Sachin Tendulkar criticised as being no master of attending Indian parliament

 

Delhi

There are few people who receive greater adulation or celebrity in India than its cricketing stars. And among that select group, no-one stands higher than the “little master”, Sachin Tendulkar.

In recognition of this, in the spring of 2012, around 18 months before he would retire from the sport he reigned over, the man whom many believe was the cricket’s greatest ever batsman, was nominated to the upper house of India’s parliament to sit as an independent.

“It is an honour which I accept with full respect, but I am here because of my cricketing career,” he said, as politicians from all parties lined up to have their photograph taken with him.

But this week India was witness to what few would have expected – criticism of the 41-year-old Tendulkar. After the release of figures that showed he may have the worst attendance figures in the parliament – this year he has not attended a single session - there were even demands that he should stand down.

“If they are absent for 60 days, their seat can be vacated,” P Rajeev, a member of the opposition Communist Party of India, told the parliament.

Another parliamentarian, Rajeev Shukla, a member of the Congress party, which nominated the former cricketer to the parliament, told the Times Now television channel: “Why have you chosen to become a member of parliament if you don’t attend?”

Tendulkar, who played in more than 200 Test matches and who scored 15,921 Test runs, a record, was one of of 12 people from the worlds of sport, the arts and media nominated to the upper house two years ago. Parliamentary records show he has not attended a single session this year, has failed to take part in any debates and attended on only three days in 2013.

Another independent member who has faced similar similar criticism is Bhanurekha Ganesan, a Bollywood actress better known by her stage name, Rekha. She was also appointed to the upper house, or Rajya Sabha, in 2012 and has attended the parliament on seven occasions, according to information collated by PRS Legislative Research, a monitoring group.

Shreya Singh, a spokesperson for PRS Legislative Research told The Independent that while the average attendance in the upper house stood at 77 per cent, Mr Tendulkar’s stood as just three per cent and Ms Ganesan’s was seven per cent.

She said records showed that nominated members typically attended less than elected members, asked fewer questions and delivered fewer speeches. She said the fact that such members had such busy lives might explain their poor attendance.

But some parliamentarians have gone as far as to say the poor attendance is an insult to India’s position as the world’s largest democracy.

“I like him very much as a cricketer and I really like Rekha as an actress, but their conduct as nominated members of Rajya Sabha is despicable to say the least,” another parliamentarian, DP Tripathi, told the Press Trust of India.

He added: “By their behaviour and continued absence, they have insulted parliament and Indian constitution. Such people should have never been nominated to this august house. I pity those MPs who get themselves clicked with Rekha and Sachin Tendulkar.”

Yet according to officials in the upper house on Friday, rules of the chamber say that a member cannot be ousted until they fail to attend for 60 days in succession. Neither Mr Tendulkar or Ms Ganesan is yet at that stage.

Last month, Mr Tendulkar captained the MCC side in sits bicentennial celebration match at Lord’s. It is understood he has also been spending time with member of his family who was in hospital. His spokesman, Manoj Warrier, said Mr Tendulkar was expected to soon address the issue.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne (No 2) drives home his side's second goal past Arsenal’s David Ospina at the Emirates
footballArsenal 1 Southampton 2: Arsène Wenger pays the price for picking reserve side in Capital One Cup
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Account Executive/Sales Consultant – Permanent – Hertfordshire - £16-£20k

£16500 - £20000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

KS2 PPA Teacher needed (Mat Cover)- Worthing!

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: KS2 PPA Teacher currently nee...

IT Systems Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world