Why Sachin should not get Bharat Ratna now

The modification of the rules of eligibility for the nation’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna—expanding the field of possibilities from art, literature, science and public service to “performance of highest order in any field of human endeavour”—has led to a veritable stampede of potential winners.

The hocky hockey legend Dhyan Chand is the politically correct top contendor contender, but quite clearly the hot money is on Sachin Tendulkar, who is widely believed to have lost the race last year because of the constricting criteria. There are others who feel world chess champ Vishwanathan Anand or shooter Abhinav Bindra should get it first.

Not just sportsmen, there are other worthies on the horizon too: the press council chief Justice Markandey Katju was pushing the candidature of Bengali novelist Sarat Chandra a few days ago; today he seems to have zeroed in on the 19th century poet Mirza Ghalib, whose quotes adorn half of Justice Katju’s judgements.

If Ghalib qualifies, who net next? Tantiya Tope?

Or emperor Ashoka or Akbar?

And why not Kalidasa?

Obviously, the government has put its hand in a beehive by expanding the scope of the Bharat Ratna for populist reasons. Inasmuch as giving the award to a Tendulkar, Anand or Bindra would please the masses, the question really is should one so young be decorated with such an onerous honour?

Is the Bharat Ratna for career acccomplishments or a lifetime of achievements? What if Sachin & Co, fine role models as they are today, become the exact opposite in the rest of their lives? Has the UPA increased the scope for lobbying and politicking by expanding the range?

Also read: CHURUMURI POLL: Anybody for the Bharat Ratna?

Sachin: A true great, but a Mysore University doctorate?

CHURUMURI POLL: Bharat Ratna for Anna Hazare?

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71 Responses to “Why Sachin should not get Bharat Ratna now”

  1. K.C. Belliappa Says:

    Please Note This:

    Sachin sold the Ferrari gifted to him. A crass commercial decision.
    Sachin tried to bypass laws of BUDA in trying to build a Gym and Swimming pool in his new house. I dont know whether he managed to get the licence or not?
    He moved into his house without obtaining the Occupancy Licence. I think he was fined 4.5 lakhs.
    In view of the above, does Sachin deserve a Bharat Ratna??/

  2. Rajesh Says:

    While Tendulkar is a deity in India, Dravid’s achievements command universal respect.

    while one should not be given the other should reject it

    Sachin should not be given bharat ratna because he supported F1 in this hungry-driven country! he is not educated….

  3. dr ramesh Says:

    When rules are bent to give an influential person the highest civilian honour of a country, both the award and winner loose their credibility and sanctity. Upa govt is trying to divert attention of people from its recent failures. Cricketers play ,make mega bucks thats it. Where is the contribution to nation building. Atleast giving award to dhyanchand has a symbolic importance,that a man from a poor background suceeded inspite of many obstacles. If the trend continues we may have to see amirkhan,salman khan,vidya balan getting bharat ratna. Maiyas built a great brand mtr, appreciate their business acumen, kapil dev inspired an entire generation of cricketers ,nation respects him fot that, hundreds of similar success stories are there before us, all of them cant be given ratna. Bharat ratna should not be reduced to sms popularity contest.

  4. Nastika Says:

    Voted ‘Yes’, since any soul on earth can get Bhrath Ratna. Sachin is idol for 1 billion ‘consumers’ and why not get some leaverage by using his name ;)

    Obama gets Nobel and Sachin gets Bhrath Ratna, seriously, I no longer participate in quiz programs to keep track of who gets what…

    .

  5. bhagwad Says:

    If any Indian spokesperson deserves the Bharat Ratna, it would undoubtedly be Vishwanathan Anand.

    The first and only Indian world chess champion for years in a row – has won in all three formats of the game. Also, chess is an individual sport where you can be sure that only the skill of the player matters. There’s no luck and no teamwork.

    Very different from cricket.

  6. ERR Says:

    Sachin should ask Dhyan Chand be given ahead of him at least by a year, even if they bracket them together for the award.This is a test of character for Tendulkar..Let’s see hoe he fares…

  7. maisuru Says:

    No one should be given posthumously doctorate or any of the National awards. It is against the principle of Natural justice as you cannot get acceptance from the dead and as such it is an insult . In the same vain no one should be given Bharat Ratna when they are still active in their chosen field of excellence. As for as Sachin, he himself has set the bar by refusing the doctorate conferred by UOM.

  8. goutam Says:

    In my opinion,BR is deserved by any soul that makes
    1.Contribution to a specific field and thereby enhance the image of the nation
    2.contribution to the field and thereby enhance the image of the field and make that field move faster ahead because of him
    3.Significant welfare of society through his actions

    Art, Entertainment n Sports vis-s-vis Social Reformers-Socialist Writers-Science Researchers have a weak case as per point no 3.

    But if we define social welfare to include the cheapest free entertainment for the masses and to bring happiness and cheers to the poorest of the poor homes – then definitely Sports and Movies play a big part in free cheapest entertainment. Added to that, international sports and its icon play a big role in keeping alive the idea of India – one nation.

    On a;; these points, Sachin has no rival despite all or any of issues like Ferrari or unauthorised gym at new house etc. On all critical times like North Indian Hatao by Raj et cetra Sachin has shown enough maturity to hold the nationhood flag high and has explained through actions his preference for holding One India image on a very high pedestal.

    And sachin is the modern era Arjun re-incarnation. He knows only cricket and when he plays with authority world stand up to watch.. He enjoys cricket. He breathes cricket.

    Further popularity of cricket vis-a-vis Hockey, Chess, Shooting and its icon’s influence on the society especially youth, make Sachin the better choice.
    Only one whose influence and passion and in similar field can far outweigh Sachin’s contribution is none other than loving Kapil Dev.

    I wish to conclude without undermining Sachin or his contribution, that Kapil’s Devil gifted the nation its first world cup with exemplary captain’s knocks and by leading from the front, whereas Sachin did not bring world cup despite the longest tenured cricketer of BCCI, rather his colleagues satisfied his dream by their great performances and dedicated their performances to Sachin, the idol. That’s the difference for which I would suggest that nation need to recognise the real killer instinct of sports that’s Kapil Dev.

    If GoI want to honour Sachin or Kapil, then the country would do a great dishonour to itself by not honouring Dhyan Chand with the first Bharat ratna in Sports field. In the times of Dhyan Chand media was not so much active, but Dhan Chand’s sports folklore were carried through orally. I have had the honour to know from by long lost grand dad in my child hood days how Dhyan Chad roared on the field and brought innumerable laurels to India in Olympics and other games, long before India became independent. Youth in that golden era got as much inspired by Dhyan Chand’s stick wizardry as current era youth with Sachin’s bat.

    From an another perspective, where upholding nation’s intellectual image in the competitive world is concerned, who can be a better ambassador than Vishwanath Anand, reigning the world space and bringinng right dignity to cerebral content of India for decades. And he is the longest world champion in sports category, without any taint to his public profile.

    If untainted public profile is the criteria then Dhyan Chand and Vishwanath Anand are far ahead. Both have dedicated life to the sports but none were into any kind of controversy concerning brand and sponsorship, though fortunately or otherwise, during Dhyan Chand era there was hardly any sports branding by the corporate.

    Thanking you Churumuri for a timely theme.

  9. vaidya Says:

    Considering that it’s all fields of excellence…maybe they can start from the Buddha, Mahaveera, move on to Porous or whatever the latest history textbook calls him who fought Alexander, also Ashoka…but then it should be a really interesting list: We can fight for Sarvajna, Pulakeshi and KumaraVyasa, while the Tamils can fight for Thiruvalluvar, Rajaraja Chozha and Kamban.

    Get in line Dhyan Chand and Sachin! :)

  10. ಗತಕಾಲದ ವೈಭವ Says:

    Heroes and Celebrities

    “A hero cannot be a hero,” said Nathaniel Hawthorne, “unless in an heroic world.”

    Maybe that helps explain why we no longer have heroes in this country�at least no larger-than-life national heroes worthy of the name

    Celebrities, are qualitatively quite different than heroes, markedly inferior to them in fact. The celebrity is nothing but a person of celebrity, well known for his well-knownness (as historian Daniel Boorstin put it), famous for being famous. Oprah Winfrey, Bill Cosby, and Walter Cronkite are celebrities. Michael Jordan, Barry Bonds, and Tiger Woods are celebrities.Ted Turner, and Donald Trump,

    Heroes, in contrast, are transcendent, mythic, seemingly superhuman figures who combine greatness with goodness. They may have charisma, presence, and “gravitas”; they must demonstrate courage, vision, and character�selfless character. Heroes have stature, if not size.

    A hero does things to help others.
    A hero contributes to society in a positive way.
    A hero doesn’t always know anyone else knows what he or she does.
    A hero doesn’t usually receive money and may not receive status for the deed.
    The work a hero performs often goes unnoticed.
    A hero may or may not be recognized by the media.
    A hero uses talents or abilities to impact others or society in a positive way.

    A celebrity is highly visible-well known.
    A celebrity is usually recognized for some form of talent, beauty, or material quality.
    A celebrity is usually recognized for a performance.
    A celebrity’s image or recognition in the media may change

    Arguably we live in singularly unheroic times. True, the potential for catastrophe today is limitless. But so ambiguous in form, effect, and importance are the circumstances we regularly face that events no longer seem capable of making the person. Now instead is a time that calls for men and women who can shape events.

  11. Jayashree Says:

    Sachin can be given Bharata ratna for his acting skills, as he has claimed tax exemption on this ground. he has declared that his earnings are only from acting not cricket. What is the difference between him and other tax evaders?

  12. harkol Says:

    Belliappa: It’s unfair to accuse people like him without proper foundation.

    1. Ferrari was characterized as a gift, but it was a remuneration for being Fiat ambassador. Shall we say a bonus the company paid for better publicity from their champion endorser. Fiat didn’t ‘gift’ it to folks who weren’t endorsing Fiat? By stretching your argument, should any sportsmen not encash and spend the cheques or other material stuff that are given to them as part of a prize? They too are ‘gifts’.

    2. Sachin didn’t try to ‘bypass’ the law. He asked for ‘permission’ for FSI exemption for Gym facility, as it wasn’t having a clear rule. FSI rules list ‘facilities’ such as stair case, balcony, lift etc. are exempt from FSI, Gym wasn’t specified, so asking for it to be exempted isn’t ‘violation’ of law. The Urban Department declined it because it became a big Public Hungama!!

    3. Sachin didn’t move in to his house without occupancy certificate. He conducted a ‘house warming’ ceremony. That’s common practice – I did it too. We don’t do house warming in a fully finished house, as it becomes dirty during house warming function. Again he was fined for a regular occurrence. And he paid it.

    Does he deserve Bharat Ratna? That’s another matter. There may be more deserving candidates, and it depends on an individual point of view.

    But to deny it for frivolous reasons or for a suspicion that they ‘may’ do something in future is ridiculous. If they do, then strip them of that honor.

  13. Venkatarama Muthuswami Says:

    Incredible India!

    For many of us, the Real Bharat Ranas are those who do things in a most unobtrusive, yet most effective manner to make our daily life a little better and with a smile – e.g. my unfailing milk delivery man, rain or shine; the drunkard Kabali guy who never fails to collect my garbage (of course for the cost of half-a-bottle Govt supplied liquor), my GR Stores friend who never say no for anything and everything home-delivered literally 24X7, etc.

    Without these guys our life in this city (Chennai) of filth, dirt, shit and garbage could be daily living hell.

    They are my Bharat Ratnas and I do not need approval from the Sonias or Rastrabati ji.

  14. chanakya Says:

    When many victims were killed during Mumbai bomb blasts, this so called icon appeared on a TV news channel, wearing sports cap with private cellular logo and name on it. It was clear that both Sachin and that private cellular company wanted publicity. If Sachin really wanted to condemn the attack, he could have spoken without wearing that cap. It was clear that he had taken good money from that cellular company. This is cheap mentality of making money on ones death; and this not one example of his ‘business minded attitude’ that harmed the country. Why and how BR to him? for what achievement?

  15. pdk Says:

    Jayshree,

    Thanks for reminding me.

    Actor Sachin Tendulkar gets tax break

    Sachin Tendulkar, super God of cricket, has formally declared that he is an actor and not a cricketer. The excuse: he models forTV advertisements. In order to save tax of around Rs 2 crore on income derived from doing TV commercials, Tendulkar told the Income Tax tribunal that acting, not cricket, is his profession. The tribunal accepted that he is an artist on the grounds that “he has to use his own skills, imagination and creativity in the commercials”.

    Of course, he could be given the Bharat Ratna for acting.

  16. Raju Says:

    Abdul Kalam deserves Bharat Ratna very sooner than later – if the award deserves any prestige .

  17. Jayashree Says:

    Thank you pdk for posting the full text! Some body from Mumbai is due Rs 200 Crores as IT and is in jail. He ca also act and claim IT exemption!

  18. Sufi Says:

    @ Raju Abdul Kalam has already been awarded Bharat Ratna!

  19. Ravi Devalia Says:

    Sachin deserves it at least as much as Lata Mangeshkar,Ravi Shankar,Bhimsen Joshi all who received the Bharat Ratna,Just because he is rich we should not be jealous.You cannot compare him with Kapil Dev or Dravid or Vishwanth Anand,just as we should not compare Lata with Asha,Mohamad Rafi,Saigal or Kishore kumar or Raj Kapoor or Dilip Kumar!
    Sachin is fit to receive even a “Vishwa Ratna”.We Indians are our worst enemies!Cricket is a “religion”in India and Sachin is by far the best!

    your poll question was very unfair.How can you band Viswanath Anand,Bindra and Sachin together?Sachin is a different class altogether!He has been playing for 22 years the other two hardly five years each!Cricket is far more popular than chess or archery or even hockey!

  20. Jayashree Says:

    What Raju meant was, when Sachin can get one, Kalam can defiantly get the second one!

  21. Vijay Says:

    What about Bharat Ratna for Dr Raj Kumar , Vishnuvardhan , Rajnikanth , Kamalhasan , cHIRANJEEVI , Mohanlal , MAMOOTY , VADIVELU , ‘ KOLAVERI ‘ Dhanush etc . hehehe

  22. harkol Says:

    pdk/Jayashree: I don’t understand what is the issue here! Are you guys suggesting just because he is a well known cricketer, he should get the benefits of tax laws?

    Tax planning is an normal thing to do. The govt. mandates through law that you have to pay taxes, and provides exemption in certain cases. And to use such exemption, if one is elligible is neither illegal nor immoral.

    Asking for Customs exemption or IT exemption under permissible law is not the same as IT evasion by Claiming an LTA where no travel was incurred. Or by falsifying expenses.

    Can one truly argue that Sachin isn’t acting while he is in an advertisement? If he was acting, then isn’t he an actor? If he is an actor, and income accrued from acting is exempt, then how is he evading tax? He didn’t evade taxes from rentals or FD interest, for that is taxable. He only claimed exemption on what is permissible.

    It is a different matter than Govt. should permit exemption for income from acting! But, if it permits why shouldn’t one claim it? Or should he donate all the money he earns to govt. for the great work they are doing??!!

  23. sanjeeva Says:

    I think Bharata Rathna is given for lifetime achievements. Since Sachin, Bindra and Anand have much much life ahead of them, it would be too early to bestow them this recognition now.

  24. Just Some Dude Says:

    You need a copy editor, dude. “Hocky”? “What net”? “Contendor”? Tch, tch.

  25. Kumar Says:

    We will start with our freedom fighters.
    1. Jhansi Lakshmi Bai
    2. Peshve Nana Saheb
    3. Tatya Tope
    4. Veer Savarkar
    5. Bhagat Singh
    6. Subhash Chandra Bose
    7. Sardar Patel
    8. Chandra Shekar Azad
    9. Ashwaq Ulla Khan
    10. Lokamanya B.G.Tilak
    11. Lala Lajpat Rai
    12. Bipin Chandra Pal
    13. Arvinda Ghosh
    14. Sister Nivedita
    15. Annie Besent
    16. Vasudev Balavant Phadke
    17. Chapekar brothers
    18. K.B.Hedgewar
    19. Ranjit Singh
    20. Ahalya Bai Holakr
    21. Shivaji
    22. Rana Pratap
    23. Kittur Chennamma
    24. Bankim Chandra Chatergee
    25. Lachit Borphukhan

    Sachin has done wonders in Cricket. But, that is not a great achievement compared to what those freedom fighters did for the country.
    They gave away their lives, spoiled their career, put their families into trouble – the only aim was to achieve freedom.
    So, if those souls are not given Bharat Ratna, nobody else deserves it.

    If you want to consider the post independent India, then start with Savarkar, Patel and all the Param Veer Chakras.

  26. Ramesh P Says:

    what about “MONEY RATHNA” award ?

  27. sanjeeva Says:

    The most deserving person alive today is R.K.Laxman.

  28. pdk Says:

    harkol,

    1. I have nothing against him being given the Bharat Ratna. As I mentioned in my earlier comment, it should be for acting, not cricketing, since he has himself claimed that he is a professional actor and not a professional cricketer. I would also expect that media refer to him as ‘actor’ not as ‘cricketer.

    2. Please note that Tendulkar’s deductions were rejected twice by the Commissioner of Income Tax-A. The CIT-A’s reasoning:

    The assessing officer rejected Tendulkar’s claim and looked up the dictionary for the meaning of the term ‘professional’. “It could be correct to say that playing cricket is the source of his livelihood and is therefore his profession,” the officer observed, adding that “if Sachin is not a cricketer, then who is a cricketer?” He noted that Tendulkar had received remuneration for providing a wide variety of services to these companies. The various activities mentioned in the agreement with these companies had nothing to do with his claim of being an actor.

    “… In all the advertisements in which he appears, what is highlighted is his personality as a cricketer. It is important to note that the company that wants Tendulkar to endorse its brand uses him because he is Sachin Tendulkar, the cricketing legend,” the officer noted.

    ….
    “Tendulkar is primarily involved in playing cricket and irrespective of whether he is a professional or not, it cannot be disputed that his profession is playing cricket. Tendulkar is not being paid for his activities as an actor or his performance as an artist. The nature and quality of his acting or performance as an artist would never have resulted in the contracts and payments made out to him.”

    True, the Income Tax Tribunal gave a decision in his favor, but it is very difficult for a layman like me to disagree with what the CIT-A says, since that is so obviously the case. That Tendulkar followed it up so doggedly doesn’t speak too highly of him – but that is only my opinion. The amount of coverage of this judgement shows that many others considered it significant too. But of course that doesn’t mean everyone has to agree.

    3. As for falsifying expenses, he tried that too. From the same report:

    Tendulkar had also claimed deduction of Rs 57,969 towards staff welfare expenses that included expenses incurred on tea and snacks provided to his staff, Rs 50,000 each on account of entertainment expenses and telephone expenses and Rs 1,42,824 on account of car expenses. However, the tribunal dismissed these claims saying that the use of telephone, car and food was for him and his family.

  29. karihaida Says:

    The original Gandhi is not a bharat ratna :)

  30. Venkatarama Muthuswami Says:

    Secular demon-crazy of India offers titles on first come first serve basis.
    Bharat Ratna for the highest bidder!

  31. K.C. Belliappa Says:

    harkol,
    According to you, Sachin is a flawless individual.Pl keep up the defence even though it is totally unconvincing. Those who deserve the BR are those who are clean, morally upright and of impeccable character. One’s actions off the field are equally important. Mere records are not enough. One should set the highest standards of behaviour in his life and must be a role model. He should not find loopholes in law to benefit himself. K.C. Belliappa

  32. dr ramesh Says:

    Idea of giving bharat ratna to cricketer,businessman sachin tendulkar in a way also denotes the paradigm shift in the mindset of indian middle class. Monetary sucess and fame are the topmost virtues poeple desire and respect. Honouring cricketers and glamour dolls with bharat ratna will only reinforce the trend fuelling further increase in brand value of cricketers. If a worthy person cant be found , defer the award announcement till worthy persons silently working without media glarelights making a difference in lives of millions of indians can be shortlisted. A bharat ratna should inspire an indian.

  33. harkol Says:

    Belliappa:

    There are no ‘flawless’ individuals. Even a saint like Gandhi wasn’t without his flaws. That doesn’t mean we bemoan their shortcomings.Would you characterize last recipient venerable Bhimsen Joshi as a flawless individual? How about Rajiv Gandhi, Nehru, Morarji Desai, MG Ramachandran? How about pdt. Ravishankar ??

    Besides, all I was trying to bring out is that the flaws you showed weren’t flaws at all. And, being tax efficient isn’t finding ‘loopholes’!! Lets consider this, assuming that Tendulkar thinks what he does is a contractual service to BCCI, though the govt. doesn’t put Cricket as a service taxable item, should he go and volunteer to pay service tax as well? Not paying service tax is finding a loophole in the system?

    How weird is that?

  34. harkol Says:

    pdk:

    Apparently, you have never dealt with cussed IT officers. I have, and have huge amount of refund pending which the officers are contesting though their claims are absurd. If I had agreed to bribe them, then i’d have got my refund 2 years back, instead I am fighting. And you think staff expenses are wrong and Tendulkar wouldn’t have spent 1+Lakh as telephone and car expenses on his profession? Our office, which perhaps doesn’t have 1/10th tendulkar’s revenue, spends more.

    Just because an govt. servant ‘claims’ a tax, don’t think it is a right claim. It should be fought if you think you are on right side of law.

    And as I mentioned in my post, I am not sure if Tendulkar should be Bharat ratna at present. I feel there may be far more deserving candidates who need to come on list first.

    But, I totally disagree with any of the reasons forwarded above for not giving him Bharat Ratna, or reasons for giving him Bharat Ratna. He shouldn’t be denied Bharat Ratna for frivolous reasons.

    He should be awarded Bharat Ratna for his extraordinary service to the Indian cricket & sports. But, I think he has a long way to go in service of cricket and sports in general. Tendulkar’s turn can come perhaps in a couple of decades, when he service to Indian sport is put on historic perspective.

  35. Nastika Says:

    I guess we are inching closer to selecting BR via SMS or even ‘Likes’ on Facebook.

    .

  36. Rajib Kumar Says:

    I don’t know about the requirements for Bharat Ratna.

  37. Manava Says:

    Bharata Ratna is devalued many times over. Give it to every Indian all 1.2 or so billions of them, that way it becomes an egalitarian award!

  38. bombadilliogoutam Says:

    My vote is Govt of India should not act out of pressure and recognise and give Bharat Ratnas to others as well who has nonetheless deseves it equally, even some more than Sachin.
    If Sachin is a brand placed in public psyche through organised paid NEWS Services of corporates. Otherwise, tell me who appear from India in Wisden’s Cricketing List …For heroism, its Laxman. India’s winning and Schin’s century does mostly not go hand in hand… That is an acknowledged truth spoken in the blogosphere and media often in fear of corporate blacklash dont try to niddle that sore point of Indian cricket.

  39. pdk Says:

    harkol,

    I too have a refund pending following a SC decision (I didn’t fight the case, my ex-company did, on its employees’ behalf). I’ll let it take its course. I won’t jump to the conclusion that bribing would help. I think they have their compulsions and procedures to go through. Eventually I may get the refund or not. I don’t bother my head about it. But apparently you are a bit different and would do it. I understand. People are different. Every person in the world is unique as they say.

    I didn’t claim that just because the CIT-A denied a deduction, it is the correct decision. The CIT-A’s reasoning was clearly laid out in the article and I quoted excerpts from it. It makes total sense to me and would to a lot of people. It seems to me that for a guy who is apparently the richest cricketer in the world whose home costs upwards of Rs 80 crore, he should have accepted the CIT-A’s verdict especially since it made sense. But you don’t agree with the reasoning of the IT man and hence the rest of my argument. That too is OK. Everyone is unique.

    The IT Tribunal too threw out his other expenses. Apparently he tried to slip a quicker one through but delivered a sitter.

    I personally think his contribution to himself is more than to Indian cricket. I think he, along with cricket itself, has been totally hyped up by TV and print media to make quick bucks and due to the media’s herd mentality. I think a lot of the Tendulkar hagiography is pushed by the company that manages him. But again, you obviously don’t. People are unique. And we are a free country.

    I do think that this episode along with others like the Ferrari which he sold after getting a tax exemption on account of it being a gift shows a crass money-mindedness and pettiness to him which makes him a bit unworthy of adulation and even the Bharat Ratna. But again, uniqueness and freedom for all.

  40. harkol Says:

    Kumar:

    Sardar Patel was awarded Bharat ratna couple of decades back.

    I feel there are a few folks who may not be popular choices, but have made immense contribution to India. Ratan Tata (Person who led the Indian innovation in automotive sector), Verghese Kurien (Who made India the largest producer of milk in world), Sunderlal Bahuguna (Environmentalist), GD Birla (Industrialist), PVNarasimha Rao (For liberating India from Nehru-Gandhi Congress!), Vajpayee, M.F. Husain, nani Palkhiwala (Emminent Jurist), Sheikh Abdullah (for integrating Kashmir with India), so many more who perhaps are in deserving list for their life long services.

  41. twistleton Says:

    pdk and harkol – why this kolaveri?

    I haav wonely won quoschin – does the moment maketh the man, or the man maketh the moment?

  42. Anonymous Guy Says:

    If we want to give it to dead people who did something for India and had a great record on and off the field, how about starting off with the British officers who brought India into the modern age?

  43. Faldo Says:

    As far as his contribution on the cricketing field is concerned, there is no doubt that Tendulkar is eminently qualified for the BR, if one were to use the modified rule of “performance of highest order in any field of human endeavour”. That being said, one might argue that the contributions of past cricketers was no less when seen in the context of their time.
    If one were to glance at the top half of the list of people who got the Bharat Ratna, one cannot help noticing that most of the awardees especially those who were politicians were still actively involved in public life when they received the honor. While I would not like to point fingers or question their credentials, a doubt could be raised as to whether public opinion or political considerations played a part. Therefore, In my opinion, it might be best to wait till a person retires from his chosen field so his entire achievement in that sphere of activity can be taken into account and to bring about some objectivity into the decision making.

  44. pdk Says:

    twistleton,

    just fun-u, no reason-u,
    but I agree time-u waste-u.
    rich sachin-u but black-heart-u,
    evading tax-u to gorment-u.
    80 crore house-u, 2 crore tax demand
    small amount-u why no pay-u?

    Again to twistleton,

    I thought dressings make the man?

  45. twistleton Says:

    The Complete Man or the one who Comes Home? But Sachin is a World Player :D

  46. harkol Says:

    pdk: I am not sure of the amount you are fighting for, but, I have INR7.63Lakhs refund owed to me by IT dept. for 3 years now, and fighting with them, personally, for 2yrs. Another amount of 14K is due to me for over 8 years, and I don’t even hope to get it and not even fighting for that! The trouble happens when the injustice is patently unfair to ignore.

    Tendulkar is one of the highest tax payers in the country. He was ranked #41 in Mumbai list. Considering Mumbai hosts our richest folks, that’s no mean achievement. His tax amount was larger than Kokilaben Ambani, one of the richest women in India.

    So, in other words unless he feels he is entitled to a particular tax break, he is complying with tax laws. So, why hold his fights against taxmen against him? Taxmen are known to harass. Just because he earns a lot, should he volunteer to pay tax if he felt is being unfairly claimed from him?

  47. Srinivas Murthy G Says:

    One trivial point to ponder is Sachin in his nineties invariably becomes defensive and slows down intentionally.If a person is selflessly working towards victory of the India, why he needs to slow down in his nineties?
    If he is not selflessly working towards the country’s victory, why he deserves a Bharat Ratna?

    Point to note is that the biggest name in cricketing excellence is Donald Bradman. The whole of Australia regard him as the biggest SPORTSPERSON their country has ever produced including all the multitude of sports which Australia participates. And he has NOT been awarded the highest civilian award of Australia. He has only been awarded the second most civilan award.

    No doubt whatsover, Sachin has achieved a lot in the field of cricket ! He is still continously doing so.. But does it make him at par with eminent personalities who have continously and lifelong added MEANINGFUL value to the society such as Vishveswaraiah, Sardar Patel, Lal bahadur Shastri ?

    Bharat Ratna for popular entertainment such as cinema & sports is a denigration. Government should not bow down to mass hysteria created by the media upon conferring Bharat Ratna to Sachin.

  48. Kitapati Says:

    We are going nowhere. Everyone has their own favourite BR.

    Sachin, Bindra, V Anand and Dhyan Chand have been recommended by sport enthusiasts.
    The all wise M Katju has recommended BR to be given to Ghalib, Subramanya Bharathi and Sharat Chandra.
    CNR wants Homi Bhabhi crowned with BR.
    The Sherpas want BR for Tenzin Norgay.
    Amitabh has been a keen contender for BR.
    Aishwarya and Sushmitha are not to be ignored of their monumental Miss cosmos acheivement

    It will not be far when some other eminent will ask the government to implement the sublime thoughts of Mandal and have a quota based Bharat Ratna. 27% OBC + 17% SC + ST.

  49. pdk Says:

    harkol,

    It is surprisingly close to your figure.

    The fight Tendulkar put up was for 2001-2005 assessment years.

    Recent IT payments of some cricketers in crores (source):

    Player | 2008-09 | 2007-08
    1. Sachin 8.1 8.7 (1)
    2. Dhoni 4.7 3.4 (2)
    3. Sehwag 3.1 1.9 (5)
    4. Yuvraj 2.6 2.0 (4)
    5. Dravid 2.4 3.1 (3)

    They are all paying up, no denying that, but Tendulkar’s payment doesn’t seem all that out of whack with the rest of the team. I was actually a bit surprised that Rs 8 crores is one of the biggest IT payments in the country. We are a very interesting country, with only 3.3 crore people paying income tax, and only around 80,000 people declaring income more than 10 lakh rupees (around 2005).

    Mumbai’s richest folks – industrialists, businessmen, stock traders, film stars – plan their taxes very well I imagine. Much of their income could be in capital gains, dividends etc which don’t attract income tax.

    Anyway, it was an interesting conversation about a dry subject like IT.

  50. vikram iz Says:

    Vishwanathan Anand. thats it. get this into your thick skull.

  51. pdk Says:

    Bharat Ratna to cricketers is a mockery, says Katju:

    Stating that conferring Bharat Ratna on cricketers and film stars would be making a ”mockery” of the country’s highest civilian honour, Press Council of India chairman Justice Markandey Katju has said that the award should be given to literary stalwarts and social reformers.

    “People are talking of giving Bharat Ratna to cricketers and film stars. This is the low cultural level to which we have sunk. We ignore our real heroes, and hail superficial ones,” Justice Katju said in the backdrop of the demand to confer the award to famous sportsmen.

    “Today our country is standing at a crossroad. We need pe­r­sons who can give direction to the country and take it forward. It is such people who should be given Bharat Ratna, even if they are dead,” Katju said.

    Couldn’t agree more.

  52. pdk Says:

    Also, what exactly is Tendulkar’s contribution to Indian cricket? If one goes through this article, Are many of the current lot just ‘flat-track bullies’?, one realises that nothing has changed. We’ve been complaining of this problem since as long as I remember. I don’t follow cricket now, but if the same complaint is still being heard, and a potential Bharat Ratna is closely involved in the game, what price his involvement? Couldn’t he prevail on the BCCI to do something about it? If not, isn’t he playing mostly for his own self?

  53. Shree Kar Says:

    @harkol,

    “Just because he earns a lot, should he volunteer to pay tax if he felt is being unfairly claimed from him?”

    I agree with your question as I do most of the time with your views on many issues.

    However, on the matter of taxes, I would like to narrate here some anecdotes about NRN Murthy.

    When his son Rohan was in the 7th Std., he used to fill up Murthy’s personal tax return, it seems. Not sure if this is apocryphal, but it goes to show how Murthy never bothered to avoid, evade or even plan income tax the way many others do, employing CAs.

    In 1990s, when Infosys was not so big,the then FM Chidambaram introduced Minimum Alternate Tax to bring into the tax net zero tax companies like Reliance. Murthy was the only corporate leader who welcomed MAT, arguing that paying taxes was one’s duty and a way of repaying to the society from which one receives so much.

    In 2007 also, when STPI concessions were withdrawn, he is reported to have said that the technology companies could afford to pay the taxes from which they were till then exempt.

    When Prof. Sadagopan, Director of IIIT, Bangalore remarked to Murthy about the delay in sending IT exemption certificate in respect of a 100 crore donation made to IIIT by Murthy, the latter simply asked Prof.Sadagopan not to bother sending it.

    Of course, Murthy can afford to be magnanimous unlike other lesser mortals. And maybe Sachin and Harkol are fighting with the I-T dept., not about taxes but about the interpretations of ambiguous rules.

  54. Ram Says:

    It is high time we follow reservation for sc,st and the minorities for the awards otherwise we will be in trouble. By this ups can play politics!

  55. harkol Says:

    Shree Kar: If someone argues Bharat Ratna should be denied to Sachin for not ‘voluntarily’ paying tax he thinks is not due, then Mr. Murhty must surely be given Bharat Ratna for paying taxes when it wasn’t even due? Won’t that be absurd?

    All I was trying to point out was the absurdity of allegation against Sachin. Whether one pays tax in excess of what is due is his individual point of view. That can’t be the reason for his qualification/disqualification for being a Bharat Ratna.

    Let’s consider the today’s news of Infosys contesting a IT dept. claim of money paid to Bangalore Traffic Police for managing traffic is IT deductible. I believe it is, but a cussed IT dept and a judge doesn’t. Should Infosys be held in contempt for contesting this claim? Isn’t it patently unfair for govt. to claim money for a public security deed, and then claim tax on the same amount?

    I firmly believe that we can respect people’s non-money mindedness, but, being money minded can be petty at times. But, to equate giving more money than due in Tax to money mindedness, isn’t fair. Govt. wastes tax money in many ways, and a person can feel that he can make use of the same money directly in other charity.

    Do look up Tendulkar’s charity works. If he was money minded he had no reason to do that.

  56. Vinay Says:

    Shree kar:

    You have made the mistake of praising NRN on this blog.

    Now, prepare to get assailed from all sides.

  57. Sudha Murthy Fan Says:

    I agree with Vinay.
    I would go for Bharata Ratna for Sudha Murthy. The Infosys foundation should be renamed to Sudha Murthy foundation to wade away evil spirits as Infosys has become synonymous with Tamils.

    These things have to happen immediately and our media should campaign for this.

    PM + CM Sudha Murthy
    President Anna Hazare
    MInister of Arts and Cinema and Theatre – Arundhati Nag

    When media+political groups can make so much out of Sonia and Maya and Mamatha who are miniscule compared to Mtech gold medalist, her excellence Sudha Murthy ,why there is so less campaigning for her?

  58. pdk Says:

    harkol,

    Infosys contesting that claim is perfectly OK.

    On the other hand suppose they had declared that they are a transport company and hence the payment to the traffic police was related to its business, just for the sake of getting that tax rebate. Then I’d have started having second thoughts about Infosys.

    That is what Tendulkar did. I mean he didn’t claim to be a transport company, but an actor.

  59. Shree Kar Says:

    @harkol

    Points noted.

    @Vinay:”

    I am an unabashed admirer of the living legend NRN and of the company he built, Infosys.

  60. Harkol Says:

    Pdk:
    Tendulkar did not claim deduction on all his income. He claimed legally available exemptions on ‘acting’ income. Just as most folks claim exemptions on various other clauses. He didnt say he isnt a cricketer, he paid taxes he earned as cricketer. This is same as folks claiming exemptions on agricultural income, though their primary profession isnt agriculture.

    What would you call a lawyer who has agricultural income and claims exemptions on agricultural income on the basis that he is a agriculturist too? A petty minded tax cheat?

    Is there a rule that a person has to have only one identity or profession? What do you call a lift operator, who frequently acts in advertisement? Actor or lift boy?

  61. pdk Says:

    Harkol,

    Tendulkar might have paid taxes on his very comparatively lower earnings as cricketer. That still does not change the fact that he declared that he was a professional “actor” and that he was not a professional “cricketer” in order to get an tax rebate. That is for all practical purposes the same as claiming that he was not a cricketer. He claimed legally available exemptions by changing his profession from that which every Indian (who knew about him) identified him with, to something else.

    If the lawyer changed his profession to match the amount of money he could save through not paying income tax, then I would not have a very high opinion of him. Especially when he is one of the richest men in the country. I may not call him a petty minded tax cheat, but I would definitely call him a bit petty and not unduly deserving of top honours.

    I would generally leave the lift operator to file his IT return as he thought fit, not having a view one way or the other. But if, say, Salman Khan, came out and declared that he was a cricketer and not a professional actor in order to do the IT dept in, then I would probably stop enjoying his movies a bit.

  62. Nastika Says:

    Sachin went to Kukke Subramanya to get rid ‘Sarpa Dosha’ and he scored a 200 in a one day match. Well, Sehwag bettered that score that without any treatment. Don’t tell me none of Sehwag’s ancestor killed a snake in all their lives.

    I wonder what Sachin would have done if he was a Christian or Muslim. Or ‘Sarpa Dosha’ affects only Hindus ;)

    .

  63. Harkol Says:

    Pdk: if salman khan did have an income as a cricket player and cricket income was exempt then govt. Inteded it that way. Thats the law, and it is a righitful exemption.

    Please check if we are talking on same factoids – http://daily.bhaskar.com/article/BIZ-NEWS-i-am-an-actor-too-claims-sachin-tendulkar-gets-tax-deductions-2130590.html

    It appears to me, what sachin claimed was, when he acts in adverts and earns money, he does so as an actor, not as cricketer. He didnt disavow him being a cricketer and seems to have stated he isnt a professional actor.

    I cant set aside my losses in stock market against a salary or professional income. Thats because i am treated as a trader for that income and losses can only be adjusted against trading profits. If all income is to be treated equally this wont be so.

    Disclosure: I have mostly non agricultural income but I am an agriculturist as well and enjoy tax free income from agriculture. I believe agriculture shouldnt have tax free status, neither should any other profession (actors too). All should pay tax equitably. But while that isnt law i wont volunteer to pay tax. I dont see that as being unethical at all.

  64. pdk Says:

    Harkol,

    Was away for a few days, hence the late response.

    I have dug up the ruling of the Tribunal which is here: http://taxguru.in/income-tax/sachin-tedulkar-claim-deduction-80rr-advertisement-income.html. Some excerpts:

    7.3 We find there is no dispute to the fact that the assessee in the instant case has declared income from playing cricket as “income from other sources” on the ground that he is only a cricketer and is not a professional cricketer.

    The income from playing cricket has been shown by assessee itself as “income from other sources” further proves that the assessee himself does not claim to be a professional cricketer and hence cannot be said that he exercises the “profession” of cricket.

    7….There is also no dispute to the fact that in the Tax Audit Report in Form No. 3CD filed along with return of income, the nature of business/profession of the assessee has been mentioned as sports sponsorship/modelling

    6. The ld counsel for the assessee submitted that the assessee derived income from salary, income from other sources as a cricketer and income from modelling/sponsorships shown as “income from business/profession”. He submitted that the assessee is not a professional cricketer. He submitted that the only profession of the assessee is acting/modelling.

    It is clear that Tendulkar doesn’t consider himself a professional cricketer.

    Do you get your deductions for the agri-income by claiming it under section 80RR? If yes, that would be relevant here. Same with regard to the trading income. Section 80RR is below:

    i) The assessee must be resident individual in India ii) The individual must either be an author, playwright, musician, actor, or sportsman including an athlete; iii) The income must be derived by him in the exercise of his profession; iv) The income must be brought into in India in convertible foreign exchange within the prescribed period.

    I still go along with the AO and CIT(A).

  65. Nastika Says:

    Talking of Sachin’s achievements on field, in ‘tests’ he is yet another ordinary cricketer, with only his sole achievement being his longevity.

    All the records he has in ‘Test’ cricket is because of his longevity; all of them being ‘quantity’ records.

    Since he made his debut in 1989, I can’t recall *any’ test where he *won* the test for India with a quality innings or fighting innings. There are cricketers who have played just 10% of his total innings and have won matches for their country.

    PS: Closest innings where Sachin played a fighting knock was in 1999 against Pakistan in Chennai. He all most won the match but failed. Details here: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/current/match/63828.html

    In ODIs, yes he is one of the great players. But he ranks much below other players like Bevan, Gilchrist, etc. He played 92, 96, 99, 2003, 2008 world cups and finally saw victory in Dhoni’s company in 2011. Sachin is great in ODIs, but not the best.

    In international T20s, he hasn’t played much to qualify for assessment.

    Dhyan Chand is well & truly a hockey great and *best* at his time. He deserves Bharat Ratna.

    The Indian cricketers who would qualify for Bharat Ratna are,
    1) Kapil Dev – he won 1983 world cup firmly established Cricket in India
    2) Sunil Gavaskar – he scored in West Indies, England, Australia and helped India post series victories
    3) MS Dhoni – only if he continues his current victory form.

    Note: Since Bharat Ratna can be given to non Indians (like Nelson Mandela), the cricketer who deserves Bharat Ratna for cricketing achievement is ‘Shane Warne’. I will put his name much ahead of Sachin Tendulkar.

    .

  66. Vikash Says:

    Wisden top 100 Test Cricket innings featuring all time great innings till 2011. None of Sachin’s innings are there in the list.

    http://dipqa.com/view/dips/214/wisden-top-100-test-cricket-innings

    Thanks
    Vikash

  67. Nastika Says:

    @Vikash, the reason is when going gets tough, Sachin is gone too. Wisden lists fighting innings. Sachin’s cricket doesn’t stand tall amidst team’s batting failures.

    Each his one. Sachin doesn’t have a Wisden innings. Similarly none of the cricketers has played international cricket for 23+ years.

    ~*~

  68. Gaby Says:

    But GRV figures four times. So I guess it is in some way a measure of the game beautiful as well!

  69. sujithkumarbala Says:

    dhyan chand and Sachin tendulkar both are real heros in sports so both have a right to reeive Bharatha Ratna but still it should be given to dhyan chand. if commitee gives a chance for sachin to select Bharath Ratna he definitely propose Dhyan chand

  70. S K Muthanna Says:

    I am so ignorant ; can anyone let me know , of the 100 centuries our great Sachin has scored , like none else including Don Bradman, in how many matches India won , in how many India lost and also in how many there were draw and in how many there were no results. This is purely for appeasing my curiosity. Well, as for as maturity is concerned, Sachin has to go a long way; his greed for 100s was not born out of national pride; Sachin was no world cup winner, it was Dhoni; Dhoni was sent into oblivion and he is, my God, a very mature person for his age. Sachin was buoyed with a premeditated ‘coup’ literally.! Do not insult Bharat Ratna by doling out to Sachin, but, who on earth can stop the uncouth, vested interest-centric no 10 Janpath to everyone else in the coterie???!!!

  71. veera Says:

    If any Indian cricketer deserves Bharat Ratna it is one and only Kapil Dev. See his performance, and see the number of matches India has won due to his sterling performance. None of his contemporary cricketers can match him.
    Majority of his innings have been played in matches where India was struggling after loosing the top order due to pace and bounce in England,Australia, WI and south Africa. His 129 at Port Elizabeth was the best when White lightning Allan Donald was spitting fire and players of the likes of Tendulkar etc were dismissed cheaply not able to handle Allan Donald. This man made a fighting knock.
    If not for Dev’s 175, India would have not won world cup-1983, which can never be matched by any cricketers of India for at least next century. He was selected as Wisden Indian cricketer of century surpassing ahead of Gavaskar, Viswanath and Tendulkars.
    congress is playing politics when they have not considered for Genius like Dayan chand, viswanathan Anand and Kapil Dev.

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