Reports from India say that Sachin Tendulkar, the legendary cricketer who very recently retired from the game at the age of 40 years, has been awarded “Bharat Ratna” the highest civilian award in India. Sachin has been an idol in India and cricketing world. His performance in the game of cricket was un-parallel. In his 24 years career as India’s cricketer, Sachin has achieved many peaks. He has been non-controversial to the point of being silent in his classical politically correct posture. Such posture reflected escapism at times. From cricket he has earned a lot and shall do so through endorsements and cricket commentary also even after retirement. I am not aware of the conditionalities about “Bharat Ratna”. But:

1. What are the social contributions of Sachin? I am not aware of any ‘Sachin foundation’ where he has given a substantial proportion of his income for any acute social cause in India in particular and world at large.
2. Cricket being played in a few countries (which were British colonies), does Sachin truly project India before the world community?
3. What about those thousands of his young followers in India who wanted to be Sachin and in the process neglected their studies but also failed to become cricketers of any worth?
4. Will Sachin fans in India press for awarding him Nobel Prize?
5. Where are the names of Milkha Singh, M F Hussain, Dhyan Chand, Subhash Chandra Bose or even ‘Father of the Nation’ of India?

What type of Ratna is he? I don’t understand.

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