Rajya Sabha membership will be a test for Sachin Tendulkar

For someone who has avoided comments on touchy issues, the Rajya Sabha membership will be a test of Sachin Tendulkar’s convictions and his pledge to different causes, writes The DNA.

“The tangled skein of India’s political system is, perhaps, too complex for an ordinary citizen’s comprehension. The politics here is fast becoming a contact sport and for a gentleman like Sachin Tendulkar, there could be hardly any place in it. The jury is out on his elevation to the Rajya Sabha, but on the face of it the nomination looks a politically motivated decision,” writes DNA, adding that this was not an out-of-nowhere nomination.

“His consent, obviously, has been obtained before the announcement was made. Although it is an apolitical appointment, there is every reason to believe that he has allowed his popularity and brand image to be exploited by the ruling Congress party,” adds DNA.

Meanwhile as former cricketers and sportsmen welcomed his nomination to Rajya Sabha, Sanjay Manjrekar, who had played with Sachin Tendulkar, said he was shocked by his decision to accept the government's offer, according to a report in The Indian Express.

There were others who too shared the views of Manjrekar who said Tendulkar was not known to expressing his views on public issues.

Asked for his reaction on Tendulkar being made a Rajya Sabha member, Manjrekar said, "Actually shocked by the story itself. First by the nomination as it came without any warning. And that Sachin has accepted it is even more shocking.

"When I visualise what Sachin could possibly do after retirement, I thought something connected to cricket, coaching and all that, may be some business or social activity. But Rajya Sabha MP after retirement or even at this stage of career is something that was not even in my wildest guess," Manjrekar said.

Meanwhile DNA writes that Tendulkar’s on-field commitments could be a great hurdle for his endeavours in the Parliament’s service, but, if Tendulkar doesn’t deliver on the parliamentary turf, he needn’t be embarrassed.

“Azharuddin has listed just five questions in the three years since he won the Lok Sabha polls from Moradabad. He is yet to pilot a private member bill or participate in any discussions on a government bill. He has not yet asked any supplementary questions. But he provoked a discussion on the “need for inquiry on the death of an IAS officer” in 2009 — his saving grace. Once, he participated in a debate on general budget,” says the DNA report, adding, that Sidhu and Azad have fared better.

“Azad has 139 questions to his credit, participating in discussions on five government bills. He piloted two mentions on a special package to Bihar and demanded schedule status for the Bhojpuri language.

The eloquent Sidhu has posed 99 questions and participated in a debate on supplementary questions. He has also piloted a special mention on providing amenities to Amritsar.”