Recently, Sachin Tendulkar and Rekha were nominated to the Rajya Sabha. The nomination was approved by the President, Mrs. Prathiba Patil and this has set off a storm of controversy regarding this move on the part of the ruling government. Political opponents have questioned the motives of the Congress suggesting that it is a diversionary tactic designed to focus media attention elsewhere and away from the problems plaguing the party at present. Others have been wondering whether exceptional batting skills or the ability to look inordinately beautiful while performing an exquisite mujhra is part of the job description for helping to run the nation.
These are valid points no doubt but this is not the worst move either. After all, the honor has gone to Sachin Tendulkar, the man who has been worshipped for as long as anybody can remember, not only for his ability to send a cricket ball screaming to the boundary but for his exceptional humility, work ethic and grace under pressure. Rekha may not have the same credentials but she has had the distinction of reaching the top in her chosen profession while surviving personal crisis and living to talk about it. If they can channelize the mojo that made them superstars in the right direction, politically speaking they just might go on to become great leaders in a country that can certainly use some from that superior breed.
Perhaps what bothers most people is the notion that celebs have it so easy. Sachin and Rekha have the looks as well as fame and more money than they could possibly need but now they are to have power as well! If that is not unfair, what is? Isn’t this a disturbing trend? What if someone decided that Rakhi Sawant should be the next President? Or closer home, what if one of our macho-onscreen-but-smashed-off-screen heroes or Tamil-challenged, airbrushed heroines were to become the Chief Minister? Surely this sort of thing should not be encouraged.
It certainly should not be encouraged because those who have the good fortune to belong to a democracy also have the responsibility of making sensible choices. Likewise, celebs-those creatures who prance around at the highest rung of a society that adores them and have the power that comes from being more beautiful, talented and moneyed than the Average Joes who love to love or hate them equally, have the responsibility to use that power for the greater good. They may not have wanted greatness but when it is thrust upon them, it behooves them to rise to the occasion magnificently the same way they soared above all else in their chosen fields.
Besides both Sachin and Rekha do not have criminal records or a proven track record for corrupt behavior and violence which is more than you can say for most politicians. Therefore, we need not go against our upbringing and pat the government on the back but we can stop berating them for this particular decision. And anyway, it is certain that we will have plenty of occasions to slam the government in future, especially if Rakhi Sawant is nominated for President.
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