The best of both worlds... Or is it?
They say predicting the reason behind a political decision is tougher than predicting its outcome. The truth of this statement weighs down on my mind as I write this article, and I hope the readers’ response would dispel some of these questions which are reigning supreme inside my head right now.
- Sachin Tendulkar bats for Rajya Sabha
- Sporting Politician or a Political Sportsman?
- Has the government jumped the gun?
- Is this the right way to go?
- Questions galore
Sachin Tendulkar bats for Rajya Sabha
"I believe in the last 22 years of international cricket I have played, cricket has given me so many things in life... I always have this dream of giving back to cricket... I strongly believe whatever I am today is because of cricket" Sachin Tendulkar was quoted as saying the above, after he signed on the dotted line to become a Member of Parliament of Rajya Sabha (The upper house of the Parliament of India)
At 39, Sachin became the only cricketer to have received such recognition, in the honour of completing a ‘Century of Centuries’ in international cricket. Sachin was only too happy to sign his acceptance to take charge as a Member of Parliament. He is arguably the most prolific batsman that the country has ever produced, surpassing the likes of some of the veterans and his contemporaries, Sunil Gavaskar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly, to name a few.
He might be the only Indian sportsman to ride a career in politics whilst staying active on the cricket field. There have been no such sportsmen before him, and I seriously doubt in the future if there would be any.
Sporting Politician or a Political Sportsman?
This must be THE question that has stationed itself in front of all of us, prodding us for an answer.
For a sportsman who has a habit of breaking records, his credibility most certainly cannot be questioned.
But how far will an active cricketer be able to juggle cricket with politics?
His packed schedule demands him to travel for a better part of the year. Leave alone staying active in the Parliament, even spending quality time with his family would seem a distant reality to this man.
Sachin has come out and expressed his unwillingness to retire from international cricket any time soon, clearly indicating that he cannot aspire for a healthy attendance record in the Parliament sessions.
Clearly, somewhere, the concept of role fulfillment has been interpreted wrongly. We've missed the trick. Be it on the part of the government, Sachin or even me. And it’s precisely this misinterpretation that has led to the common man sitting in roadside tea shops debating ignorantly about Sachin, with a newspaper in hand.
To think that it is the same people who worshipped Sachin are those who rant ignorantly about him, all I can do is, feel ashamed on their behalf.
Has the government jumped the gun?
More than the decision itself, it is the timing of the decision that has taken the country by surprise. What was the hurry to induct Sachin to the Parliament even before he was done with his career?
More often than not, it is in the twilight of one’s career that his status is either elevated to that of utmost respect, or brought down drastically. A dip in his form due to lack of undivided focus on his game, is the last thing that his fans (including me) would want, especially because he is in the twilight of his career.
Was the nation desperate to confer Sachin with this membership? Or was it hinting at Sachin’s role of ‘giving back to the country’ in return for all that the country has given him? If this really is the problem, why not wait for a couple of years and appoint Sachin as the chairman of the BCCI? (Board of Cricketing Council in India) If there ever was a suitable way for him to repay the country, this would be it.
Sadly I find myself catapulted back to the previous question of role fulfillment, which I’m yet to figure out.
Is this the right way to go?
Not only in Sachin’s case, there are many who believe strongly that politics, sports and entertainment should strictly be kept apart. The line separating them seems to have blurred, and blurred badly. Those, who have a better head on their shoulders, have never paused to question the efficiency of an ‘outsider’ in the parliament, be it an actress, a sportsman, a singer, or the like.
Please don’t conceive that I’m against these eminent personalities deserving this honor. They have carved a niche for themselves and it is only fitting that they should be bestowed by laurels and honors. But why does it have to place them along with the politicians and the decision makers?
There are very few Indians who consider politics as a career option. If there are heavyweights like Sachin Tendulkar and other prominent actors, singers, there would be no way for them to stand out markedly from the rest. Not getting recognized for your efforts and intelligence is the last thing anyone wants. Eventually, youngsters would start trickling out of Politics to find greener pastures. That’s definitely not good for the future of Indian Politics.
Why not award an honorary position to Mr. Tendulkar as how the government awarded the Indian Captain, M.S.Dhoni, with an honorary Lieutenant Colonel post in the Indian Army? Of course he wouldn’t be actually participating in the army, but through this gesture, the government of India recognized the sportsman, and frankly, the captain couldn’t have asked for more.
Has India dried up of her share of brilliant minds that can change the future of the country?
Does the government expect a sportsman to know more about governance than a politician?
If yes, has the government no regard for experienced campaigners?
If not, why has it not honored brilliant students/revolutionaries with political posts?
Why Sachin? Why now? Why Parliament?
Is Sachin having the best of both worlds? Or will his graph take a nosedive?
Has the country thought it out properly? Or has it taken the easy way out to recognize
its very own brilliant batting prodigy?