To make it very clear, I am a Sachin fan. I admire him, respect him and idolise him (Like most of the rest of my 100 crore Indian brothers and sisters).
His first century, 119 at Old Trafford, came even before I was born. And he regularly kept dishing them out till I entered my post-graduation. 24 years is a long career for a sportsman, hats off to him. A sincere thanks for entertaining me for so many years and for helping India win so many matches. What hurts me now is the commodification of this ‘Legend’ that’s taking place these days. With over 190 kg of roses showered over the stadium, exorbitantly priced tickets, wax statues, slideshows etc., the BCCI is paying a very ‘rich’ tribute to the Little Master. (And turning very rich in the process themselves).
BCCI isn’t the only one who is cashing in on the brand ‘Sachin’. Sachin Mobile cases, sachin cola cans, sachin laptops, sachin key chains etc. The list is endless. And knowing the ethics he swears by, IÂ am pretty sure that he’ll b a little uneasy with all this hype too.
These are some of the statuses I came across on my Facebook wall:
“Enough. Its hard enough that this is it. I just want to shut the world out and watch him play cricket.
Its all about cricket. Especially for him, especially now. Sachin Tendulkar deserves that much from a cricket-crazy nation that worships him.
This overdose of glitz is beginning to taint the sanctity of what he represents.”
“Of course, Sachin’s retirement frills are over the top. But I don’t want keep hearing about it. I just want to see a cover drive.”
Is this the way you send-off the players who have served the national team with every drop of their sweat and blood? Dravid, Laxman and Kumble definitely deserved a better send-off than what they got.
In some deep corner of my heart, I’m glad that Sachin is getting recognition for what he’s done but at the same time, we, as a nation, at times fail to even acknowledge our ‘Heroes’. How many roses did we shower on Field Marshal Manekshaw during his cremation and how many people were present there?