N R Narayana Murthy sparked off a protest for allegedly disrespecting the national anthem; Sachin Tendulkar cutting a tricolour cake has set off another outcry. Is the outrage justified or are we simply protesting too much?
I present below some of the reactions that I found in the newspapers:
“I think we certainly do make a hue and cry about certain issues because we’re overly sensitive about them. And that’s because our priorities are misplaced. We don’t give a damn about global warming, but we make a big noise about something like Sachin Tendulkar cutting a tricolour cake. We’re only bothered about things that are displayed and in our opinion, must be revered. We don’t look at the bigger picture.” MAHESH DATTANI, Theatreperson
“I don’t think we Indians are sensitive at all; it’s the media that makes them out to be that way. In a nation with a hundred crore population, when just a hundred of them protest about an inconsequential matter, why does the media have to make it such a big deal? Are all these silly issues of national consequence? By reporting such petty issues, the media is blowing the issue out of proportion and drawing more attention to them than necessary. There are hundreds of protests being staged around the nation and not all of them do it out of concern. It’s more for mileage than addressing the issue.” GIRISH KASARAVALLI, Filmmaker
“I think as a people we are getting a bit too touchy and intolerant for the wrong reasons. Both Narayana Murthy and Sachin Tendulkar have done exceptionally well representing the country and there’s no need for them to prove anything to anyone. Casting aspersions on a well-known person and raising protests is the easiest way for people to get their three seconds of fame and that’s why most do it. Having said that, I must add that there seems to be some underlying anger in people that they flare up at the smallest of issues.”CHAITANYA HEGDE, Mediaperson
What is my take on this subject?In the case of N. R. Narayana Murthy, I am of the opinion that he chose a wrong word. He speakes the English language fluently and I am surprised that he used a word like "embarrassment". He should have said that it is "difficult" for them to sing it, perhaps then there would have been no controversy. It is also a fact that a successful person has a fair share of jealous detractors. Mr. Murthy, from what he has accomplished, and by the manner in which he has accomplished it will certainly have more than a fair share. I have a feeling that were we to really delve into it, we might unearth a somewhat different reason for the rather rabid attack on him.
Sachin is a falling hero; and so anything to hasten his fall would be lapped up by the media and then the public. Perhaps if he had cut the same cake after having scored a string of centuries, the scribes would not have bothered about the colour of the cake. His cutting a tri-colour cake would have been put down to an aberration. By the way, no mention is made of the plight of the Indian High Commissioner in whose official residence the cake was cut.
And what about the Karntaka Politicians who wanted Mr. Murthy jailed?
They are greatly disturbed by the "insult" rendered to the National Anthem by Mr. Murthy, but are unfazed by the long queues for water, by the sight of little children helping their mothers collect muddy water from little streams - water not fit to wash your hands in let alone drink, by the severe shortage of electricity, by the disappearing forests in the ghats and by a thousand other problems for which they are paid a salary out of our taxes to solve or at least alleviate.
A story in the Bible runs thus:
The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman taken
in adultery. Having set her in the midst, they told Jesus,
"Teacher, we found this woman in adultery, in the very act. Now
in our law, Moses commanded us to stone such. What then do you say about her?" They said this testing him, that they might have
something to accuse him of.
But Jesus stooped down, and wrote on the ground with his finger.
But when they continued asking him, he looked up and said to
them, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw the first stone at her." Again he stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground.
They, when they heard it, being convicted by their conscience,
went out one by one, beginning from the oldest, even to the last. Jesus was left alone with the woman where she was, in the middle.
Jesus, standing up, saw her and said, "Woman, where are your accusers? Did no one condemn you?"
She said, "No one, Lord."
Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you. Go your way. From now on, sin no more."
Can there be greater patriots than Mr. Narayana Murthy & Mr. Sachin Tendulkar? Few men can do much more for
And can there be a greater traitor than a corrupt khadi wearing politican signing the National Anthem with gusto?