In the last piece I spoke of why Indian players are so prone to racial abuse and how some Australian cricketers are still grabbing media mileage by keeping the “Monkeygate” issue alive.
Gilchrist has accused Sachin of hiding the truth. Did Sachin lie? Let us first try to answer a more fundamental question: Is lying always bad?
Let me excerpt a passage from my book, When You are Sinking Become a Submarine.
“All lies are not bad. It is the purpose of the lie which ascertains whether it is good or bad. Here is an example of a good lie. Richard Gere plays a millionaire in the movie Pretty Woman. He falls in love with a call girl (Julia Roberts). When accompanying her to a party, he is asked by an associate, “What does she do?” Gere replies, “Oh, she is in sales.” Through this lie (a semi-truth is also a lie), he protects the reputation of his beloved.”
Honesty means telling the truth. Integrity means doing the right thing. When telling the truth clashes with doing the right thing then what do you do.
Let us see what were the choices Sachin had. The Australians cricketers were misbehaving as they have often done. Indians were resisting. It is possible that Harbhajan Singh crossed the line. (Though it doesn’t seem so when you see the exchange between Andrew Symonds and Harrbhajn singh on the pitch. Watching it, any one would tell you that Andrew was being aggressive. Was it just that the Australians filed the FIR first and turned the table?)
Sachin’s testimony became critical. If he did have an inkling that Harbhajan was at fault should he have deposed against him?
The Rajputs kings were Valiant fighters. Will Durant has compared them to Charlemagne and King Arthur. Still they lost their empires. One of the chief reasons why Rajputs lost their kingdoms and their people were enslaved was because they didn’t know that to conquer evil you have to once in a while enter evil. Krishna has said it in the East. Machiavelli has said it in the West. The Good man should have the courage to enter evil.
The Rajputs had principles like not fighting post Sun set. The Mughal invaders knew that they will stick by their principles and so attacked them often during night time thus facing hardly any resistance. It was the duty of the Rajput kings to side step the principle and retaliate ferociously against such attacks. When they didn’t it cost them their kingdoms and cost their people their freedom. One’s principles should exalt him and not straitjacket him.
We lost our freedom because of such unwise leaders.
I don’t know if Sachin has lied. But even if he has my respect for him doesn’t go down. By lying (if he has lied) he tells me that this generation of leaders (I consider him also a national leader) is not naïve. The good side should win. When the good side loses it is the worst advertisement for the cause of goodness.
The point to remember is enter evil- enter, clean up, exit.