India news August 8, 2014

Tendulkar criticised for Rajya Sabha absence

ESPNcricinfo staff

Sachin Tendulkar was at the felicitation of India's Commonwealth Games medal winners in Delhi on Friday © Getty Images

Sachin Tendulkar's absence from the Rajya Sabha, the upper house in India's parliament, has come under scrutiny. Since he took oath as an MP in April 2012, Tendulkar has a 3% attendance record, having attended parliament on just three days and last in December 2013. He has not attended a single sitting this year.

The issue was raised in the house by P Rajeeve of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) who asked if Tendulkar had sought permission for his extended absence and demanded his seat be vacated. In response, deputy chairperson of the Rajya Sabha, PJ Kurien said, "As per Article 104 of the Constitution, if a member is absent from either House of Parliament for a period of 60 days then the seat is considered vacant. In case of Sachin Tendulkar, he has not attended the Parliament for 40 days, so he hasn't violated Constitutional provisions."

Tendulkar, however, said he had been missing because of a medical emergency in his family. "My absence in parliament has been discussed too much," he told reporters in Delhi. "I do not wish to disrespect any institution. I had a medical emergency in the family. My brother had heart surgery."

Tendulkar's decision to accept the Rajya Sabha nomination while still being an active cricketer had been received with surprise. At the time Tendulkar had described the nomination as an 'honour'. Rajiv Shukla, a minister in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government of the time and a senior BCCI official, was seen as the driving force behind convincing Tendulkar to accept the role. Shukla has also been critical of Tendulkar. "Why have you chosen to become a member of Parliament if you don't attend?" he told a television news channel and said he had spoken to Tendulkar, who had promised to join the next Rajya Sabha session.

According to the Indian constitution, 12 members are nominated by the President of India from "among persons who have special knowledge or practical experience in respect of such matters as literature, science, art and social service. By adopting the principle of nomination in Rajya Sabha, the Constitution has ensured that the nation must also receive services of the most distinguished persons of the country who have earned distinction in their field of activity, many of whom may not like to face the rough and tumble of the election."

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  • Dummy4 on August 9, 2014, 8:32 GMT

    Wonder if the same hue and cry would have been raised if it was some other celebrity and not Sachin. This is however not to condone what Sachin has done. May be its just that some people's personality is not cut out for debates/etc in the Parliament. For someone so humble and responsible, despite his phenomenal achievements, let us all not criticize him and give him some more time, he is sure to learn the tricks of the trade. Attendance or not, we want him and other sports personalities with similar selfless attitude to contribute to sports in this country.

  • Dummy4 on August 9, 2014, 7:43 GMT

    He has stated that this was due to a family emergency, so what is the big deal?? Family first, rest later. His lack of attendance isn't from some sponsorship engagement or anything of that sort. Jeez, give the guy a break.

  • Dummy4 on August 9, 2014, 0:32 GMT

    Should not be made MP in the first place knowing well his busy schedule.

  • ESPN on August 8, 2014, 20:54 GMT

    This article missed the fact that Bharat ratna is awarded to exceptional service in any field of human endeavour comprise advancement of art,literature,science and SPORTS. It was amended recently.

    Under this only Sachin was awarded.. I am sure person of his stature know what he is doing and he is contributing to development of sport or cricket. Let him take the journey.

  • Ashok on August 8, 2014, 20:33 GMT

    If the person nominated by President needs to have "special knowledge or practical experience in Literature, Science, Social service & Art", how does Tendulkar meet these demands? Tendulkar is a Cricket prodigy from his school days. He lived & breathed for Cricket & played the game to bring glory to himself & to India. Cricket is a Sport & does not fit into any of the 4 categories defined. Hence Tendulkar's nomination to Rajya Sabha was totally wrong. SRT is a Cricketer not a Politician & not interested in politics. He is not like Imran Khan who is an extremely active politician. So expecting Tendulkar to attend Rajya Sabha is like "Taking a Horse to the pond to drink water but you cannot make it drink water"! If he was honest to himself, Tendulkar should have said "Thank you but NO thank you" to the offer made to him to be a member of Rajya Sabha.

  • Android on August 8, 2014, 19:15 GMT

    pl give him his privacy and some relaxation time.

  • Dummy4 on August 8, 2014, 18:49 GMT

    Its shocking if some1 supports SRT with this regard!! This shows what kind of a person sachin is... He has all the time for everything else but not for Parliament.. then let him not njoy all the Luxury a MP comes with..! Big embarrassment for UPA govt. and his attitude towards media is shocking!!!

  • SEKHAR on August 8, 2014, 16:32 GMT

    If Sachin had refused the nomination in the first place, he would have been criticised as doing 'disservice' to the nation.

  • Aashrith on August 8, 2014, 15:13 GMT

    Don't criticize him he has a long schedule.

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