You’ve Got Tacloban? We’ve Got Tendulkar.

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This is a very short blog.

Some people might be very angry that I’m writing this.

Some people might be very angry that I’m writing this way.

I don’t care.

I believe this is precisely the time I must speak my mind.

About Tacloban and Tendulkar.

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1. Tacloban. — An entire city was basically wiped out, and the mayor has asked the surviving residents to flee. He said he could not guarantee lives there anymore.

I have pure sorrow and sympathy in my heart about the 10,000+ people that lost their lives in the catastrophic typhoon in the Philippines. God knows how many more people lost their limbs, livelihoods and dreams. In that Far East archipelago ravaged by super storm Haiyan, this is now their biggest news. It has been one of the big news in the U.S. media as well. 

(Corporations didn’t kill these 10,000 people directly. Therefore, U.S. media don’t have a big problem to report it, unlike the Union Carbide disaster or Monsanto farmers suicides or Chevron oil rig explosion in Nigeria or April 24 disaster in Bangladesh.)

2. Tendulkar. — I also have a lot of respect for the cricketer Tendulkar of India. Sachin Tendulkar is retiring from cricket and it is now the biggest news in India. Of course, India has also seen numerous, catastrophic cyclones, floods, earthquakes and other environmental tragedies in recent years — tragedies that killed hundreds of thousands of men, women and children. Villages were wiped out. 

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But cricket, one of the biggest industries that is also allegedly run by gamblers, underworld mafias and their sponsor politicians, did not stop in India. Cricket never stops there, just like Tendulkar never stopped making his runs. When India goes through massive street violence on its women on a daily basis, cricket never stops. When India sees its poor begging on Bombay streets, cricket never stops. When India sees destitute mothers making their children perform dangerous acrobatic acts on Calcutta streets, cricket never stops. When Indian cricket industry gets massive bribery scandals implicating some of the country’s biggest politicians, cricket never stops.

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I promised this would be a very short blog. I’ve already written enough.

India and the Philippines are both Third World countries, and its millions of poor are struggling only to have bare minimum to survive. But its rich — the extreme rich — do not even pretend that they care anything outside of their own lavish ways of living. 

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I remember the U.S.-supported Philippino president Marcos whose wife Imelda was famous for her royal lifestyle. “She is often remembered for symbols of the extravagance of her husband’s political reign, including [her jewelry or] collection of 2,700 pairs of shoes. In 2011, Imelda Marcos has declared her net worth to be 932.8 million pesos (US $22 million).”

I’m sure there are more such Imelda’s now in the Philippines, and they do not live in Tacloban. I’m sure they do not have to flee.

Sachin Tendulkar and India’s rich cricketers also make millions of dollars. This is a country where…well, you know what I’m talking about. I’ve never seen these cricket celebrities doing anything worthwhile to change the poverty and destitution in India. Even though unlike some other cricket players, Tendulkar is a modest guy, I’ve never seen him challenging the status quo of India and its pathetic poverty. In fact, I’ve always seen him siding with the status quo, including the corrupt politicians, media and corporations.

They have served him well. Why would he rock the boat?

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Even a Tacloban does not change anything — either in the Philippines, or in India.

Tendulkars live on — happily.

This is not an angry note, my friends.

Partha

Brooklyn, New York

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Post Script. — According to IBN News, Sachin Tendulkar “is the country’s wealthiest cricket player with a personal fortune of USD 160 million, according to a Wealth-X estimate.” (Source: http://ibnlive.in.com/news/cricketnext/sachin-tendulkar-is-indias-richest-cricketer-wealthx/432399-78.html).

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