Idealist Vs Cynic: Does Sachin deserve the Bharat Ratna?

Cynic: So did you watch South Africa hand us our asses on a silver platter last week.

Idealist: We are a young team, cut them some slack.

C: I will cut them slack, when they start winning.

I: Rohit and Raina have the shot selection of a 4 year old. We lost there when we sent in our fab-4, so I don’t know why you are so annoyed at this.

C: Well that’s my default mood anyways. It’s been accentuated by the fact that we celebrate our cricketers more than they deserve.

I: Ok I don’t like where you are going with this.

C: Why are you another of those Sachin worshippers?

I: Is it because he is getting the Bharat Ratna and you are not?

C: I don’t deserve it. But does he?

I: of course he does. 100 centuries, most runs by any player, most matches by any player, most Man Of The Matches by any player…Should I go on?

C: But for that he already has a Khel Ratna. Isn’t that enough.

I: Let’s see he has been the most respected figure in Cricket spanning 3 generations. Has inspired a whole generations of cricketers. Is probably a good role model, and he has excelled in what he does. Bharat Ratna is given as per definition,

for performance of highest order in any field of human endeavor

C: This is a recent change to the criteria.

I: True, but this change came about in 2011. Way before Sachin was announced as a recipient.

C: Ok, so technically giving Sachin a Bharat Ratna is okay. But from the top my head I can think of at least 3 people who are more deserving than him.

I: Now, that my friend is a dangerous question. And what more that is the wrong question.

C: Whatever do you mean?

I: When you decide who to give the ‘Bharat Ratna’. You should ask the question ‘Why he deserves it?’ and not ‘Why he deserves it more?’ OR ‘Why he deserves it less?’ The right question my friend is  ‘Why does Sachin deserve the Bharat Ratna?’.

Does Sachin deserve the Bharat Ratna
Discussing Cricket

C: Ok, why does he deserve it?

I: The same reason why any other recipient before him deserved it. Not only is every recipient a stand-out in their respective discipline, but each one of them is an icon. A name which first inspires awe, second a legend, and finally an image of India. These are people who define the face of our country. Lata Mangeshkar, Mother Teresa, Indira Gandhi; people who are recognized across the world, and associated with India.

C: And you think Sachin falls in that category?

I: You do not? Pound for pound, and I am not disrespecting any of the awardees, Sachin maybe the most famous Indian in that list.

C: Famous doesn’t make deserving. What about all the other sportsperson. What makes him so special, that he should be the first one?

I: What made Lata Mageshkar more special? What made Nelson Mandela so special, that he was included even when he was not an Indian citizen. Once again you ask the wrong question. Is being the first sportsperson so big an honor, isn’t he opening the floodgates for Vishwanath Anand, for Dhanraj Pillai, for Gopichand, for Dhyan Chand. Will the award be more deserving if he had got it after any of these greats. Or will the award be less deserving if it is given to any of them after Sachin.

C: But he already has whatever he needs. People are biased towards cricket.

I: Just a quick fact, Dhoni and Sachin are the only 2 recipients of the Khel Ratna from the cricket fraternity.

C: That proves nothing.

I: See, we can discuss personal tastes till the cows come home. I had seen a FB post somewhere, where a guy had compared a martyr of the Army with Sachin.

C:Yes I had seen that too. That was way below the belt.

I: You damn right it was. There is something known as the Ashok Chakra. That would have ended the argument there. However for the sake of argument, let’s take in the money factor. Does being rich automatically disqualify you from getting the Bharat Ratna. Almost half of that list is full of former stalwarts of Indian Politics. People from the entertainment front, who are legends in their business, I don’t have the exact numbers, but I am sure most of them did alright.

C: See all I am saying is the Bharat Ratna is a knee jerk reaction to his retirement.

I: That maybe, but that still doesn’t make him any less deserving.

C: I guess you are right.

I: You know I am. We pride ourselves on our academic prowess and Kalam is a symbol of that. We consider ourselves a country of peace and mercy, Mother Teresa stood as an icon for it. We boasts of our musical culture, and Lata Mangeshkar affirmed that notion. We show the world that we empower women, and Indira Gandhi stamped her authority. We are a cricket loving nation, and this man has epitomized Indian cricket for years. UK is not cynical about their love for soccer. US flaunt their love for American Football everywhere. Sports is as much a lifestyle and social glue, as the launch of ‘Mangal Yaan’. Then why are we taking away the deserved applause for his hard work from him?Sachin_cover_drive_200 tests

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