Okay, this is now an old topic. But being a Sachin fan I never really talked about it and I wanted to make my stance clear on this. I am not the mouthpiece of the legions of fans that the Little Master has, but I am pretty sure each and every one of his fan would agree to what I have to say.
As per the eligibility criteria, for conferring someone with a Bharath Ratna, that person should have excelled in one of these fields: arts, literature, science, or public service. This disqualifies Dhyan Chand straight away. But then, for every rule there is an exception and in this case Sachin Tendulkar was the exception. The Government of India changed this rule especially for Tendulkar.
So this means, the real question now is why wasn’t Dhyan Chand the exception?
How many of us have heard this name Dhyan Chand? Oh, the real question to my fellow Indians is: How many of us understand hockey? Most of us follow just one sport and that is cricket. I came to know about Dhyan Chand just about four or five years ago. The guy played during the 1930s and 1940s — the same time as Sir Don Bradman and many of us, cricket fans, do not understand the Don. Even some of the cricket greats, when asked to compare Bradman and Sachin, have said that they never saw the Don play and so Sachin is the best. In other words, it means that they don’t know much about Sir Don Bradman.
When this is the reality, I was amused when I heard people say that Dhyan Chand should be given the award and that Sachin did not deserve it. This is pure prejudice and hatred. If you really wanted the award to be bestowed upon Chand first, then you should have fought for it much earlier. What were you doing all these years? You should have run a campaign, at least a Twitter campaign if you’re not the activist type. Did you do that? If you had not fought for Dhyan Chand long before Sachin’s name was proposed, then you have no right to pull in Sachin’s name now. Get your 15 seconds of fame else where.
Let me make this clear. If a person called Sachin Tendulkar had not existed, then Dhyan Chand would have had no way of getting this award. It is because of Sachin, that this sports person rule has been broken. What the hockey great was unable to do (breaking this rule), the cricketing great was able to. Now there is a way for Dhyan Chand to get this award. This is true because even those people who supported for Chand getting the award, voiced their concern (whether genuine or not) only after Sachin’s name proposal. Do I have to say anything else? The case is closed.
There is no point in arguing about Sachin Tendulkar’s credibility and greatness. These are things that have been already established. A simple Google search would tell you why. Oh, you’re not going to do that, so let me help you.
“I haven’t seen a better batsman than Sachin Tendulkar.” – Sir Vivian Richards
“Sachin Tendulkar is, in my time, the best player without doubt.” – Sharne Warne
“Sachin is a genius, I am a mere mortal.” – Brian Lara
“I saw him playing on television and was struck by his technique, so I asked my wife to come look at him. Now I never saw myself play, but I felt that this player is playing with a style similar to mine, and she looked at him on Television and said yes, there is a similarity between the two…his compactness, technique, stroke production… it all seemed to gel!” – Sir Don Bradman
In addition to this, it is said that Sir Don Bradman, in his last five years, never missed a single innings of Sachin’s. (Source: http://www.espncricinfo.com/india/content/story/96323.html)
Look at all these statements by these great players. Why would they say these things if he is not great? Most importantly, why should we believe the words of Sachin’s critics, who are mostly people who have achieved very little in life, versus the words of those cricket greats?
Oh, I hear you! Are you asking what he has done for the public? Use your brain. That is the Public Service field. He wasn’t awarded for that. He was awarded for excelling in the Sports field. You guys just want to find faults with him, don’t you?