Thursday, April 26, 2012
Cricket Googly: Sachin Tendulkar Joining Politics?
The Guns of Bofors had thundered again yesterday with the former Swedish police chief, the whistle-blower in this huge scandal that hit India mid-eighties, disclosing sensational information that there was a huge Indian cover-up to protect the mysterious Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi. While the disclosure gave a clean chit to a relieved Amitabh Bachchan after long 25 years the story raged on media channels since yesterday and it created a storm in the Indian Parliament today as opposition parties got another ruse to attack the beleaguered ruling coalition. But by afternoon today everything about Bofors scam seemed to be forgotten as the news about cricket’s living legend Sachin Tendulkar came up.
It was a surprise for even the hardcore and wildly speculative news channels as the Government of India suddenly announced the nomination of Sachin Tendulkar for a seat in Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament. Coincidentally, only this morning Sachin along with his wife Anjali met the Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi and spent about half an hour with her in New Delhi. This move is being considered more surprising as there has been consistent demand from all quarters for conferring Bharat Ratna—the highest honor of the nation—on Tendulkar, particularly after he achieved the feat of Century of Centuries.
Interesting and heated debate has picked up immediately on why Tendulkar ought to join politics. But does one become a politician just because of being nominated to the upper house? Under a provision of the Indian Constitution the President enjoys the discretion of nominating 12 eminent persons from different fields of activity to Rajya Sabha and such nominated members have the option of declaring his/her association with a particular political party of the house within six months. The legendary singer of Hindi Cinema, Lata Mangeshkar, was also a nominated member of Rajya Sabha, but she never became a politician. The same holds for many other eminent members. Further, participating in serious parliamentary debates and giving valuable suggestions or solid support for justified causes cannot be taken as politicking.
Tendulkar had reportedly accepted the honor and he would be the first ever active sportsman to get nominated. Now, it should be entirely left to him if he decides to join active politics or not. If he does join then his retirement from cricket should be round the corner. Why speculate and waste energy? Anyway, it is recognition for a legend. And, why to cry hoarse if some worthy people become part of a political system ruled by ruthless opportunists?
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