After a phenomenal run of 22 years as an International Cricketer representing India, (which may continue for another 10, who knows!), Sachin Tendulkar has chosen a different path to continue serving the nation. He was nominated to the Rajya Sabha and was sworn in as a Member of the Parliament.
People complain that Tendulkar is a boring interviewee and never really gives direct answers, and is too diplomatic. Some people have even taken the trouble to put together a list of 10 questions they would like other journalists to ask him.
In a secret location in Ulan Bator, Mongolia, where Tendulkar was visiting the local opossum population to derive inspiration for his upcoming MP career, he decided to entertain the media for an impromptu press conference. Here are the excerpts:
On whether he had ambitions as a kid to be a Rajya Sabha member:
“When I was 15, I started playing first class politics in the Shivaji Park & Recreation Committees and always dreamt of being a nationally recognized member of the parliament, wanted to do something for the country.”
On the topic of greatness across eras and how he would compared to someone like Dr. Najma Heptulla who is a 6-term MP to the Rajya Sabha:
“I have never believed in comparisons, whether they are about different eras, genders or states.”
Whether he would go for the record of most number of appearances in the RS?
“I am not thinking too far ahead, just want to take it one appearance at a time.”
On preparations for appearing in the Parliament:
“It doesn’t always happen according to the way you have planned things out but I feel if you have covered most of the aspects, it does help out there in the middle.”
Now that he is the most recognized face of the Congress Rajya Sabha Members, would he feel pressure in carrying the burden of the entire party? Does he feel that he is being unfairly singled out for criticism if Congress doesn’t do well?
“Isn’t politics supposed to be a team sport? I feel people should decide first whether it is a team game or an individual sport.”
How does he balance the rough and tumble of Rajya Sabha with demands on him as a father of two young children?
“When there is time to think about Rajya Sabha, I think but when there is time to be with family, I try to do justice to that aspect of my life as well.
How does he deal with all the questions – all three of them – that may be fired his way in the parliament?
“I just keep it simple. Watch the question and answer it on merit.”
On being controversy free and whether he will take a stand, be it political or otherwise?
This is something new to me. It’s not that I will overnight bring in a lot of changes and be involved in various things. I don’t want to give that impression to anyone.
How does he intend to make a lasting impression in the Rajya Sabha when he has to come there along with a lot of backbenchers?
“I feel when somebody has been coming to Rajya Sabha for a long time, he creates a separate identity for himself.”
What personal goals he has for his first season of Rajya Sabha?
“I just want to continue the way I am going.”
At this point, people didn’t really know how to proceed any further and walked away confused. The ones that got the opportunity to ask the questions felt like they have broached topics that weren’t explored before and congratulated themselves for the insightful responses they drew out of Tendulkar.