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Following Rajeev Shukla’s criticism of Sachin Tendulkar regarding Parliament attendance, Abhishek Mukherjee writes an open letter to the man.
Dear Sachin Tendulkar:
I was in shorts when you had started your Test career. I had made my way through jeans and formals and have come back to shorts, but you were still around. We have gone out to play ourselves when you were batting; we had huddled up in front of electronics outlets to watch you in action; you were the hero who had helped eradicate boundaries of caste, religion, and economy; you had made a nation dream; you had helped lift sagging spirits when our lives had reached doldrums; and more.
You have had your own share of critics, but you had earned respect from the world throughout your career; and the respect had continued to remain ever since.
Why, then, does Rajeev Shukla get to criticise you on your attendance? Questions like, “Why have you chosen to become a Member of Parliament if you don’t attend?” hurt us, Sachin. Why did you let it reach there? You are a national icon, and will continue to do so forever.
They have spotted you at Wimbledon and the Pro Kabaddi inaugural match during Parliament sessions. Shukla says he had spoken to you and Rekha, and you have promised to attend the session next week.
Why are you not giving it up altogether, Sachin? You have a lot to offer to cricket, and to sport in general. Why are you letting others criticise you on attendance — something you had been impeccable about throughout your career? Why, Sachin? Why be involved in something that is clearly not very high on your priority list?
Come back where you belong to. Please. Cricket needs you. The kids need you. We will wolf-whistle when we find you in the stadium watching Wimbledon and Pro Kabaddi.
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