Tuesday, 24 November 2009

How Dare You?

A lot has been said about Sachin Tendulkar's 'I am an Indian first' statement. The author wishes to make it clear that this post is not a defence of Tendulkar. He does not need to be defended.

I find it amazing how pathetic the Shiv Sena has become. To launch an attack on Sachin Tendulkar, just to whip up regional hysteria. First and foremost- they said Tendulkar has played 20 years for the BCCI. I strongly object. Tendulkar has always played for only ONE entity, and that is INDIA. Of course, the concept will be hard to explain to these bigoted Maharashtrians. (The author points out that he is a Maharashtrian).

A lot is being said about 26/11 these days. During those troubled times, I remember an RBS advert. Sachin speaking in a comforting voice - 'I play for India, now, more than ever.' I remember that victory against England, to soothe frayed nerves. I don't remember where the MNS and the SS were at that time. I don't remember them demanding that Maharashtrian commandos carry out the operation. I don't remember them doing anything. On the other hand, a year later, with all threat to self gone, they went and protested in front of Leopolds.

I'm surprised that the verbal battle with Tendulkar didn't begin earlier. If you look back, the roles of politicians and Tendulkar have always been antithetical. Over the past 20 years, politicians have done everything to rip the fabric of this country apart. The BJP divided us into Hindus and others. The SS divided us into Maharashtrians and South Indians. The MNS is trying to divide us into Maharashtrians and others. And over that same period of time, Tendulkar has always been there. Always there to heal this broken country. While his bat talked, for those fleeting moments, we were not Hindus, not Muslims, not Christians, not any other sect. For those moments we were not East, West, North or South Indians. We were Indians. Bound together by the majesty of one man.

Who is Bal Thakeray, then, to question Sachin, OUR Sachin? What has he done over the past twenty years for India? Other than trying very hard to tear it apart, what is his contribution? What has he done for Maharashtrians, other than giving us a bad name? We are not bigoted, intolerant fools like the SS and the MNS. We're decent, sensible, normal people.

The whole 'divide and rule' thing is bit old, really. It worked very well hundreds of years ago. Politicians still get some mileage out of it these days. It's got to stop. And it will not stop until WE put an end to this. It will not stop until we stand united against this intolerant mindset of almost all our politicians. Are we all up for it?


Anonymous said...

Politicians play on the intolerant mindsets of our society, in reality they are very tolerant individuals as they will ally with anyone from any religion or region if it gives them power. If society itself was not bigoted, no one would have paid attention to them.
Sachin is a reminder that this society and this country is not beyond redemption, that just one common passion can unite it like nothing else.In this case cricket and Sachin.
On another note...we should amend the Constitution and stop being a Secular country and make Cricket the Official State-Upheld Religion.

As for Bal Thakeray, the man is 82!
You don't expect that old and ailing a man to be completely in his senses do you? He's so weak, its unlikely he even actually wrote that.Its funny how the SS is struggling to be heard.

Marathi Manoos said...

Sachin may be a great player but he is not as great a politician to pass on political statements. Support for Shiv Sena comes from their 40 years of dedicated work towards the Marathi people, particularly the lower and lower middle class, which forms the majority in the society. They have provided employment to lakhs of people, opened many organizations, fought on behalf of local population wherever they were given raw deal in their own state. If it was not for MNS wave, Shiv Sena was sure to win past elections.

And yes, Mumbai belongs to Maharashtrians first and foremost. Sachin made a statement which goes well with his image, but it doesn't with many Maharashtrians. Ironically, Sachin was the guest of honor himself during Raj Thackeray's Maharashtra Dharma event last year. How hypocritical!

Jai Maharashtra!

greySith said...

The statement was not political in nature. I fail to correctly comprehend how a statement of national integrity is a political statement.

Do not make me laugh by implying that the SS would have won the past elections. Uddhav Thakeray is incapable of winning a chess game against himself, let alone an election.

You say that Bombay (there, I said it) belongs to Maharashtrians first. Do you imply that just like other Indians are not welcome to work in Maharashtra, you will also not go and work in any part of the country?

We are all sons of ONE soil, INDIAN soil. Every Indian has every right to go where he pleases, work where he pleases, and speak any language he chooses to speak. Any opinion to the contrary is antithetical to the very idea of our nation.

Gautam Akiwate said...

Well the rest is fine. But the one point I do not agree to is that "Indian Players" play for India.
They do play for BCCI. Why should I call it the Indian Team? Just because some ICC gives it the right too. What if tomorrow ICC gives this right goes to ICL organisers? Will they represent your "Indian Team"?

All said and done I do admit that Sachin Tendulkar is an outstanding batsmen no doubt.

greySith said...

The BCCI was formed by delegates from all states in the 1920s. It is therefore an entity created by the representatives of the people. If you followed until there, you will admit that the BCCI is therefore a national entity. The ICC cannot choose to recognise the ICL, since the ICL is NOT a national entity.
Therefore, Sachin does play for INDIA, a country where the sport is governed by the BCCI. No more, no less.

Gautam Akiwate said...

And by "delegates" in 1920 you mean a group of rich individuals who you claim represent the nation?

"The Board of Control for Cricket in India, or BCCI,was formed in December 1928 as the national governing body for all cricket in India. BCCI replaced Calcutta Cricket Club. It is a society, registered under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act. The BCCI often uses government-owned stadiums across the country at a nominal annual rent. It is a private club consortium. As for any private club, BCCI or the state-level associations are not required to make their balance sheets public."

Reads as BCCI is private and Government of India has nothing to do with it.

Ofcourse you can say that Tendulkar played for India whatever that means but you cannot say that the so called "Indian Team" represents India.

greySith said...

From same reference:
"In a meeting with the Maharaja of Patiala and others, Gilligan praised Indian cricket and promised to press for its inclusion in the ICC if all the promoters of the game in the land came together to establish a single controlling body. An assurance was given and a meeting held in Delhi on November 21, 1927, attended by delegates from Sind, Punjab, Patiala, Delhi, United Provinces, Rajputana, Alwar, Bhopal, Gwalior, Baroda, Kathiawar and Central India. A consensus was reached to create a board for control of cricket in India."

Gautam Akiwate said...

Read the first line of my earlier comment.

Also if you feel Maharaja of Patiala was a "representative" of India. I am really very very sorry I do not think so. As for the other delegates do you really think they represented the people or the other princely states? (If you notice majority are princely states)

It is more like the "Indian Team" then was a personal team of the Maharaja.

greySith said...

In those days, those were the representatives. If the process were to occur now, you'd probably have MPs from all states being the delegates. Don't demand democracy from times when there wasn't any.

Gautam Akiwate said...

I am not demanding democracy. I am trying to point out that "India" was never into consideration when the body was made and the delegates never represented all the places in India anyway.

Also as has been intently pointed out BCCI is a private body company.

**How can you equate India and a private company?**

Also I say we leave it at accepting that Sachin is an outstanding batsmen.

Whatever you say BCCI by its own definition is a private company and you cannot equate a country to a private comapny...

greySith said...

Let us begin with the assumption that the BCCI is not the representative of Indian cricket. That means that the state boards should make a new board. But they don't. Let us then assume that the state boards do not represent their respective states. Then the cricketers of that state should form a new state board. But they don't. Let us then assume that the cricketers of that state do not represent that state. Then the people of that state should become cricketers and represent the state.

But wait. None of that happens. Because we all accept the BCCI as the representative board of the country. Which is all that is needed in order for it to represent the country. When the people/players do not feel that a particular board is doing its job, the board gets replaced (refer IHF).

It is immaterial that the BCCI is a private club on paper. If a majority of Indians recognise it as the 'Indian Board', then the BCCI team is the Indian team.

Anon said...

For the question where MNS was at the time of 26/11


I think most of us are brainwashed by the biased media who I think show just one side of the coin. How many of us who accuse Mr Raj Thakrey or his party (or SS for that matter) and his party of not doing anything have a proof that he was sitting at his home enjoying a drink while watching the TV?

I am not a big supporter of actions of Raj Thackery. I myself work in a different state than Maharashtra. I think when the job you are doing which require some skill, there should not be any restrictions of state as such.

But the places where you hire contract workers or the jobs in railways or 3rd level (or whatever it is called) workers should local (whenever available). Speaking about railways, do you know that in the reign of Lalu, he had placed all the hiring officers in the Mumbai section from Bihar? (For ref google about Mamta Banerjee taking some action against it.)

Something is going wrong when Chhat Puja is getting celebrated in the way in Mumbai/Bombay. You gotta expect that! Has it been the same for last 20/30 years? Isn't it obvious?

Sorry if this comment is too long or changing the topic too many times. I have not proof read it.