Personalities

MP Sachin Tendulkar sitting on Rajya Sabha development fund! Is the little fellow pinching public money?

Sachin was given the choice to adopt a district for development purpose after being made a member of the upper house, and he predictably chose Mumbai suburban. He is entitled to Rs five crore each year but has not bothered to spend even a penny on those who need it. He has failed to send any development project proposal to the government and has so far accumulated over 10 crore! It clearly reflects his insensitivity towards the disempowered. How can we call such a man God?

Cricket is not a religion and Sachin Tendulkar is not a God. Even if calling him God is used only as metaphor, it’s still an improper one. It is reducing the exclusivity of God in heaven, it is making light of divinity. Cricket is only a game, a very unpopular game, and Sachin Tendulkar is just like you and I. The only difference is that he had a gift and people around him helped him unwrap it, hone it to near perfection, so that the 5-feet-something hobbit of a man could one day play for India.

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He stormed into the international scene as a 17-year-old kid in 1989 and forced us to watch him play even after his game had become riddled with holes and weaknesses in the final years. He was not even half the player he was in his prime, yet, the BCCI did not have the guts to ask him to step down. Sachin Tendulkar had become bigger than the game itself! Ideally, he should have retired much before he actually laid his bat down, but the greed for 100 centuries kept him in the game, or rather he kept himself in the game. He was lusting after the glory of being the first man to score ton of tons! Does such a man deserve reverence?

If Sachin Tendulkar was a team man, a fair person, he would have retired much before he achieved 100 centuries. He stuck around, boring and frustrating millions of Indians. He was batting for personal glory. Sachin thought that the fans are fools and will continue to treat him as God even if he keeps failing. He took them for granted. It was a huge drag, from 99 to 100. He wasn’t so loved and revered by the time he called it a day!

It had become an ego problem in the end. In fact, Sachin was giving diktats to the BCCI as to when he wants to retire. By overstaying his welcome in the team, he was also blocking a spot. Many emerging, talented cricketers from the current generation were ready to break into the team but Sachin Tendulkar’s gluttony for runs and records stalled all new entry. Sachin was a sophisticated ‘gunda’, both on and off the field.

There was always a façade of innocence and righteousness about him when he appeared in public. His soft, almost feminine tone and tenor played a huge role in people forming positive opinions of him. He was considered humble, honest and a team man. In truth, he was hardly any of the above.

How humble a man is cannot be measured by his public actions. That could be a façade, he could be doing service and showing compassion in public to win popularity contest. It’s like engineered publicity. How really humble a man is should be measured by what he does when no one’s watching. His friends, who grew up playing with him in the Shivaji Park in Mumbai say Sachin Tendulkar is not what the whole world thinks of him. He is a very good player, but a below average human being. They claim Sachin, after becoming a celebrity, conveniently forgot his roots and his real friends. This is not a deed of a man who claims to be down to earth. His actions speak otherwise.

His treatment of Vinod Kambli, who was his childhood friend, is a case in point. Sachin first announced himself after stitching a world-record partnership with Vinod Kambli as 12-13 year olds. Post that feat, there have been numerous headlines that talked about their closeness. In truth, Sachin, once his career took off, never looked back. While Kambli was going through a rough patch, Sachin was nowhere near him. He had immense influence but chose to remain a silent spectator. The duo withered away with the passage of time… It may not be a big deal in this cut-throat world, but it surely reveals the inherent nature of the man.

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If you take away the cricketing elements, you will feel a repulsive stench about Sachin Tendulkar. For over 20 years, he amassed runs, created record after record, dictated the Indian dressing room and stretched his usefulness up to a point where it became frustrating to watch him play.

Sachin’s feelings on racism were revealed when he wrongly testified in favour of Harbhajan Singh in Sydney years ago. Bhajji had made a racist comment on Andrew Symonds and Sachin would have clearly heard it, but he denied everything. If he were a virtuous, moral man, he could have taken a stand of some kind. Instead of treating the matter of racial vilification with sincerity, half-men like Sachin Tendulkar held the game to ransom and threatened to boycott the series if Harbhajan was punished. Sachin lied and cheated the law to protect his team-mate, but he is immoral and dishonest as well. How can India call such a man God?

Sportsmanship is not Sachin Tendulkar’s virtue. In defeat, he has been discourteous and uncivil. Adam Gilchrist once recalled how Sachin Tendulkar was never to be found in the dressing for a ceremonial handshake every time India lost to Australia. In after-game parties, Sachin acted special and deserving of all the media attention.

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One would have thought Sachin would devote more time in Rajya Sabha and raise concerns of a sporting kind in the parliament. There are so many issues that many Indian sports are grappling with. Lack of infrastructure, housing, training are hurting Indian sport. Sachin, with the influence he carries and the position he is in, can make much difference, if he wanted to.

He is never seen in the parliament when a significant bill is being discussed but one can spot him in blue t shirt and shorts at IPL, sitting in the VIP box, enjoying a glass of whiskey with orange juice in it as disguise. He is sitting on huge amounts of development fund he is entitled to as MP and his attendance in the Upper House is nil. How can such a man be revered as God?

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It is the influence of the man which suppressed the story of ball-tampering. Had it been a lesser player, everyone would have been baying for his blood. It was Sachin, so it was forgotten… It was in 2001 South Africa tour when television cameras picked up images that suggested Tendulkar may have been involved in cleaning the seam of the cricket ball, something that is illegal in the game. Match referee Mike Denness handed him a one-match ban. He ended up paying the price for questioning Sachin’s integrity and was barred from entering the venue of the third Test match.

Sachin Tendulkar makes me sick.

There, I have said it!

And by the way, aren’t we giving undue significance to cricket? It is recognised in only a handful of countries. It’s not global in true spirit. In such a context, what’s so special about Sachin Tendulkar?

 

 

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