Gaga over Sachin

BY Darius Nakhoonwala| IN Opinion | 19/11/2013
That TV went gaga over Sachin Tendulkar last week was understandable. It was a pathetic example of print trying to keep up with the Joneses and yet trying to be different,

You don’t say!
Darius Nakhoonwala


That TV went gaga over Sachin Tendulkar last week was understandable. But did editorial writers, supposedly made of stronger intellectual stuff, also have to do that?


It was a pathetic example of print trying to keep up with the Joneses and yet trying to be different. The result was that there was all sorts of rubbish written, from the ‘psyche of the nation’ stuff to advice to Mr T on what he should do next.


Of his cricket, though, no one wrote because no one, I suspect, knew the first thing about it. I wonder how many of the cricket writers were asked to write the edits.


As someone who played (very long ago) at a reasonably high level let me say this - Mr T’s entire batting success depended on just one thing: his god-given ability to get into position to play a shot faster than any of his contemporaries. The rest was just practice.


So The Hindu took a self-consciously ‘balanced’ route. “That he (Mr T) became a nonpareil sporting icon is not only due to his feats on the cricket field... but also because of the times he lived in… The master-blaster gave ordinary Indians a chance to think of themselves as world-beaters, even if not in a truly global sport.” More psychological clap-trap followed. 

The Indian Express wrote 393 words that meant nothing and then in the last sentence offered advice to Mr T. “…such is the legacy of his playing career it demands that he evolve into a guardianship role for the sport.”


The Pioneer had this piece of nonsense to offer.Such is his stature that scores had long ceased to matter to his reputation.” Howzzat?


And then like the Express it said that “…must not allow Tendulkar to just snap all links and walk away…the BCCI must find ways to incorporate him in the scheme of things so that he is around to guide the team.”  

The Hindustan Times jumped the gun and wrote on the first day of Mr T’s last Test. “The game will be the loser if it does not tap into the wealth of knowledge Tendulkar can provide the game.  He can enrich the technical side of the game, which does need sage advice to sort out complications over how to use technology (read DRS) and revitalise Test cricket.” 

The Deccan Chronicle had this gem to offer. “He is the darling of millions because he is an achiever and a good man”. 

By the way, the same thing happened with Professor C N R Rao as well. Not one edit dealt with the technicalities of his contribution. Instead, most focused on the controversies the award generated. 

Only The Telegraph asked the right question: “Even those who believe that Mr Tendulkar deserves to get this honour will accept that there was no necessity to make the announcement the day he retired from international cricket.”

Truth to tell, the dedicated websites did a far better job of commenting on Mr T. Just as they increasingly do with everything else, from the Constitution to condiments.

Such articles are only possible because of your support. Help the Hoot. The Hoot is an independent initiative of the Media Foundation and requires funds for independent media monitoring. Please support us. Every rupee helps.
Subscribe To The Newsletter
The new term for self censorship is voluntary censorship, as proposed by companies like Netflix and Hotstar. ET reports that streaming video service Amazon Prime is opposing a move by its peers to adopt a voluntary censorship code in anticipation of the Indian government coming up with its own rules. Amazon is resisting because it fears that it may alienate paying subscribers.                   

Clearly, the run to the 2019 elections is on. A journalist received a call from someone saying they were from Aajtak channel and were conducting a survey, asking whom she was going to vote for in 2019. On being told that her vote was secret, the caller assumed she wasn't going to vote for 'Modiji'. The caller, a woman, also didn't identify herself. A month or two earlier the same journalist received a call, this time from a man, asking if she was going to vote for the BSP.                 

View More