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The Rajya Sabha, India’s Upper House of Parliament is made up of 250 members. Most of these are elected by the political parties and are supposed to represent the various States of the country. It doesn’t matter even if you don’t live in a State, you can be their representative in the Rajya Sabha. Our former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh represented Assam for several terms in this manner.

12 distinguished people are also nominated as Rajya Sabha MP by the President of India for a term of six years. In a democracy like ours, everyone knows that the ruling political party in effect gives the list for the President to approve. Over time we have seen distinguished celebrities like author R K Narayan, painter M F Hussain, singer Lata Mangeshkar etc in the august House.  They have carried out their responsibilities with mixed records.

The actress Rekha and cricketing legend, Sachin Tendulkar were nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 2012 and have done precious little since then as is evident from this article in First Post. This has come as a big disappointment to many who expected Sachin, probably more than Rekha, to play some role in lending his name to issues especially concerning sports and the youth of India. We hoped the icon would use his considerable influence to improve the lot of games other than cricket, to show that he cared for more than just the game that brought him name and fame.

Unfortunately his attendance has been terrible to say the least. Strangely he has since sought and been granted permission to skip more sessions which may not do much to bolster his image as a Parliamentarian. Though you are a Bharat Ratna awardee ( the highest honour in India) I have to say this. If you are too busy with other commitments, you should say so and quit. Accepting the nomination and not doing much is, to use an old phrase, ” just not cricket”, Mr. Tendulkar.