Why Sachin Tendulkar shouldn't be an MP
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The short answer: he plays much too safe.
Interviewing Sachin Tendulkar questions your journalistic ethics almost as much as writing a hotel review after a three-night-four-day-all-inclusive free stay does.
You only ask questions his PR has approved prior to the interview - his answers, therefore, stick to the script. You are denied an interview if you show an interest in his opinion on topics that are vaguely controversial. He's committed to silence on match fixing when it first exploded (made two statements, one to a South African news channel and another was published in Pradeep Magazine's book titled, 'Not Quite Cricket'); on BCCI's allocation of money for other sports; and even on all the controversies surrounding the IPL and CPL, he like other sportsmen, chose to stick to his job. His only contribution was to suggest splitting one day matches to a two-innings format.
He has also been silent on issues that directly concern him as well: His asking government to waive the appropriate customs duty for his gifted Ferrari (that he subsequently sold for an undisclosed amount); his claim to be a model to get tax exemptions for his income from brand endorsements; and the more trivial issue of his attempts to bypass regulatory authorities to build a gym and a swimming pool in his house.
So the questions you hear or read about are limited to: Who's the toughest bowler? Where was your favorite tour? When are you retiring? And is Boost really the secret to your energy? In other words, his opinions aren't just limited to cricket, but to him and his cricket.
And therein lies the problem. One can't fault Mr. Tendulkar for being a public figure and restricting his opinions and press statements. That is his prerogative and if I were him, I'd do the same. But the Rajya Sabha is meant for debate and discussion. And, theoretically at least, a place where one is enabled with powers to act and influence. Sachin Tendulkar is far too quiet. He doesn't commit to any conversation, never takes a side and contributes nothing to a larger topic of discussion.
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