Preface: ” If as a foreigner, you visit India and you ask to symbolize a Calm India, a Nation which came out of nowhere, from bankruptcy prior to 1991 to the economic giant it is becoming now by one example, Indians will also relate with Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar”…That poor man’s hero India needed to reflect itself!
Can we measure greatness? If yes, how can we measure who is great across eras! What attributes makes Sir Donald Bradman the ingenious legend of all times as some of them say! It’s an abstract topic to discuss because it has many variables in one model! But if we have to measure greatness totally, behavioural theorists often say that we need to map the dependent variable with many behaviours (Psychological, sociological, economy) and the change the subject brought in each of them!
In simple Words, one man symbolizing a whole Nation! This debate can take some shape, if we talk about a Mahatma, a Churchill, and a Vinci; but talking about one sportsman and the economics, the sociology, the psychology of one nation behind him is a very vague concept, it’s hard to put into perspective but perhaps I am for the first time writing something which as Indians we always have felt but not necessarily said! Again, before going farther, would like to declare that here we are not talking about the cricketing skills of the little man we all love, but that change which he exemplified through his often disturbingly perfect self-restrained smile when things never worked around.
Well Human society and culture has been always guided by societal influencers. If any new breed of MBA’s will open their very first lessons of consumer behaviour books, they will come across the same term as “Opinion Leader’s”. Well, on paper an opinion leader is a person who divides the class-mass strata and influences the culture of a nation as a reflection of his/her own activities, if the same postulate has to hold true than Sachin Ramesh is a perfect example of an opinion which united India in troubled times and now the flying colors of the nation are on. Harsha Bhogle, the famous Commentator once said , “ the Bravado of being a Tendulkar is not in the classy strokes that he plays at will, but in the fact that he can, and has been gluing India under a Unity Blanket breaking all caste, creed and norms for more than three decades now”.
Visualize this, when he broke into the Scene as the new kid in the block, everyone knew his potential but none of them gave a huge thought. A promising kid only he was, a perfect symphony with what India was at that point of time, promising but vulnerable, a nation rich in culture but under tremendous pressure of world acceptance, The economy down in a barrel and policies which made no sense! There was desperation everywhere, panic in all eyes and that was the time Indian’s needed someone calm but calculative, someone who only knows to win but is also the most admirable and humble icon of his/her fraternity, someone who wins and wins big-time and always uses the right ways and means of winning! And they got Sachin Tendulkar! In Sachin we found our representative who could compete and beat the world’s best.
It’s strange how his rise also in a way symbiotic to India’s rise , Sachin made his first One -day Ton after 70 odd innings, struggled a lot in terms of progressing an innings after a certain point! Similarly India saw the first ray in hope in 1991 through Liberalization, privatization and Globalization ( LPG), and framed policies with World Bank to revamp its economy. And since than the Wagon wheel of India and its Heroic face have never looked back. There is no end to progression, a career like Sachin is a prime example of that! Self-Belief is something most Indians, back in the 90s, started learning seeing Sachin bat and earn dignity for himself. Today a Kohli or a Dhoni earns Millions in Brands but Sachin created the whole networking of sport branding in India.
Not only the economical aspect of things, Sachin brought a lot of calmness and determination in him which young Indian’s of the 90’s could identify themselves, he brought a sense of courage and just the right sense of winning which propelled people to follow him! The courage in his technique, the determination in his eyes and the tactfulness of those neurons in his brains started to make India believe as a Nation things can also change! His career is a brilliant case study of not letting go, as will be included by the Harvard Business School!
Another thing that made him a legend would be his willingness and strong resolve to come back strongly after so many bad patches and criticisms! The world cup win of 2011 has to be an example of trying it hard till the last moment! He did exceptionally well in all the world cups he played but still was on the losing side and after the shameful exit in the 2007 edition, he just had only one way to go and he only gunned in that way. In 2011, when he batted for India, even his once strongest critics would also have smiled him seeing bat, the way he tormented with the opposition was something which showed his persona.
Conclusion : We could never measure his greatness, we could never measure that solemn resolute which he brings in his face every time he bats, we could never measure his economics ( As there can’t be enough postulated models which economists can put him into) but what we can easily infer is that SRT has been a change agent on and off the field, on field he changed the way one would visualize the vintage Gentleman’s game of yore, off the field, however he taught us moral lessons of winning and winning in the most humble way.
@neo_classico( The Last Leaf)