Did Tendulkar deserve the Bharat Ratna?
For two years, India had chattered manically to itself about Tendulkar's retirement, about when and how he should choose to leave the game. When he finally announced his decision to quit, in early October, the country fell into collective gloom, writes Samanth Subramanian in the New Yorker.
A national election lurks around the corner, but over the past month it has appeared to be of far smaller consequence than Tendulkar's exit. The newspapers hummed with eulogies, nostalgic essays, and editorials about his career; one media group assembled an entire conference on the subject, called "Salaam Sachin"--a daylong orgy of speechifying and tribute-paying. There were serious suggestions that Tendulkar - who was named last year to a seat in the upper house of India's Parliament - should transition swiftly into politics, and perhaps even become a member of the Cabinet. All around, you could feel a country anxiously gird itself to face the unimaginable trauma of a life after Tendulkar.
While India copes with the loss of Tendulkar, Christian Science Monitor tries to explain his phenomenon to its readers.
Think Michael Jordan, but bigger. Think Wayne Gretzky, but more adored. Think Pele, but possibly more revered. Combine them into a single athlete and you might begin to capture the adoration Indians have for cricket star Sachin Tendulkar.
In the Mumbai Mirror, Shiv Visvanathan examines the decision to award Tendulkar the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour.
Awards like the Bharat Ratna are always fuzzy. We question cricket but the list of politicians chosen is far more questionable. Some of them like Rajiv Gandhi would not rate a Padma Shri but such is the nature of our time. We award Bharat Ratnas as if we are settling a bad debt. Yet, beyond the debates or the big fights, one senses the overpowering presence of Sachin. To the current generation he can do no wrong. He is the ideal. Commerce, values, family, life, talent and competence meet synergistically in him. He is a dream come true; a dream that for all his colossal achievements remains humble to the last- a genius without arrogance. That made him singular.
In Mid-Day, Paras Mhambrey, Tendulkar's former India and Mumbai team-mate and long-time friend, talks about how Tendulkar prepared for his final two Tests.
In the Hindustan Times, Sukhwant Basra asks if in celebrating Tendulkar, we are forgetting India's other sporting heroes.
On ESPNcricinfo, Sambit Bal writes that Tendulkar was the biggest worshipper the game could ever find, and in that lay the foundation of his greatness. And Sharda Ugra writes about Tendulkar's fine sense of balance, in batting and in life. Also read, S Rajesh's stats summary of the batting giant.