With one of the greatest sportspersons of the World, Sachin Tendulkar taking oath as a Member of the Parliament today, it for sure makes it a very significant day. Not only the political world, but his oath taking ceremony did take everyone including the media by storm and each and every word of the Master Blaster is making the headlines. The Little Master deserves the kind of attention that he gets, for what he has achieved for the country over the years is unparalleled in Indian cricket.
This is one thing that the country would not forget and even after his tenure is over, people for sure would remember that the Master Blaster was part of the political fraternity at some point of the time or other. But then did we really care for another sportsperson who has done equally a great service to Indian sports and is now sitting as his colleague in the Upper House?
Well not many would know about Dilip Tirkey, the highest capped former Indian hockey captain, who too had recently been accorded the coveted seat in the Rajya Sabha. It is not people’s fault as hockey—the game represented by this Orissa tiger, has lost its glory years ago and forgot about the players, even the game isn’t talked about much in the media circle, let aside the general public in question.
Dilip Tirkey, who was elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha as one of the three Biju Janata Dal candidates on March 21, 2012, never got the headlines reserved for someone like Sachin Tendulkar. His name hardly appeared in the national dailies and if ever, it must not have been more than a column or two.
Now to introduce the great man, Dilip Tirkey hails from Orissa and was the former Indian captain. He is a three times Olympian and used to play as full back. He has appeared in 412 matches for India, the most capped player till date, please note. Well he is one of the most successful Indian hockey players of the last three decades and is a renowned globally for his defensive skills.
Tirkey, who comes from an Adivasi background, has done so much for the National Game of the country, but his oath taking ceremony was a dud when we see the kind of attention and media coverage given to Sachin Tendulkar.
Well whatever Sachin got he deserves it to the fullest and no one can take that away from him, but then Tirkey by no means deserved anything less. If Sachin is a maestro in cricket, then so is Tirkey in hockey. Ask someone in Orissa and more precise in Sundergarh district and you will get the feel of the aura this humble guy generates around him. But then it’s hockey and not cricket.
Media is called the Fourth Estate of the country but at many stages it fails to justify that status. Their cry for development of sports and things like that looks hollow when it comes to practice on the self. Or less how do anyone justify the coverage and attention Sachin’s nomination and oath taking has been getting for days now, while a hockey great of modern India could not even find a proper two column and a two minute air time when he joined in as the Member Of Parliament. Just because cricket and Sachin sells while hockey and Tirkey have no takers?
Sports other than cricket do make headlines as well, but then mostly due to wrong reasons or when something big –like Abhinav Bindra winning an Olympic medal-- happens at some international stage. But then as for cricket, it is always there in the news which helps a lot in booming the reputation of the game, which has already reached its zenith in the country and is going higher with each day.
Sachin’s magnanimity makes him a deserving candidate of making the headlines, but then where does Tirkey lags? He has made the country proud at various international events and is a stalwart in hockey.
The question here is simple – to develop sport, not only the government, media too has a role to play. If not equal coverage, at least do justice to your stories and give due respect to the games and people that they deserve. If the trend remains like the same, the hopes of other sports improving look bleak. Sachin and Dilip Tirkey is just one of the examples!
By Indian Sports News Network