24 September, 2020

Across The Line

Tendulkar's willingness to allow brands to exploit his “highest civilian honour” proves that Mammon can blind even a Master with the keenest of eyes

Illustration by Saahil
Across The Line

There was always something very awkward about the manner in which ­Sac­hin Tendulkar brought his blood-red Ferrari 360 Modena to Mumbai 13 years ago. He sought a waiver of import duty of Rs 1.13 crore from the then NDA government, which dutifully changed the law to allow him to bring in the car that was a “gift” from its maker Fiat (of which he was brand ambassador), after he had equalled Sir Don Bradman’s record of 29 Test centuries. And then, having received that benefit, he applied for an additional waiver of its road-worthiness test which cost but Rs 15 lakh. The question of whether a cricketer with more zeroes in his bank balance than on his career stats could not have chosen a more graceful way of enjoying the fruits of his success was quickly buried under the claptrap of his “contribution” to the game. The revelation now that Tendulkar cut short a visit to Australia last year and flew back home expressly to meet the current NDA’s defence minister and bat for a business buddy in a property dispute with the Defence Research &...



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