Sachin Tendulkar, Mid-Day & the Indian Express

Thankfully, Sachin Tendulkar‘s below-par performance on the Australian tour has dimmed the spotlight somewhat on the Indian media batting for a Bharat Ratna for the cricketer in quest for his 100th hundred.

In Lounge, the Saturday section of the business daily Mint, columnist Aakar Patel argues why, among other reasons, Sachin shouldn’t get the nation’s highest civilian honour:

“On 15 April 1999, just before the World Cup, Sachin Tendulkar’s car hit a Maruti 800 in Bandra. Tendulkar got [Shiv Sena chief] Bal Thackeray to telephone Mid Day, the paper I joined the following year.

“He warned them against carrying the story. This was surprising because nobody had been seriously hurt in the accident.

“Thackeray told the paper running the story would damage “national interest”.

“What was this national interest? Mohammad Azharuddin was about to be sacked, Thackeray explained, and Tendulkar was likely to become captain again. Such stories could spoil his chances. Except The Indian Express, no newspaper ran the story. In July, Azhar was sacked and Tendulkar was named captain.”

Since that story, Tendulkar and Thackeray, Bandra-ites both, have had a small run-in over the batsman’s statement that “he was an Indian first and Marathi too, but Mumbai belongs to all“.

Read the full column: Why Sachin shouldn’t get the Bharat Ratna

Also read: ‘Indian journalism is regularly second-rate’

Prime minister, maybe, but not a very good sub-editor


  1. This is one part of the story. I think you need to study his life more closely. After the demise of his Father , Sachin attended the funeral, flew back to England and played for the Nation and scored 100 runs. This shows commitment towards a profession and the love for the game.

    Please work on some interesting story so you can get a notice among your media fellas.

  2. subrata

    All over the worl Sachin Tendulkar is respected as a very humble person……He is the best Indian around the world….why you didnt mention these stores ?????Whats wrong with some Indian people and media??

  3. Nastika

    @Shashankraj Kodesia, there was no need for him to return from his father’s funeral. Its not that the team was to lose the cup without him in the team. He was just making himself useful when it was not required – possibly thinking too much about his ability.

    BTW, cut shorting the funeral incident doesn’t prove that accident didn’t happen.


  4. amu1991

    How can you be so sure, Sachin had Bal Thackrey call the press and asked to supress the story? I heard this story in south india. so the story when was not really supressed was it? may be he does not deserve bharat ratna or whatever. If 21 indian politicians (after the 70’s) received this award, thank god it was not offered to Sachin. and by the way, is it his fault for having been considered for this award? But, dont take away what he has done as a cricketer and for the country. he did not pay money to make people his fans. at least he had the courage to speak his mind on what he thought of mumbai… at least he did not sell out like some of his colleagues did and throw away matches played on behalf of hsi country. Looks like everyone grabbing the opportunity to bash tendulkar after his failure in australia.

    1. Vanya

      really true sir,nice reply to the writer…….ppl are so obseesed to think nd write abt him dat when they find nothing they satisfy themselves by writing such things abt him.

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