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Friday, April 27, 2012

Sachin Tendulkar nominated to Rajya Sabha - What an honour ?

In Politics it is outsmarting the opponent and every move of the party is opposed by their opposition, because they cannot side with them.  There are vestiges of colonial era, which continue to haunt the Nation.   Not many Members regularly attend the proceedings ! and there are reports of many MPs never opening their mouth to speak on any issues of importance and relevance to their constituencies.- and we add to the list with nominated MPs !!    The frontline news of the day is Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar becoming nominated Member of Parliament of Rajya Sabha – that being a honour conferred on the Cricketer. He is likely to take oath today.

Rajya Sabha is the upper house of the Indian Parliament.  Membership is limited to 250 members, 12 of whom are chosen by the President of India for their expertise in specific fields of art, literature, science, and social services. These members are known as nominated members. The remainder of the body is elected by state and territorial legislatures.  Sachin no doubt is a genius of a Cricketer, the finest batsman of the era  - only Cricketer to have scored hundred centuries in International Cricket – highest run aggregator – holding almost all possible batting records with 15470 runs in Tests and 18374 in One dayers……..  unequalled and very unlikely to be surpassed ! but is that any qualification for a Membership to Parliament ?  

The news is that the Indian president has approved Sachin Tendulkar's nomination to the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Parliament. Tendulkar met the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday and was offered a seat in the upper house's nominated category. He accepted the offer and his name went from the prime minister's office to the home ministry, and then the office of the President, who formally approved the candidature.  Tendulkar will fill one of 12 seats in the Rajya Sabha that are reserved for those persons "having special knowledge or practical experience in respect of such matters as literature, science, art and social service." Tendulkar is the first sportsman to be nominated in this category, which has no election process.

Policy making and administering the Country is in the hands of Parliamentarians – don’t jump to tell that there are many with lesser or no qualification – but they have been elected by a due process – the process of elections.  What special qualifications does Sportspersons, Cine actors, artists have to walk to coveted posts and is there need for nomination to such posts.  Honouring Arts, Culture, Sports can be done by giving them awards in their own fields -  but in what way they become superior to Industrialists, Doctors, Scientists, Educationists and other eminent persons who contribute to the society.

Sachin is not the first person to be nominated and my opposition is not against my favourite Cricketer – I do idolise him on the Cricketing field but not necessarily in other domain.  Previous nominated MPs, who serve a six-year term, include the musician Ravi Shankar, the singer Lata Mangeshkar and the artist MF Husain – and the yardstick of my criticism remain.  It is an adroit political move - Tendulkar's nomination  is not expected to meet with much opposition, given his stature in India. The nomination came from the ruling Congress party, which is currently fighting political battles on various fronts. Before meeting the prime minister, Tendulkar and his wife Anjali met the Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who reportedly congratulated him on his hundred international centuries.  The reaction from the main opposition party, the BJP,  had to be swift and unambiguous. The party's chief spokesperson, Ravi Shankar Prasad, said: "Sachin is a great player. We are proud of him. If Sachin is being nominated surely he will devote some time to Parliament."

On a friendly note, Will 100-century man Sachin Tendulkar sit on seat number 100 in Rajya Sabha? - This question was posed by quizmaster-turned-politician Derek O’Brien today shortly after the 39-year-old batting maestro was recommended by Government for nomination as a member of the House of Elders.  O’Brien of the Trinamool Congress is quoted as saying that eminent industry expert Ashok Ganguly, a former Chairman of Hindustan Lever Limited(HLL) who has been alloted seat number 100 in Rajya Sabha, had told him he was ready to shift his seat for the cricket icon.O’Brien also said Rajya Sabha will now have two former India captains.  “Hockey got there before cricket! Dilip Tirkey sworn in yesterday…now Tendulkar,” he said in another tweet.

In a quick retort, it is stated that the nomination is no indicator of Sachin’s retirement !!  - alongside actress Rekha and industrialist Anu Aga have also been nominated.  The nomination of the three eminent personalities was  approved by President Pratibha Patil under Article 80 of the Constitution that allows the President to nominate 12 members to the 250-member Upper House.

Sachin is a famous Cricketer,  Rekha is  known for her brilliant and emotional portrayals in Hindi cinema in the 80s.  70-year-old Aga, former chairperson of Thermax Industries and a member of the Sonia Gandhi led National Advisory Council, is a social worker who had figured among the richest Indians in the list by Forbes.  She came more into the limelight after she spoke against the Gujarat government led by Narendra Modi  for its alleged role in the 2002 communal riots.

Long live the democracy ! – and we chose to be ruled by all these persons.  When will we ever distinguish that ‘fan following’ is different than ‘statesmanship’ !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

1 comment:

  1. He should stay away from politcis, this will be a grave mistake if decides to go ahead. People in India have lots of respect for Sachin and in fact if he joins anti-corruption movement instead of becoming a congress' toy his respect will go up among common man. He can definitely give a boost to anti-corruption movement using his cricketing super-star (god) status. But I guess, he is interested in more records, more awards (Bharat Ratna, etc) for which congress can help...sad.