Applaud and preserve Sachin-like champions — can we?

February 25, 2010

Tendulkar’s batting magnificence has been chronicled so much over the years that anything written about him generates as much passion as he does on any cricket field.

Sachin Tendulkar celebrates his double century during the second one-day international cricket match against South Africa in Gwalior February 24, 2010.  REUTERS/Punit ParanjpeHis 200-run spectacle against South Africa was another opportunity for his fans to erupt, cheer, sing and write praises.

But with such performances come expectations. So much that almost every time this champion comes in to bat, high expectations generate a sort of fear — in the stadium, homes, TV stations, internet and wherever he is revered.

If he failed to perform, disappointment and even a rare criticism would follow.

His every shot, movement and stint on the ground is monitored not by commentators and experts alone, but by every single cricket fan.

In a country like India, where people’s emotions are driven by instant self-gratification, the fear of criticism after singing paeans is inevitable.

Tendulkar has had a fair share of brickbats and criticism – for his performance on the ground and otherwise.

In 2003, there was a huge outcry in India with huge protests against a waiver given to Tendulkar to import a Fiat car.

Less than three years ago, the same TV channels which usually spend hours discussing his performances, showed him about to cut a cake decorated with the tricolour flag of India. And he was greeted with protests and salvos.

A year later, Tendulkar’s place in the national side was being questioned.

And most recently, the champion’s integrity was being questioned when a political party warned him to stay away from politics.

Fans celebrate after Sachin Tendulkar scored a double century in Ahmedabad February 24, 2010. Tendulkar became the first batsman to score a double century in one-day internationals on Wednesday. REUTERS/Amit DaveBut all this has rarely affected Tendulkar’s behaviour on and off the field. He remains humble and warm, polite and obliging, after every spectacle he produces in an attempt to win his country a match.

But can we assure Tendulkar and champions from other sports and walks of life a sort of respect forever?

Can people in India be mindful of preserving their excellence?

13 comments

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An interesting article and the author’s ‘fears’ are well founded. Public memory can be alarmingly short and Tendulkar is no exception.

Cricket is more than a religion in India and though Tendulkar is beyond discussion, people are quick to blast him and write him off whenever he hits a bad patch.

I don’t know about ‘respect forever’ but Tendulkar has an assured place in history and in the hearts of the masses. But I can’t say the same for other sportspersons who have achieved similar success in their respective fields.

Other sports have certainly suffered because of cricket and sportspersons are not given their due, both in the media and in the hearts of the masses.

I hope that the upcoming Hockey World Cup gives me a reason to feel proud of the great nation that is India.

Posted by achilles.a | Report as abusive

Can not remeber any other field where a student has made his teacher as famous as sachin has made his guru Ramnath achrekar.Isalute both the guru and pupil.

Posted by duasudhir | Report as abusive

Some of great and legendary players in the world cricket has their name starting with “SIR” or “LORD” but do you have any such prefix for him ? If you have please let me know, for the time being I’ll praise him and worship him as “GOD” “SACHIN RAMESH TENDULKAR”, No “SIR” No “LORD” only “GOD”…..

If you worship God Sachin Tendulkar then raise your hand, if you don’t then raise your STANDARDS… !!!

Posted by mohitbhilare | Report as abusive

If any one is in public eye, he/she has to face this situation, which is common. Congratulations Mr.Tendulkar for magnificent innings.

Posted by Udumalaihero | Report as abusive

Its natural for people to have opinions. Its those who do not have them are strange. When we are talking about someone like Sachin Tendulkar – a legendary cricketer it is but natural to have people talk about him when he is performing well and also in his low days. It is just a reinforcement of the fact that he is too charismatic to be forgotten! We all love him..!

Posted by swati1 | Report as abusive

Pop artist Andy Warhol famously commented – “In the future, everybody will be world famous for 15 minutes”. In the virtual deluge of information that engulfs the present scenario, it indeed becomes very difficult to applaud and preserve champions like Sachin. Remember, media needs to constantly grab the eyeballs and the best way to do it is to create instant heroes or villains who can be gratified or ridiculed as the situation demands. So take it from me – if Sachin fails in next few innings, knives will be out for him. And it won’t be surprising if some of the critics argue that after scoring a double hundred, the batting maestro is past his prime!

Posted by Anuambrish | Report as abusive

read the article with great interest.agree with the author that v indians have very short memory. and v only cheer the success and never give a shoulder when one is going through a lean patch.
regarding THE GOD OF CRICKET—well he lives by cricket 24×7. he is truely a global sportsman . a great human being.there is only one SACHIN TENDULKAR and we indians are fortunate that he is in our country.GOD bless

Posted by blessedone | Report as abusive

Very well written and informative blog, sharing the irony of being famous in India.
You have raised a very good question, assurance of rescept to people like Tendulkar. I feel that all right minded people would always respect him for his game and soon he will be called Sir Sachin Tendulkar like Sir Donald Bradman. However assuring respect does not just depend on people it depends on people who are given that respect more. So in the eyes of right minded people Sachin will always be a star and fractionists can harldy malign his image.

Posted by Aditi83 | Report as abusive

Adoration and criticism go hand-in-hand. That is how people are. Sachin in a great sportsman and his athletics achievements will be remembered for a long time. But it is his nobility of spirit and humility that will endure for even longer by providing generations with a role model of someone who can be both competent and nice.

Posted by anshua | Report as abusive

I have been following Tendulkar since he first started plundering runs alongside another great batsman Vinod Kambli. I, too have cheered aloud slogans, painted my face, danced a tango and beat drums in the stadium whenever Tendulkar won India matches and delighted us with his strokes. And whenever he failed, I got disappointed, and seethed with anger, muttered a few abuses under my breath against the bowler. And, full stop. We need to realise that the job of winning is to be done by the 11 players. And having said, everybody cannot be Tendulkar Ganguly, Laxman or Dravid. Tendulkar has the same 206 bones, 5 senses, so on as you and I, only that God bestowed him the power to punish men from opposition, particularly who either hail from Pakistan or Australia and may be now South Africa.

Posted by NamitG | Report as abusive

The best part of the article is that it juxtaposes our thoughts, I doubt these are merely authors thought, it includes our fears as well. Having said that the feat by Sachin is magnanimous because of his age. Hope he keeps fit and India shines!

Posted by The_Dark_Knight | Report as abusive

Millions of hearts are ready to die
Legendary soul your smile is shy
As the roaring lions are tamed with a whip
You handle pressure all with a sweep,
Shakespeare of cricket write poems in air
turn dreams into reality with passion and care,
A marathon run on rulers’game
nothing stands,thy Hannibal will to blame,
No fire can melt thy icy cool look
your eagle eyes miss not a pool or hook,
tonnes after tonnes you grind like a mill
thy colossus height can past wounds heal,
Age can not wither the charm of your stroke
In midst of storms you stand like a rock.
(2-minute) ;)

Posted by 2-minute-fan | Report as abusive

2-minute-fan: Great!

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive