in terms of what he has done for the team.

“Commit all your crimes when Sachin is batting. They will go unnoticed because even the Lord is watching”

Thats what a banner read in the Sydney Cricket Ground, when Sachin scored his 38th test century. In a country like Australia, where they play their cricket hard, only one man is loved and respected for what he has done. Long before a VVS Laxman, there was a little lad named Sachin Tendulkar who scored a brilliant century on the fastest track at Perth and captured the heart of Australians. The standing ovation he gets in overseas matches is something very few batsmen have managed. He has played more Test cricket abroad than home and has a fantastic record in both. What more, five people in my Google Talk list had the above quote as their status message. I haven’t seen anything quite like it ever.

There is a saying in Tamil which goes “Pakathla irundha, arumai theriyadhu”. It loosely translates to,”When something is close to you(or belongs to you), you fail to recognize its worth”. Its something like that when it comes to Sachin Tendulkar and us Indians. Only the Bret Lees and McGraths of cricket will be able to appreciate a Sachin Tendulkar. Its quite sad on our part as Indians. But its true. Thats the reason, there is no harm and no two ways about conferring Bharat Ratna on Sachin Tendulkar. He literally fits the award. He is indeed a Jewel of India.

Here is an article, on the same lines, that appeared in The Hindu in March 2004. Its an article by Nirmal Shekar, one of the best writers with The Hindu. It is so articulate that it really moves you and makes you see what Sachin is all about. If you are a Sachin fan, you should read it. If you are a Sachin fan and living in Chennai, you should HAVE read it. If you are one of those cynics, you’ll probably help yourself by reading it.

The article.

To borrow a line from Nirmal Shekar- In my book or blog or anywhere for that matter, there is nothing as worthy of celebration in Indian sport as Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. Seriously!

This article,now also published in –


13 thoughts on “Sachin for Bharat Ratna??

  1. I too think Tendulkar deserves a Bharat Ratna… No other Indian sportsman has created such an impact in the minds of the people.


  2. The question seems to have a lot of worth. There will be noone opposing the idea that Sachin has contributed immensely to Indian society, but the idea of the Bharat Ratna being given to someone still playing seems totally anachronistic. I mean would we give the lifetime achievement award to someone still alive..and well? Discount movies. Please.I’m not trolling and the greatest moments of our collective lives will be Sachin doing his thing. I say he will get it and possibly is in line for knighthood if they still hand out that to commonwealth countries still. Not now. Not for him. Pop quiz. What do Kane, Tandon and Bordoloi have in common?


  3. well, they received the posthumous awards?

    when was bharat ratna ever billed to be just lifetime achievement awards? They may just be achievement awards. and if its for a sports person, he probably achieved everything when he was <40. then why not, is what I ask!!!


  4. If there is ever a sports person that India can be proud of and must recognize then it is Vishy Anand. But then India did nothing for him, so I guess they are ashamed of taking credit for his achievements and acknowledging him.


  5. I must say.. cricket is an ironic sport. They call it a contest of bat vs ball. What about Kumble with 600 wickets. Think about 600. Sachin is clearly romanticized. He is very good. But gapp’s comment brings other people in mind. What about a Dhanraj pillai? What about a Geet Sethi? Clearly Sachin is no greater amongst equals. So my answer is no. Bring on the trolls. Please note: playing well when India lost and all that junk about Sachin is unfair to say the least.


  6. @sid:

    yes, sachin is romanticized. he probably deserves it. playing a sport that is worshiped and being so good at that is not his fault. neither is playing in hockey and billiards a fault of pillais and sethis. they are just plain unlucky…


  7. I too think Tendulkar deserves a Bharat Ratna even there are few more players in-line in other field. Tendulkar is very important because he is the inspiration to many people. For example few players created by him and playing with him.



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