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Should Sachin get Bharat Ratna Award?

On » Monday, April 11, 2011 //

The famous questions doing the rounds in the media now-a-days is that 'Should Sachin Tendulkar get the Bharat Ratna award?' or 'Does he deserves the honour?' And since 2nd April 2011, after India won the ICC cricket world cup 2011, the demand has gathered steam and creating a buzz not only in the cricketing circle but also in the political arena. Many of the previous Bharat Ratna awardees, ex-cricketers, politicians and other sportspersons also back the thought of giving the Little Master the highest civilian award as soon as possible.

(Courtesy: Internet)
I completely agree and I am aware of the basic facts that revolve around granting this prestigious honour. The award is given for exceptional service towards advancement of Arts, Literature and Science and in Public service of the highest order. Agreed sports is not included in the above mentioned criteria and the current rules do not make Sachin eligible for the prize. But it goes without saying that his achievements neither need any explanation or a debate to determine their influence on the billions across the country. And if rules need to be changed and amendment of the criteria are imminent, Sachin's is the best excuse for doing so because the reason is worthy enough. 

Some argue that Sachin is too 'young' to get the award and hence it would be too premature to honour him with such a prestigious award. But for a man who has devoted more than two-thirds of his life for a game which is no less than a religion in this country, giving him this highest honour is the most apt thing to do to give him back what he has given to this country. This man has not played cricket just like a game but it his passion towards it. Ironically, even after being 38 yrs old, it is this 'youth' factor that makes him stand apart from the rest. Look at the joy on his face every time he dives on the field or takes a catch. He is as excited and rearing to go as an 18 year old. Virat Kohli put it down really well on the world cup winning night, that as Sachin has been carrying the burden of this nation on his own shoulders for the last 21 years, its high time now we carry him on ours and reciprocate!

If you will go through the list of the 41 Bharat Ratna awardees, most of them are politicians and the last three are musicians. Not taking anything away from them, the argument that individual performances in a particular field should not be the basis of the award appears baseless. For example talk about Satyaji Ray, M S Subbalakshmi, Ravi Shankar, Lata Mangeshkar, Bismillah Khan, Bhimsen Joshi, etc. These great people were also honoured for what they achieved in their respective fields. So how is Sachin different from them. Sachin shouldn't be given the award based on his performances, but for the tremendous influence he has over the billions of us. He is an institution in himself with his absolutely down to earth persona and disciplined lifestyle. His achievements are no less than a social service. His every innings is a learning module for not just the buddying cricketers but also for other young minds because it has all the core values like determination, passion, devotion and integrity that one needs to excel in his field. No wonder he is truly called as the 'God of Cricket'. 

Regarding the 'art' angle, Cricket is an art form too and Sachin has mastered it so well. He is the only cricketer in history to have played in the last 4 decades i.e. 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and 2010s! Finally just to sum it up I feel if despite all that he has done for this country, he doesn't get this honour, it would be as blasphemous as Mahatma Gandhi not getting the Noble Peace award. I hope such a time never comes and the true 'Jewel' of India does get the Bharat Ratna award soon. Amen!

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