Indian legend Tendulkar offered political role: Reports

By AFP
Published: April 26, 2012

India's prime minister has put forward batting superstar Sachin Tendulkar for membership of the upper house of parliament. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

NEW DELHI: India’s prime minister has put forward batting superstar Sachin Tendulkar for membership of the upper house of parliament, reports said on Thursday.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has written a letter to the president recommending the cricketer be nominated to the Rajya Sabha, the NDTV news channel quoted sources as saying.

Tendulkar, who turned 39 this week, was in New Delhi to play an Indian Premier League match for the Mumbai Indians against the Delhi Daredevils at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium on Friday.

Earlier on Thursday, Tendulkar and his wife had called on ruling Congress party president Sonia Gandhi at her residence – a meeting described as a “courtesy visit” by the local media.

The vast majority of the 250 seats in the upper house of India’s parliament are filled by members elected by the legislatures in their home states.

But 12 seats lie in the favour of the president and are normally awarded to people who have excelled in such fields as the arts, science and sport.

Tendulkar’s name is among four that the government has recommended to the president to fill seats currently lying vacant, the Press Trust of India news agency said.

Tendulkar made his international debut in 1989 and has played more Tests (188) and one-day internationals (463) than any other player.

He is the highest run-getter in both forms of the game and last month became the first batsman to complete 100 international centuries – 51 in Tests and 49 in one-dayers.

Reports of his Rajya Sabha nomination are likely to spark fresh speculation about his immediate future, although Tendulkar himself has dismissed talk of retirement anytime soon.

Reader Comments (7)

  • Atheist, India
    Apr 26, 2012 - 9:27PM

    He deserves it.

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  • ayesha_khan
    Apr 26, 2012 - 11:42PM

    “The vast majority of the 250 seats in the upper house of India’s parliament are filled by members elected by the legislatures in their home states.But 12 seats lie in the favour of the president and are normally awarded to people who have excelled in such fields as the arts, science and sport Tendulkar’s name is among four that the government has recommended to the president to fill seats currently lying vacant,”.

    Your article has provided accurate facts. But the title is wrong. People nominated as part of these 12 seats are not expected to play any political part. The goal is to incorporate views of people who excel in various fields reflected in the legislature. It is assumed taht such people are apolitical and unlikely to fight an election leave alone winning one.

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  • Mirza
    Apr 28, 2012 - 10:23AM

    ST is a man among boys. No position is too high for him. He has earned it all and it did not go to his head.

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  • curious
    Apr 28, 2012 - 10:28AM

    Oh he is great but they hero-worship him too much in India. They are just copying Imran Khan as Imran Khan is now a legitimate politician and they Indians are probably saying if Imran Khan can do it, so can Sachin. Personally I think Imran Khan has a far harder task ahead as there are so many pressing challenges in Pakistan that need to be sorted out.

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  • ayesha_khan
    Apr 28, 2012 - 1:04PM

    @curious: “h he is great but they hero-worship him too much in India. They are just copying Imran Khan as Imran Khan is now a legitimate politician and they Indians are probably saying if Imran Khan can do it, so can Sachin.”

    Indian Rajya Sabha (Senate) has 12 seats for people of extraordinary talent. In the past Nargis, Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi etc. have been nominated.It is for such a nominated seat for which Sachin is being considered. These are not viewed as political since the person has not fought an election to be there. Rather they are representing some area of expertise that they excel in. As such there is no comparison with Imran. Yes in India celebrities have gone on to establish political parties and win elections (just like Imran hopes to) e.g. N T Ramarao who became CM of Andhra Pradesh and MG Ramachandran who became CM of Tamil Nadu. But Sachin is not amongst these.

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Apr 28, 2012 - 11:38PM

    But Tendulkar is not a University graduate.

    Can he be a member of parliament in India without having a graduate degree?

    During General Musharraf’s rule, it was made mandatory in Pakistan that any one who want to contest polls in the country has to be a University graduate, but this rule does not exist any more after the PPP government has taken over the charge.

    Do the degrees make a difference in the parliament?

    What did the graduate parliament gave during Musharraf’s rule to Pakistan and Pakistanis?

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  • khalsa
    Apr 29, 2012 - 3:52PM

    @Mohammad Ali Siddiqui:
    sir its not required in India, though either side can debate over it endlessly but in the end if someone wants to serve his/her country why he should be debarred from it just because he was unfortunate enough to not to have a degree. an illiterate can also be a patriot and nation builder.

    moreover a saying in India(dont know about pakistan) that PADA LIKHA ADMI GAWAR SE JYADA KHATARNAK HOTA HAI,
    in english it can be said that a literate is more dangerous than illiterate.

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