Ever since Sachin Tendulkar added a new feather in his illustrious cap — that of being conferred the honorary rank of Group Captain in the Indian Air Force, congratulations haven’t stopped pouring in.
“Sachin is the greatest role model. Who could have been a better choice?” said cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu. “He deserves every bit of this honour,” said anchor Mandira Bedi.
On choosing Sachin for the honour, Wg Cdr Tarun Kumar Singha, Public Relations Officer, Indian Air Force said, “It is our way of acknowledging this great sporting icon.” Sachin responded, “I’ll do my best to be a brand ambassador for the IAF.”
However, the fact that Sachin has become the first person totally unconnected to the field of aviation, to be granted an honorary rank in the IAF since the practice was started in 1944, hasn’t gone down too well with everyone. An air force officer, not wanting to be named, said, “What has Sachin done for the Air Force to deserve the rank? He is a great player but celebrity-hood should not be mixed with armed forces.”