Days after batting legend Sachin Tendulkar sent out a tweet appealing the foreigners not to interfere in India’s internal affair, several political leaders hit back at the cricket icon, stating that the former India batsman is not worthy of the prestigious Bharat Ratna award.
Jasbir Gill, a Congress MP from Punjab, not just expressed similar feelings but went a step further and claimed Tendulkar tweeted on the ongoing farmer protest because he wants his son Arjun to be selected in India’s lucrative T20 league, the Indian Premier League (IPL).
“Sachin Tendulkar is not worthy of Bharat Ratna. He tweeted in favour of the government only because he wanted something in return. He just wanted to get his son Arjun selected in the IPL. I want to leave it to the public to decide whether this man deserves Bharat Ranta,” Jasbir was quoted by Timesnownews.com as saying.
Tendulkar along with several other cricketers and Bollywood celebrities had come together on Twitter appealing the people to stand together amid testing hours. The move came after international pop star Rihanna, climate activist Greta Thunberg and former adult movie star Mia Khalifa voiced their opinions on the ongoing farmer protest in New Delhi.
“India’s sovereignty cannot be compromised. External forces can be spectators but not participants. Indians know India and should decide for India. Let’s remain united as a nation,” Tendulkar had tweeted this on Wednesday last week.
India’s sovereignty cannot be compromised. External forces can be spectators but not participants.
Indians know India and should decide for India. Let’s remain united as a nation.#IndiaTogether #IndiaAgainstPropaganda
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) February 3, 2021
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar also expressed his displeasure with Tendulkar’s stand and adviced him to be more careful while speaking on issues related to other fields, thus drawing sharp reactions from various quarters.
MNS chief Raj Thackeray also said that the government should not have asked Tendulkar and Lata Mangeshkar to be part of its campaign against foreign celebrities, who recently tweeted in support of the ongoing farmers’ protest.
“They (Tendulkar and Mangeshkar) are true legends in their fields, but otherwise very simple persons. They should not have been asked to tweet with the same hashtag. They tweeted what the government asked them to tweet, and now they are at the receiving end,” he said.
#WATCH | Govt shouldn’t have asked big personalities like Sachin Tendulkar & Lata Mangeshkar to tweet in support of its stand & put their reputation at stake. They’re recipients of Bharat Ratna. Actors like Akshay Kumar were enough for this task: MNS chief Raj Thackeray (06.02) pic.twitter.com/TPpJSQ7cAN
— ANI (@ANI) February 7, 2021
Former Rajya Sabha member and RJD national vice-president Shivanand Tewari also made controversial remarks against the cricketer. Speaking to reporters in Patna, Tewari tried to highlight the plight of the farmers and said they have no idea about what is being tweeted about them. Slamming Tendulkar for echoing his opinion on the issue, the RJD vice-president said that the cricketer didn’t deserve the prestigious Bharat Ratna honour, adding, hockey legend Dhyanchand should have got it.
“Farmers live in villages and do not know about Twitter and what is being written here. Once two foreigners supported the farmers, Tendulkar jumped into the debate. Tendulkar is a brand ambassador of several products and did not deserve to get Bharat Ratna. There are many deserving people like Dhyanchand who should have got it,” Tewari was quoted as saying by The Indian Express in their report.
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