The name Sachin Tendulkar has often been described along with the phrase ‘carrying the nation’s expectations on his shoulders’. If not his superlative batting, maybe his deceptive bowling could give India that crucial breakthrough and dig the side out of a hole - was always the Indian cricket fan’s refrain. The one role however that not many of Tendulkar’s countrymen would have envisioned for him was that of a legislator.
When the ruling Congress party decided to nominate Sachin for a seat in the Rajya Sabha, public approval for the move was far from unanimous. In fact, many of his die hard supporters felt that Sachin was being used as a pawn in a populist move by the government. Widespread opinion was that Sachin was better off sticking to the sport that brought him name and fame. It was argued that Sachin had not demonstrated the desire or capability to voice his opinion on issues, even when they pertained to cricket, so it was unwise to expect him to exercise his responsibility as a Member of Parliament.
Tendulkar accepted the honourary position and to his credit he did write a letter to the Sports and HRD Ministers lamenting the neglect of sports in educational institutions and included a roadmap on how to overhaul sports infrastructure at the university level.