All I know about cricket is that they do not have goals. I am amused at people watching the game for a full day and getting tensed up, or at girls running after cricket ‘stars’ for autographs. So I am not a fan of any cricketer.
And yet I felt Rahul Dravid refusing to accept an honorary doctorate from the Bangalore University deserves to be applauded. Of all the cricketers in India, Dravid appears to be the most mature, level-headed and humble.
The University had announced that Dravid would be conferred an honorary doctorate on Friday, January 27. The cricketer politely declined the honour, saying that he would like to accomplish research in sports and earn the degree.
In 2014 Dravid chose to not attend a convocation of Gulbarga (now Kalburgi) University where he was to be awarded a similar honorary doctorate. In India sportsmen, to shine, have to sacrifice academics and not many of them are highly educated.
The practice of conferring honorary doctorates on cricketers and film stars needs to be given a new look, especially in the context of many a ‘stars’ in the South, using the affix of ‘Dr’ to their names though their academic achievements were nil. I am one of those who find the practice disgusting.
Decades ago, as a cub reporter, I was surprised at a Minister in a prominent state being addressed as ‘Dr’. He did not appear to be one. A little probe revealed that he had a postal tuition homoeopathy degree and was a ‘doctor’ though he never practiced. I was the first to drop the ‘Dr’ before his name.
In giving doctorates or seats in Parliament or State legislatures to cricketers, singers or film stars, political parties are only playing to galleries with populist actions aimed at getting more votes.
With a very few honourable exceptions most of them made little contribution to the democratic institutions, but took all the substantial facilities and emoluments such members are entitled to. Most of them put in only minimum required attendance and should have been removed from the positions.
The only reason for bestowing such honours on them could be that persons of eminence in art or literature could bring greater dignity to such institutions and put forth their views on matters concerning their fields.
And most of those chosen by our politicians for conferring such honour did not prove worthy of it. They did not earn the rewards, as Dravid wanted to.
Dravid is called ‘The Wall’. This wall refused to be plastered with silly posters on matters he had nothing to do with. Kudos to Rahul Dravid.