Sachin: Just Not Cricket

Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, a name that even a newly born would be aware of. His competency on the field is unmatched. The title, “God of Cricket” is indeed apt enough when it comes to his cricket. However, like the God, creator of this universe, puts us in doubt at times that He might have done some mistakes, not everything He created is perfect, and few things of His are questionable. Rightly so, this legendary cricketer too puts me in doubt at times. I don’t doubt the life that creates on the field with his magic wand, hitting through the mid-on, mid-off, gully, square cut, and so on – everything with adept precision. His fans/followers say “Cricket is a religion and Sachin is God”, and Hayden praised Sachin, “I have seen God. He bats at no. 4 in India in Tests” – I agree to every word of praise that is bestowed on this Little Master.

Yet there is something that still does not make me very likeable of him. Recently when Sachin shifted to his Bandra residence, an abode worth Rs 39 Cr, I was happy for him, more because a Marathi mulga from Mumbai had achieved that feat. Few days later I was made to rethink about my elation. I read in newspapers that there was a discussion going on to waive off any penalty on Sachin because he had shifted into his house without obtaining an Occupation Certificate, a mandatory requirement for start living in a new house. I felt sad. A God should be treated like one only in the heaven (or hell) and not when He comes on earth, on earth He should be treated just like any other man (human) – no exceptions allowed.

Thus, Sachin even if a great personality, VIP, pride of India, God of cricket should be respected likewise only when he is playing, off the field he should be treated just like a common man with equal rights/rules/regulations applicable to him. I also remember the Ferrari case of 2002, in which the then Finance Minister made amendments to the Finance Bill of 2003 to accommodate Sachin being waved off the customs/import duty on the foreign vehicle he received. The rule at that time stated that customs duty can be waived only if a vehicle is received as a prize and not as a gift. The duty of Rs. 1.13 Cr was waived off, later though upon protest from activists, Fiat agreed to pay the import duty. All this looks clean in a way. Ferrari gifted it, Government of India decided to bypass the customs duty regulation, Fiat covered up the matter. However, had Sachin spoken a word to pay the customs duty,

I presume the respect for him would have increased beyond crores. For a man who had completed a 5 year contract with WorldTel worth Rs. 30 Cr from 1995-2000 and then Rs. 80 Cr from 2001 again for next 5 years, I don’t think it would have been difficult to pay that duty of Rs. 1.13 Cr. If you need to stand iconic you need to exhibit your prowess all round and not in one direction, because not only people who love cricket but others too observe you. Sachin’s case looks like that of Rahul Gandhi, the pseudo youth icon. Sachin had brushed Raj Thackeray once proclaiming he is an Indian first and Mumbai belongs to every Indian. Well then my dear good Marathi mula, do should do things that appeal to entire India irrespective class, creed, color, religion, economic stature.

If you are inspiration to the young kids playing cricket in the corridors of chawls, railway tracks, footpaths, please also uphold activities that will inspire every Indian to follow up. Take the rules seriously, don’t allow any regulation to be tampered, don’t pay heed to any waive-offs, discounts. Instead come ahead and respect the laws of the land, this too will add to your respect and reputation, apart from the magic of your willow.

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