Mumbai. Following Sachin Tendulkar’s recent run of form, which some say has lasted for over two decades, his devotees (Sachinites) have called upon the fellow countrymen, particularly those who still consider Don Bradman as the greatest, to embrace Sachinism voluntarily especially when 84% of Australians also admit that “Sachin is the greatest”.
After Sachin’s match-winning performance in the Bangalore test, Sachinites have decided to wear their religion (Sachinism) on their sleeves and celebrate every achievement of their “God” from now on. As a result, the first ever Sachinism festival was celebrated after Tendulkar hit his sixth double ton yesterday.
Sachinites paraded effigies and performed Sachin puja by burning “baggy greens” and offering them to the idol, while a few over-enthusiastic followers, with arms full of knock-off Mumbai Indians shirts, went on hunt for Bradmanite families (a minority in India) asking them to covert to Sachinism.
Sachinites growing zeal and their dominance over Bradmanites became public again this afternoon after India won the Bangalore test and Border-Gavaskar Trophy. For the first time ever, adorned pictures of Harold “Bodyline” Larwood were paraded in public. Larwood neutralized Bradman in the “Bodyline Series” of 1932-33 with short, fast leg side deliveries, which Bradmanites consider sacrilegious and highly offensive. They also consider Larwood a demon from hell. But he is worshipped as “The Destroyer” by many Sachinites, some of whom claim he is an avatar of Sachin himself.
This recent rise of fundamentalist Sachinism has seen prominent Indian Bradmanites call for the government to intervene. “This is persecution,” said an Indian Bradmanite, who wishes to remain anonymous, “we need reservations. In the office today I had to fend off two colleagues lecturing me about how Sachin’s innings will never end and that it never began, it just ‘is’, until eternity and the bad light at the end of the universe.”
“I had to buy a Rs.10 booklet of Sachin’s batting averages just so they’d leave me alone. It’s evangelism!” he recalled his horrors and demanded “seat reservations” at all major cricket grounds for Bradmanites, but added that government jobs and university places wouldn’t go a miss either and would boost community numbers.
Experts claim that evangelism has played a significant role in the upsurge of international Sachinism. “Similar to the European missionaries of the 19th century, thousands of young Sachinites have invaded the heathen stronghold – Australia – mostly on student visas, intend on changing the ideological position of the natives,” explains Surinder Singh, a historian, “the recent figures about Australian faith in Sachin show that, despite the regular beatings they receive from ardent Bradmanites, their efforts are working.”
Luckily, Sachinism and Bradmanism make no territorial claims. “Let them keep Wigga-Wogga and those funny drain pipe things,” said Atman, a self-appointed “High Priest” of Sachinism, kitted out in umpires coat, white pajama and someone else’s jumper draped over his shoulders, “we’re not interested in land; we want their faith. Besides, no one I know fancies Kylie Minogue anymore.”
Similarly, Andy Robertson, a well know Australian Bradmanist, retorts, “If I want something low, flat and boring, then I’ll buy an Ikea coffee table, anyone can bat on those Indian wickets, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel. Perth? Now that separates the Bradman from the boys.”
In order to prove superiority of their religion, many staunch Australian Bradmanists have claimed that Bradman was good at tennis as well. Bootlegged videos of Sachin clumsily playing tennis with his children have suddenly appeared on the internet. So far around 2,000 derogatory comments have been made on Sachin’s forehand.
But this does not bother Indian Sachinites much. “Tennis?” says Rahul, screwing his face up, “that’s the one with the net and the Russian chicks, right? Nah, it’s for pagans who haven’t learnt their cricket yet.”