This is in line with a previous post about unduly rewarding/lionizing the World Cup-winning team. From Mid-Day:
Tendulkar was touched when the group of NSG commandos tasked with protecting him requested to be photographed with him and his family. Tendulkar immediately went into the dressing room and returned with son Arjun. Father and son posed with the commandos for the picture. “They are the real heroes. They defend our nation,” the premier batsman said. The members of the Indian team might disagree, though [italics added]. For them, he was God, the reason they played and won the coveted title. “I am not at all a special person. It was a nice gesture by the teammates. If you are talking about special, our nation is special. The people of our nation are special. We won the World Cup for them,” Tendulkar said.
Huh. Find me one Indian player who would actually disagree with Tendulkar and say, on the record, “I think Tendulkar is the real hero, not a NSG commander.” What’s refreshing — in a horrible sort of way — is how openly adoring Indian cricket writers and fans can be. In America, the celebrity dynamic is alive and well, but no celebrity — or journalist, even — would be caught dead saying they were worth more than a soldier. That’s usually left unstated or implied (i.e., we spend more time following Charlie Sheen than the latest events in Afghanistan), and you can question the sincerity of any celebrity’s humility. But still, to openly say it’s a valid question — who’s of more social utility, Sachin or a soldier? — shows you the crazy extent of adoration occasionally reached in South Asia.