The Indian Express

Samajwadi Party MP Naresh Agarwal raised a point about the 12 famous Rajya Sabha MPs who almost never grace the house with their presence. These include Sachin Tendulkar, actors Rekha and Rupa Ganguly, and Mary Kom. “If they have no interest they should resign, others will come,” said Agarwal, to the Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien. (The Indian Express, March 31). This issue has been reported several times, notably four months ago, when only 23 MPs showed up on a working day when a minimum of 25 out of 245 members are required to start proceedings.

It is worth noting that besides the immense prestige of being a Member of Parliament in the world’s largest democracy, these nominated candidates are very generously compensated. They get housing in central Delhi, 34 single air journeys for free anywhere within India, access to clubs, cars and medical allowances, not counting far more undefined areas of benefit, like proximity to some of the most powerful individuals in India. This is by virtue of being exceptional stars in their own chosen fields. The Rajya Sabha MP status for people in the arts is seen as a retirement reward after a distinguished career. Even if they don’t have the wherewithal to change legislation and remain mute spectators during proceedings, it’s not too much to expect them to show up occasionally in Parliament.

After all, could it happen that Tendulkar wouldn’t have gone to a stadium if he was scheduled to play cricket? According to reports, actor Mithun Chakraborty has attended Parliament for three days in two years. If a commitment has been made, disregarding it so completely is patently disrespectful to the House. Somewhere, it sends the message that celebrity is such an important idea, maybe even more so than running the nation.

Celebrities occupying different rungs on the scale of idolatry — the Twitter world, or Big Boss, TV and movie stars, or dotcom millionaires — are without a doubt the biggest influencers for young Indians. The professional making it to the business pages of newspapers has far greater capital among the youth than what a politician or religious leader can muster up. One may wonder if a PR-contrived lifestyle, conveying the right amount of melodrama via Instagram and Facebook justifies such adulation, but contemporary celebs receive a far more flattering reception than their counterparts holding government office. But the movie star MPs in any case fill our magazines and news feed for their wardrobes and their colourful personas. Let the hallowed halls of Parliament be reserved for people who are 100 per cent committed to treating politics like the serious business it is.

In the West, the stars who are in a position to make a real difference to public opinion take their roles seriously and are able to affect change. Leonardo DiCaprio brought the focus to climate change while Bono drew attention to famine in Africa. When Shah Rukh Khan says that the show Koffee with Karan has become boring because people are scared to say anything controversial since the atmosphere in India has changed, it should lead to a more thoughtful debate. These successful, alternate voices, hopefully immune to the murkier issues that arise with power are more important than ever, when political parties seem so radical and polarised. In these times, just to question the hand that feeds you is a big responsibility.

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Source: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/celebrity-absence-parliament-rajya-sabha-4596860/

Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag remember 2011 World Cup ‘dream win’

India lifted the 2011 World Cup. (Source: PTI) India lifted the 2011 World Cup. (Source: PTI)

On 2nd April 2011, India wrote history when the Indian skipper MS Dhoni swung his bat and smashed Sri Lankan bowler Nuwan Kulasekara for a maximum at Wankhede Stadium to lift the World Cup after 28 years. This was the second instance after 1983 when India had won a cricket World Cup, the previous one came under the leadership of Kapil Dev.

Like I always say, chase your dreams because dreams do come true, and this was one of those moments in my life when it happened. pic.twitter.com/oNWKsYr6sw — sachin tendulkar (@sachin_rt) 2 April 2017

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After batting first, Sri Lanka rode on Mahela Jayawardene’s aesthetic hundred and scored 274/6 in allotted 50 overs. In reply, the hosts India didn’t start off well and lost both Virender Sehwag in the first over while Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar in the seventh to leave themselves in a fair bit of bother.

But it was a responsible third-wicket partnership between the two Delhi batsmen, Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli that showed resistance to a fumbling start of the chase.

6 years ago #OnThisDay,Dhoni finished it off in style and we as a Team lived a dream & won the World Cup,the best memory for this generation pic.twitter.com/QQ9oVFEf4e — Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) 2 April 2017

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Kohli though was undone by Dilshan for 35 after the off-spinner grabbed a brilliant one handed catch of his bowling. Next came in was captain MS Dhoni. The Jharkhand batsman was up for the business right from the beginning as he showed great character with the bat and came up with a partnership of 109 runs.

#ThisDayThatYear – In 2011, “Dhoni finishes off in style. India lift the World Cup after 28 years” – in @RaviShastriOfc‘s immortal voice pic.twitter.com/Q61sLx10VA — BCCI (@BCCI) 2 April 2017

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Gambhir on the other end was all set for a World Cup final hundred but just lost his concentration when he came down the track to slash a straight delivery from Perera through the covers but only ended up missing the delivery completely that disturbed the wood work behind the left-handed batsman.

It’s been 6 years since we won the World Cup, the last moments of the game remain fresh in my memory.What a night that was👌 — Ashwin Ravichandran (@ashwinravi99) 2 April 2017

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What a night it was at the Wankhede . Gautam Gambhir and MS Dhoni led india to an unforgettable victory and we won the World Cup at home. pic.twitter.com/YpBu4HDVBC — Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) 2 April 2017

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India didn’t see any further loss in the batting line up as Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni wrapped India’s win by 6 wickets.

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Source: http://indianexpress.com/article/sports/cricket/sachin-tendulkar-virender-sehwag-remember-2011-world-cup-dream-win-4596176/

If nominated celebs have no interest, let them quit, says Samajwadi Party MP

Samajwadi Party MP Naresh Agrawal. Samajwadi Party MP Naresh Agrawal.

The frequent absence of celebrities nominated to Rajya Sabha, including Sachin Tendulkar, came up Thursday with Samajwadi Party MP Naresh Agrawal suggesting they resign if they have no interest. Noting that 12 members in the House have been nominated from various fields, Agrawal said, “People have been nominated here but we are not being able to see them. They do not come. I have been observing it for the last many sessions, be it Tendulkar of our cricket or any film actress.”

Agrawal, who sought to raise it as a point of order, said, “If they are nominated and not coming, it means they have no interest. If they have no interest, they should resign. Others will come.” Deputy chairman P J Kurien said it is up to the celebrity MPs to decide. When Agrawal insisted they should be seen in the House, the deputy chairman told him, “You can use your good offices with them and request them to be present in the House at least for a few days whenever possible.” Agrawal asked whether he should write a letter to them, and Kurien replied, “Yes, you write.” Low attendance of celebrity MPs has been an issue raised a number of times.

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Source: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/if-nominated-celebs-have-no-interest-let-them-quit-says-sp-mp-4593223/

Pressure of IPL will make Kuldeep Yadav a better cricketer: Gautam Gambhir

Kuldeep yadav picked four wickets against Australia on his debut. (Source: PTI) Kuldeep yadav picked four wickets against Australia on his debut. (Source: PTI)

Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav’s fantastic Test debut has given rise to a school of thought that the youngster should be protected from the IPL where he plays for Kolkata Knight Riders but his team skipper Gautam Gambhir feels pressure of T20 will only make him better.

Gambhir, who will be leading Kuldeep once again in a week’s time feels that the UP lad will be taking confidence going into IPL.

“I am very happy for him (Kuldeep) and would love to see him playing all three formats of the game. I am sure his progress in Dharamsala Test match will give the momentum, which he will get into IPL this season,” Gambhir told PTI talking about India’s newest spin sensation.

Asked if Kuldeep needs to be kept away from IPL where a few bad matches can be confidence dampener, Gambhir said, “I don’t think so as pressure makes you a better human being and cricketer as well. What is the point in having the talent and not testing it in different circumstances or across different formats.”

For the veteran of 58 Tests, Kuldeep should be emulating the likes of Anil Kumble, Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar, who played longest format with distinction but held their own in shortest format.

“Anil bhai (Kumble) was a rare breed, so was Sehwag, Yuvraj, Tendulkar, Virat — these cricketers don’t need any protection. They needed a challenge.”

However Gambhir gave ample indications that Kuldeep is very much in his scheme of things alongside overseas spinners Shakib Al Hasan and Sunil Narine during this season where he would probably give Kuldeep more matches.

“I hope he can finish the tournament with a Purple Cap (highest wickettaker in IPL). Need I say more,” Gambhir’s statement said it all.

Kuldeep till date has played 27 T20 matches in his career which includes both IPL matches for KKR as well as Syed Mushtaq Ali national T20 matches for Uttar Pradesh. He has 37 wickets from those games and an economy rate of 7.10 per over which is expected to get better as he plays more matches.

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Source: http://indianexpress.com/article/sports/cricket/pressure-of-ipl-will-make-kuldeep-yadav-a-better-cricketer-gautam-gambhir-4589547/

Ajinkya Rahane becomes India’s 33rd Test captain after Virat Kohli’s injury

Coming from India’s cricketing nursery Mumbai, Ajinkya Rahane joined the league of legends like Polly Umrigar, Nari Contractor, GS Ramchand, Ajit Wadekar, Sunil Gavaskar, Dilip Vengsarkar, Ravi Shastri and Sachin Tendulkar to captain the country in Test cricket. (Photo: PA0

Dharamsala: Ajinkya Rahane became India’s 33rd Test captain after injured Virat Kohli was ruled out of the fourth and deciding Test against Australia, here on Saturday.

Kohli suffered a shoulder injury while fielding in the Ranchi Test match. Left-arm chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav will be making his debut as India go back to five bowler theory with Bhuvneshwar Kumar replacing Ishant Sharma.

On Friday, Kohli had said that he will only play he is hundred percent fit but had admitted that there is every chance of the injury being aggravated during fielding.

The Indian skipper missed a Test after playing 54 matches in the longest format at a stretch. It started with a Test match against West Indies in Mumbai back in November, 2011.

Coming from India’s cricketing nursery Mumbai, Rahane joined the league of legends like Polly Umrigar, Nari Contractor, GS Ramchand, Ajit Wadekar, Sunil Gavaskar, Dilip Vengsarkar, Ravi Shastri and Sachin Tendulkar to captain the country in Test cricket.
Courtesy: http://www.deccanchronicle.com/

Source: http://www.deccanchronicle.com/sports/cricket/250317/ajinkya-rahane-becomes-indias-33rd-test-captain-after-virat-kohlis-injury.html