Published On: Tue, Apr 10th, 2012

What makes Sachin the biggest newsmaker of ‘recent times’: Letting his bat speak

Who is the biggest star, newsmaker and celebrity of recent times? It’s an easy one: Sachin Tendulkar. What is difficult about that question, however, is to understand when ‘recent times’ began. In fact, it began what seems ages ago and no one knows when it will end. Perhaps not even the man who made history, the little genius, has a clue when his amazing career will come to an end.

“It’s a difficult decision,” said Imran Khan. “But it is important that you need to call it a day when you are on top,” said the man who had retired from the game soon after winning the World Cup.

Sachin Tendulkar said after achieving the hundredth hundred that the most important moment was the World Cup victory for which he had to wait many decades. But having decided not to stop then, and now after the century of centuries, will he get a memorable moment?

What makes him go on and on? Money? Perhaps because at stake are millions which can start drying up once he hangs his boots. But people who claim to know Sachin’s mind say he is not playing only for the money. Ajay Jadeja – curiously enough, here’s a man who was punished for succumbing to the lure of money – said he should play as long as he enjoyed the game. Sachin himself had often reiterated and once again after reaching the recent milestone that he is still enjoying the game.

Is it what matters the most, whether you enjoy what you are doing? Do we all, who work in different fields, enjoy our work all the time or simply carry on because it helps pay the milkman, newspaper boy and all those other boys and men who produce different kinds of bills? Former cricketer Kirti Azad had something to say about this aspect of enjoyment. He said that when cricketers play for the country, they are performing a role and are trying to do well for the country and not just trying to enjoy.

Those who have watched Sachin play, however, will not accuse him of playing for pure enjoyment. The way he bats makes it clear that when he is on the pitch, he is not thinking about money or fame or records but how to win the matches. And as one expert pointed out, if Bangladesh still defeats India after his century, it is in spite of him and not because of him.

In fact, a cricketer who showed a lot of promise but ended his career ingloriously, was Mohammed Azhruddin. Peope may argue that he perished because he was corrupt but he also went on the path of self-destruct because he believed that cricket was entertainment rather than big-level sport or religion, as some are never tired of repeating.

Talent a lot of people have in India but it is commitment that sets some apart like Sachin. Another example is provided by national award winning actress Vidya Balan, who is the one actress in Bollywood who has been talked about for her acting. People like Katrina Kaif have been successful but for their beauty, sculpted figure, oomph or dance but never for their acting. At 34, she is not exactly spring chicken but Vidya Balan’s Kahaani is already being talked about and we don’t even know who is playing the hero. To think that this was an actress who tried and failed to make a mark in Mollywood speaks volumes about her determination.

Talking of determination, one man who was denied entry to the country of his birth managed to visit India. Author Salman Rushdie who was stopped from attending the Jaipur Literary Festival took part in a conclave organised by a national magazine and denounced the “disgraceful vote bank politics” being practised in the country and said that “95 per cent of Muslims in India are not interested in violence being done in their name”.

When determination is laced with arrogance, we term it stubbornness, which was in full view after Dinesh Trivedi presented the railway budget. His party boss was so unhappy with certain recommendations that she managed to get him replaced with Mukul Roy. We hear that some of the recommendations in the railway budget may be rolled back. Rushdie was after all right about ‘vote bank politics’ that is plaguing the country. If Mamata’s stubbornness stops the fares from going up, some other services may cost more without us citizens even realizing it. It is not exactly clear what made J Jayalalitha give up some of her stubbornness in the issue of the Koodankulam neuclear plant but perhaps the revelation of PM Manmohan Singh that some of those opposing the plant were receiving funds from vested interests abroad may have something to do with it.

In Kerala, power play mainly revolved around the Piravam elections which was important for both fronts since the majority for the ruling UDF is wafer thin. They managed to yank off one of the MLAs from the CPI(M) camp. Soon after he resigned, he said suicide was better than joining the ruling front but now says that if his supporters urge him, he may reconsider his position. Selvaraj, who won the Neyyattinkara seat mainly on the strength of the support of his caste members rather than by virtue of any ideology that he represents, shows that our ‘democrazy’ may be the largest in the world but far from being one of the best.

-Sharath Chandran

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What makes Sachin the biggest newsmaker of ‘recent times’: Letting his bat speak