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Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

So it’s just a matter of time, according to media reports, before Sachin Tendulkar swaps his India jersey for starched white and walks into the Rajya Sabha.

While the clamour was growing to honour him with the Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian award, few expected him to be nominated to the upper house.

That too when he is not yet done with cricket.

Tendulkar’s meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi at her residence on Thursday was probably the early inkling of a new innings and by afternoon, political parties were falling over each other to congratulate him.

In a cricket-crazy country that considers him ‘God’, the reaction was pretty much on expected lines.

Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien said in a tweet that former Hindustan Lever chairman Ashok Ganguly, who occupies seat number 100 in Rajya Sabha, is even ready to vacate it for the 39-year-old Mumbaikar who has scored 100 international centuries.

For a man not really known for speaking his mind out on issues other than cricket, not many are sure how much Tendulkar can contribute as a parliamentarian.

Former police officer-turned-activist Kiran Bedi feared Tendulkar, who has maintained a squeaky clean image despite being constantly in the public eye for over two decades, might end up being used as a pawn.

“Sachin will perhaps have to guard against being used by political interests. He belongs to all,” she tweeted.

There are others like best-selling author Chetan Bhagat who wonder how Tendulkar would fit the bill in a noisy parliament which of late has seen more adjournments than action.

“My only suggestion consider taking your bat to parliament. You never know when you might need it,” Bhagat tweeted.

Well, if things get too unruly inside, Tendulkar will have the option of discussing cricket over a cup of coffee in the parliament canteen with his former captain Mohammad Azharuddin, now a Congress MP, in the lower house.

BJP MP and former cricketer Kirti Azad can also put aside politics and join them in the tête-à-tête.

Amlan Chakraborty is a Reuter columnist.

3 Responses to “Sachin Tendulkar: From Wankhede to parliament”

  1. Syed Imtiaz Ali

    Topical issue indeed.

    What has surprised MANY is that he has so easily fallen prey to those seeking political mileage to use him as a bait to garner support and rally around him, I mean Congress!

    Since his Dhaka ‘hundredth’, feat ensured at the TOP level for him, Tendulkar has become a different person and lost his cricketing innocence. He will not remain the same person, glorified and held high by millions. He will soon invite flak.

    If he could not lead 10 players at the national level, time and again, what leadership will he show for his constituency? Alas, if he reads this, he should regret and stay away with dignity.

    Let no bait catch him. His family now needs him, full time.

    He has been too much supported by Indians to get to his batting records…opener, no captaincy burden, no age bar, allowed to carry on in any form. I believe if such ‘perks’ are there, there will be half a dozen batsman at least capable to perform same feat. BCCI, take note.

    Try out like Dhoni…Keeper, Captain and true batsman! Then only the true cricketing god in Sachin will emerge.

    My personal, sincere advice to Tedulkar…..please do not remove the shine you have been bestowed upon by swallowing the Congress (political)bait. They are going to USE you.

  2. Golam Arshad

    Amlan: Politics and sports! Name and fame! Part that is in Who is Who? Good to see Sachin in the Rajya Shaba!

    • Marwane

      I am a Pakistani or my brothers from across the border would like to call me — Porkistani. Sachin Tendulkar is definitely the GREATEST batsmen of this age. A reincarnation of Don Bradman. The master of straight drives and timing. So come on guys, let’s not fight! It’s a game! Wasim Akram and Shoaib Akhtar may have fooled him with their swings and speeds, but Sachin has also many a time whacked those balls for boundaries with his super fast reflexes. Peace to all my Indian bros!

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