Amit Paranjape’s Blog

Sachin Tendulkar For Bharat Ratna

Posted in Cricket, Current Affairs by Amit Paranjape on February 25, 2010


Sachin Tendulkar (image credit: wikipedia)

I have been thinking about this for the past few months; especially after Sachin Tendulkar completed 20 years of his amazing international career in November 2009.

The Bharat Ratna is India’s highest civilian award. The past 41 awardees represent an august group. This award has had lot fewer controversies around it, as compared to the ‘Padma-‘ awards. What better candidate this year than Sachin Tendulkar! And I think he could be the youngest ever (by a wide-margin) to get this honor. In this brief blog post, I will discuss my thoughts on why Tendulkar richly deserves this award.

At The Absolute Pinnacle Of His Discipline

Recent Bharat Ratna awardees include Lata Mangeshkar and Pandit Bhimsen Joshi. I have tremendous respect for both and have been a big fan of their music. They (along with other past awardees like Bismillah Khan, Pandit Ravi Shankar and Satyajit Ray) represent the absolute best of their discipline. Their glorious careers have spanned over many decades.

I would like to include Sachin Tendulkar in this list. He is the undisputed world leader in his field…and he has been at this level for many years. All his records and his amazing 21 year old career speak for themselves. But numbers alone don’t do justice to his skill and talent! Just as the great music maestros have enthralled their fans over all these years, so has Sachin. In fact rarely does one see a sports icon who has literally billions of fans, all over the globe. His contributions in making international cricket what it is today, are huge.

The Great Role-Model: Humility, Passion, Leadership and Work Ethic
But Sachin’s greatness goes beyond his individual success and his ability to entertain. He has been a great role-model for an entire generation of sports fans in India and around the world. In today’s world of media hype and controversies, he has managed to stay above the fray. One of the first things that strikes you when you follow his career, is his humility. Modern day professional sports and being humble, don’t exactly go hand-in-hand. But Tendulkar has been a strong exception.
His passion and love for the game are still as fresh as they were two decades back. Every time he is on the field, this passion radiates through to the entire team. He still has that school-boyish, infectious enthusiasm.
His leadership on and off the field, is often not discussed as much as his batting. Tendulkar has been the clear leader in whatever team he has been part of. Leadership doesn’t come through titles and designations. It comes from the respect of peers. It comes from a great work ethic. It comes from an ability to put the team ahead of an individual. Sachin will gladly field on the boundary line…something most ‘senior’ players don’t do. Leaders also need a new level in mental toughness. Sachin Tendulkar has played through innumerable crises, both on and off the field. And each and everytime, he has emerged stronger.
Few people talk about Sachin’s physical endurance. To play professional sports at this level takes exceptionally good physical fitness. To play at this level for over 20 years takes something really special. Let alone cricket, but how many professional sportsmen have played at this level of competence for such a long period? Sachin’s physical endurance as well as his consistency comes from a great work ethic. This practice and hardwork is not seen on the field. After yesterday’s record-breaking 200 at Gwalior, where he batted for nearly 4 hours – many, including the commentators were predicting that he will not return to least for an hour or two. But as the South African innings began, Sachin was right there! There are countless such incidents throughout his career.
Far too many times, the Bharat Ratna award has been bestowed in the twilight of the winners’ careers. Here is an opportunity to change that!
Other Related Links
Bharat Ratna Award; List Of Awardees (wikipedia)
Sachin Tendulkar Career Record (
Sachin Tendulkar – Wikipedia Page
Blog Post: ‘Sachin Tendulkar: Off The Field’
NOTE ADDED May 5, 2010 –
Sachin Tendulkar is on twitter!
Finally Sachin Tendulkar has made his appearance on twitter! It’s great to see him tweeting. His twitter id is @sachin_rt . If you are not a twitter user, but still want to see his tweets, you can directly go to his twitter page:

7 Responses

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  1. Shri said, on February 25, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    I have no great knowledge of cricket and at best am an amused watcher of things that happen in this game One thing though that has always struck me in Sachin as Amit has rightly pointed out is the humility I have seen lesser sporstpersons in this game go on to do chat shows, reality show and what not and usually inadvertently strip themselves of all veneer But not so Sachin He has shown himself to be a really exceptional human being with his Mumbai for all Indians very understated statement gluing all Indians together He is certainly a role model for all All power to Sachin May people with his thinking increase manyfold

  2. Vivek Tuljapurkar said, on February 25, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    Another great article, Amit.

    I have no doubt that Sachin will some day win Bharat Ratna award. It seems to me that Bharat Ratna is a “lifetime achievement” award, and is typically awarded in the twilight of one’s life once your accomplishments have stood the test of time. Sachin is still on “active duty”, to borrow a military phrase and that might go against him.

    What about Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev? Each one of them marked the beginning of an era in Indian cricket. Until Gavaskar, Indian cricket had few aspirations other than not getting blanked 5-0 in other countries. Gavaskar changed that; over and above all his myriad contributions as a batsman, he instilled a feistiness that was missing until then. Kapil took this fighting spirit to another level; the crowning achievement of Indian cricket remains to date the 1983 World Cup win. In the modern era, Sachin, Sunil, and Kapil are the “holy trinity” (to use a corny Indian phrase) of Indian cricket.

  3. Sameer M said, on February 25, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    Good article. Your points are valid.
    But so far not a single sportsman has received Bharat Ratna. Its typically given to artistic, literary and scientific achievements. Otherwise we will have many players on the list – from golden days of hoceky, few tennis players, cricketing legends to all time great [and often neglected] Vishwanathan Anand.
    I’m sure Sachin’s services to country [via sports] are comparable to all these and probably higher. So he definitely deserves the best award. Just not sure if it should be Bharat Ratna.

  4. aparna said, on February 26, 2010 at 11:19 am

    interesting reading…

  5. Ashok said, on February 27, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    I am sure Sachin will be awarded the Bharat Ratna, BUT, IMO Kapil Dev is ahead of him in line.

    Just to play devil’s advocate though…for ALL the personal records Sachin has amassed, he still does not have a “championship ring”. ..which means he has yet to win the ultimate prize for India. And he’s been playing for 20 years!

  6. ravi said, on May 30, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    Now let’s come to the point of BR, Gem of India
    We always try to learn by our past, if we make a mistake, then we take a lesson from it, we donot want to repeat it as some people are giving Lata example.
    Now being in present over Sachin issue…
    I think Sachin is the most overrated cricketer,
    I won’t go to Bradman time but give an example from present: Kallis
    Check the stat and think open mindedly, as most of the Sachin fan fail to do so.
    {you may be watching notout, but notout just means thay could have batted there if overs were remaining and the batsman are taking more risks in the slog overs}
    I am making this statement because people keep on saying Dhoni is the most luckiest and to remind them the history keeps adding his act an evidence to the fact: LUCK FAVORS THE WARRIOR…

    Despite 99 centuries, he has served the nation with an average not par with his no. of centuries…
    If he have played for 10-12 years and there after he would have started training youngs then India could have been in a better position. Gandhi and others people were great not because they only themself followed the best path but inspired people to choose the right path.
    He has never a 300 in test and Lara has a 400 so what…(About Sachin 200)

    Now contribution to society:
    In his time of reigm before Dhoni arrival, India have an average performance losing world cup to Asia cup giving a frustration to crowd.
    Ofcourse he contributed, but not as a leader…
    I think Dhoni has given the society more to cheerabout in four year than Sachin 20 years…
    And take my words if Sachin didnot get BR in 1 or 2 years then Dhoni will be more eligible in next 5 years…

    I may be sarcastic, and will feel happy if you please point it out

  7. Amit Paranjape said, on May 31, 2011 at 12:01 am

    Ravi – Thanks for sharing your views on this.

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