Sachin Tendulkar, who retired from international cricket two days ago was acknowledged by India’s most precious award “Bharat ratna”. Undoubtedly Sachin Tendulkar is a Bharat Ratna, every 65 inch of his stature. But its not only about cricket, there were many reason why government awarded him the most prestige award. Although, the government’s timing was perfect in officially acknowledging on his D-Day what the nation long felt about the cricketer. But why government prefer Sachin over Dhayanchand and Vishwanathan??
Many people would claim that Tendulkar’s authentic sporting achievements are more than matched by one Viswanathan Anand. But more would also agree that even his superhuman feats donning the tricolour on the helmet do not reasonably add up to the many wonders worked on the Davis Cup turf by one Leander Paes. But they are of same generations who do not mind waiting for their turn.
Bradman watched Dhyan Chand in 1935 in action in Adelaide. “Dhyan Chand scores goals like runs in cricket,” was his enthralled response. The next year, the German press went into a flap watching the wizard at Berlin. “The Olympic complex now has a magic show too,” screamed a headline. Legend has it that a charmed Hitler offered the major the post of colonel in his army. Residents of Vienna built a effigy of him with four hands holding four hockey sticks, underlining the wizardry.
Now doesn’t it seem unusual that government acknowledged Tendulkar before Dhyan Chand , every bit a Bharat Ratna, before honouring the country’s first modern sporting genius and superstar? The downhill affluences of hockey may have a lot to do with it. Long back in 1956, Dhyan Chand was honoured with the Padma Bhushan. The government released a postage stamp on his first death anniversary in 1980. Obviously, sportspersons were not eligible for Bharat Ratna. Rules for the same were amended in nov 2011.
That november, 82 MPs, a number of UPA ministers among them wrote to the Prime Minister’s Office, recommending Bharat Ratna for Dhyan Chand. In the same year, the PMO also received 64 nominations for bharat ratna, including Master Blaster for the highest honour backed by Prithviraj Chavan.
Subsequently in 2012, the union sports ministry has twice recommended Dhyan Chand for Bharat Ratna. This year in July, the ministry recapped that he was the logical choice. “We had to name just one sportsperson for the Bharat Ratna. With all due respect to Tendulkar, Dhyan Chand is a legend in Indian sports. And it was logical to recommend Dhyan Chand for the Bharat Ratna since we have named every other trophy after him,” Pradip Deb, secretary sports, was quoted as saying.
The UPA government dawdled for two years since amending the rules before picking Tendulkar as a ”popular choice” on the day of his retirement. Many people complaint of the honour and said it’s a biased decision.
Anand has won the Chess Oscar six times and world championship five times and in a sport many times more competitive than cricket. Three years senior to Tendulkar, He became India’s first grandmaster even before the boy wonder made his international debut. The only player to have won the world championships in all formats – tournament, match, knockout and rapid – he is recognized as the most adaptable world champion in the history of the game.
Anand (1985) and won the Arjuna award before Tendulkar (1994). Anand was the first recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 1991–92, India’s highest sporting honour. Anand became India’s first sportsperson in 2007 to be awarded the Padma Vibhushan ahead of Tendulkar. Chess enthusiasts should not mind if the cricketer takes the lead this time. As Government decision to award Bharat ratna is not only about cricket, its also has political influences.
Sachin, who is currently a member of upper house of parliament from congress. Sachin who also played his last match in his home ground on request from BCCI. Rajiv Shukla, a central minister and bcci chief may ask sachin to promote congress post retirement.
Timing for the acknowledgement was perfect, as sachin was retiring from cricket. People have sympathy from him and should be as he was playing cricket for past 24 years. And perfect time that no one would like to criticize this and UPA government added one feather in his cap. It would not be surprise for the people, if we saw sachin promoting congress in the future.