Hero worship & Brands

Hero worship – Is it good or bad? Harmful to the heroes or to the followers? Indian cricket heroes failure in the ongoing world cup and the public outrage against them made me think all about hero worship. I believe hero worship exists in most of the human beings, though the level of impact may vary to a great extent. And I’m no exception to it either; Sachin Tendulkar is one of my favorite heroes.

It all started in the mid nineties, when there was virtually a competition between Sachin, Lara and Mark Waugh as they scored ton after ton to be the first player to break the Desmond Haynes record of 17 ODI centuries. In fact I’ve literally prayed for his centuries many days. In those pre-Dravidian eras, India did not have too many star players like now and Indian cricket team’s chances rises and falls with Sachin. Who can forget his Sharjah’s heroics? The sad part is that it ends up like an odd event in his cricket career, rather being a norm. Even after this world cup debacle, I still believes he will prove all his critics wrong and will play some glorious knocks before he hang up his boots.

Another big hero in my life is the Super Star in the Tamil film industry, Rajnikanth. It was only after seeing the movie Thalapathy, he became a thalaivar to me from just another actor. As far as his film is considered, the opening scene, title song and the first fight itself provide money’s worth for his fans. Anything more like a good story is bonus only.


Few charismatic heroes magical powers extend beyond their generation and thus helps the brands associated with them. South Indian actor cum politician MGR is a great example for this phenomenon. Though two decades have passed since his death, MGR’s fans and loyalists still vote for his party’s symbol, Two Leaves, just to show their affection. If you watch any pre-poll public opinion survey during Tamil Nadu state elections, you can see for sure, some aged men and women proudly saying with a broad smile – We’ll vote only for MGR’s symbol.

Do people other than the beneficiaries of the brands wish success for a new launch, like the millions of Rajni’s fans praying for the success of his upcoming film, Sivaji? Well, no one do that for a Tata’s new car or a Bajaj’s new bike. However this phenomenon can be seen, if there is some human connection to the brands. For Bond movie lovers, if Sean Connery was not there to utter the famous words – The name’s Bond. James Bond, they don’t mind watching Daniel Craig chasing the criminals in his Aston Martin car. For the fans the show must go on, as they love the action that the Bond movie always guarantees, it doesn’t matter who performs it. In the same vein, I believe the brand Harry Potter too can survive beyond the creator Rowling’s era.

Coming back to the question – Is hero worship good or bad? I don’t think it’s a problem unless one goes too much fanatical in supporting his hero. A little bit of hero worship adds spice to the life. After all what’s life without these simple human emotions?


  1. It is not a problem if one is inspired by someone, but Hero worship is bad in my opinion. That practice blinds us from validating the performance or deeds of the ‘Hero’ in a balanced manner.
    Take for example Sachin. when was the last time he won a match for India in a pressure situation. When was the last time he played a crucial innings in the second innings of a test match?…the days have long gone by and we still worship him !
    Tell me the names of great contemporary players (other than Sachin) who take 20 to 30 balls to cross their nervous nineties ?… No one ?! It takes just of couple of deliveries or a few more to reach milestones for themselves and for the team when they are in the nineties. After all, when you are settled and you have all shots in your armor, thats the way to go. But our own selfish master blaster takes his own time to score those ten runs, while we pray for him, pressurizing his partner, allowing the fielders to rest and bowlers to get into their groove. Not many comment about that ! Even if he tries to accelerate after he scores his century, a lot of damage is already done.
    Sachin became famous because he was able to terrorize the opponent bowlers with this array of power packed shots. Where are those shots gone. he says that he has found better( read as easy and risk free) ways to score runs. Does that mean that he no longer needs to instill fear in the bowlers’ minds!
    Its time he changes his ways. otherwise, he will only be known as a comic book hero.

  2. Siva Rajendran says:

    siva – I wish this world cup loss will inspire Sachin to regain his lost form. I’m sure he’ll end his carrer in a much brighter note, helping India achieve many memorable wins in the way.

  3. siva- glad india lost, a good lesson for not taking it seriously. and rajni- waiting to watch shivaji.

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