Millennium Post

Sachin, sorry, ‘God’ of Cricket

Sachin, sorry, ‘God’ of Cricket
The day Sachin Tendulkar, sorry, the God of Cricket, pardon me again, the God (If I am a greenhorn from some outer space, just landing on this side of the planet earth on that historic day in the country, and if the first thing I am to see is that particular newspaper headline – witty and clever as it was, and more attention grabbing than those front page ones in other competing newspapers, reading, The God retired between 22 Yards – the alien I sure am likely to get disenchanted with my risky and long sojourn to learn gods retiring) retired, I was busy wondering what relevant theme the BBC people in India would be toying with for an urgent, international documentary to catch the fancy of its non-Indian listeners for the country.

Naturally, I was expecting something bad and my fear came true when I chanced upon listening to the BBC short documentary the very next day on its Radio 4 on my tablet. Though the backdrop was the god of cricket’s retirement, expectedly it devoted all its energy in portraying all of us as   psychologically a very timid lot, who reportedly are always eager to find and worship demigods more for the reasons which have things to do with materialism than spirituality.  The bottom line in that presentation was the average Indian’s (whose mindset is to be taken as the benchmark for that of the Indian society as a whole) compulsive tendency to worship demigods, and that the just retired cricketing legend  is being literally deified and worshipped by frenzied people in India due to his cricketing success beyond comparison.  The people whom the reporter asked if they worshipped Sachin as a demigod, many were overenthusiastic, slipping in the spontaneity of their shallow, pocket version of spiritual philosophy,  lacking in any essence, flimsy and cheap, replied in affirmative. ‘Why not?’, as one excited Sachin fan with his flawed, but fluent English went ahead to please the taker in the interviewer.  Without sparing a moment for inward reflection, he quickly drew parallels between two popular pseudonyms dealing with gods and told him that even the Jesus of Nazareth did not know that he was a god until people started worshipping him. The intended inference is self-explanatory and involuntary.

The reporter did not feel stunned at that a childish comparison, but was rather happy because he had got the fool he was looking for in the crowd to the joy of his producers and broadcasters. He found a ‘ Panda’ from Puri at the Eden Garden, reportedly in his traditional attire, whom he introduced as ‘a priest of the Lord Jagannath temple in Puri,’ and asked him if he believed that Sachin was a god, doesn’t matter what kind of a cricket enthusiast that priest was, his mere presence at the stadium in his priestly robe on that day contributed successfully to the making of that doc, as a priest is rather supposed to give his time to worshipping true gods; instead to the amazement of all he  was discovered actually  having stolen time off his busy puja schedule in Puri to come to Kolkata so that he did not miss on seeing the god of cricket playing. The BBC’s Indian reporter would have us trust something about our true psyche I don’t think I  care much about.

Though there was nothing wrong with the making of a programme on the demigod stature of the cricketing legend, the BBC could be blamed for taking that imperfectly coined, unoriginal phrase in that lovingly given nickname and actually taking that sobriquet at face value, with the clever pun on the word ‘god’ in it. I must clarify that this article is not to contend the justification of the title ‘the god of cricket’ but to reflect on its origin. Interestingly, calling someone as the god of something may not go well with future paragons in that field as Sachin has already been adjudged as the best in that field.

The author works with the Information and Public relations department of Odisha

Gurbir Singh

Gurbir Singh

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