Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Why Indians love Sachin Tendulkar ? - By Ramachandra Guha
Why Sachin Tendulkar is so popular in India? Does it mean he is the best cricketer India has ever produced? Does that mean Kapil Dev, Gavaskar and many more superb cricketers are inferior to Sachin?
There are no answers to such questions. But there is one truth. That is Sachin is perhaps the greatest cricketer born in India adored by the largest numbers of Indian. There might be several reasons for that. Introduction of satellite televisions, new technologies bridging communication gap and promotion of cricket as a world class game are just few of those reasons.
But the truth remains. As poet CP Surendran once remarked, whereas other batsmen walked out to bat alone, when Tendulkar came to the crease, "a whole nation, tatters and all, marched with him to the battle arena". Here were "one billion hard-pressed Indians", with "just one hero".
In the early years of his career, Tendulkar brought solace and consolation to a divided nation by the sheer quality of his batsmanship. There were few credible role models elsewhere - the politicians were manipulative and corrupt, the film stars voyeuristic and exhibitionist, the entrepreneurs self-serving.
Perhaps India really needs many more Sachins to bridge the gap of north and south, rich and poor and many more such classes still existing in India. He definitely has an impact on national integration.
Here is a nice piece by famous historian Ramachanda Guha about Sachin and his popularity.
Link : BBC