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Bharat Ratna Sachin now must boost sports

I love cricket, but am not mad about it. I adore Sachin, but do not consider him a ‘God’. I am also aware that we have a large number of sportsmen achievers who have won Olympic medals, world championships and places of pride in their fields, like Vishwanathan Anand, Dhayan Chand and Milkha Singh. They may not be as rich as Sachin and and the media glare on them is less.

Now, does Sachin Tendulkar deserve the Bharat Ratna? Or, have we been carried away by the Sachin wave — first the membership of Rajya Sabha, and now the Bharat Ratna? I feel the highest civilian award of the country to Sachin, at this juncture, is untimely, and there appears to be a hint of some mileage somewhere.

So, what message does this convey to our youth? That you achieve and toe the management line, that you keep quiet when it comes to match-fixing by your team mates rather than speaking out, that you do not attend the farewell of team mate Rahul Dravid but party with Ambanis, that you cash in on your celebrity status and make millions out of endorsements and still ask for a waiver in duty on luxury car Ferrari 360, that become a Rajya Sabha member, but think only of cricket, that never rise for a social cause?

Sachin is a good man, and a genius in cricket, indeed. But now, he should prepare himself for an active and constructive role as an MP. Let him score a century by pushing the neglected games and poorly paid sportspersons. We are obsessed with only cricket and golf, as there is plenty of money here. But our real talent lies in rural areas which lack infrastructure, sponsorships, and monetary support. This is the area Sachin, as MP, should focus on. He should also raise his voice to remove corruption from the sports bodies. Sachin has a tough task ahead, and must not sit back on his laurels. He must give back to the nation more than what he has received. Then he will be a real hero.

Col R D Singh (rted), Ambala cantt

Award Dhyan Chand, too

When everyone was seen exploiting the frenzy of Tendulkar's retirement, the Congress, whose five-year tenure will be remembered for most controversial decisions, didn't want to be left behind and it took this decision with an eye on votes. If the Bharat Ratna could be given to two persons, it could very well be given to three. Dhyan Chand deserved to be given before Tendulkar. Dhyan Chand was the best in the world of his discipline, which is not true of Tendulkar.

Bhartendu Sood, via email

Reconsider Dhyan Chand

Sachin Tendulkar deserves the nation's highest civilian award for his 24 years of dedicated cricket career. In a cricket match, every rival team's first effort was to oust Sachin to control the score. Every teammate and the people of our country love Sachin for his talent and pacific behaviour. But the Government of India should reconsider the name of hockey legend Dhyan Chand for the award.

Kamaljit Malwa, Mansa

Politically motivated?

As the choice was between hockey legend Dhyan Chand and cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, immense fan following and the media hype helped Sachin to be selected for the highest reward. Nobody bothered about the conditions under which Dhyan Chand achieved name and fame. Sachin Tendulkar's 24 years of cricketing is marked with events which brought him fame and he amassed wealth disproportionate to the job he did. We live in a country where rich are becoming richer and the poor poorer. Is the UPA government's selection of Sachin for the Bharat Ratna not politically motivated?

Dr Soshil Rattan, Amritsar

Make high-powered panel

A high-level committee comprising the Vice-President, Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha should have a consensus choice for the selection of a Bharat Ratna awardee to avoid misuse for personal and political benefit. The President should have a veto power on the selection made by such a high-powered committee.


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