Updated: February 6, 2021 7:37:06 am
Former Rajya Sabha MP and RJD national vice-president Shivanand Tewari on Friday triggered a controversy by saying that Sachin Tendulkar “did not deserve to get Bharat Ratna”.
The senior RJD leader was referring to Tendulkar’s recent tweet after international pop star Rihanna and climate activist Greta Thunberg lent support to the ongoing farmers’ protest.
“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
Speaking to reporters, Tewari said, “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’s comments invited sharp reactions from the BJP and JD (U). BJP spokesperson Nikhil Anand said, “I wonder if Sachin Tendulkar should not have got Bharat Ratna, who else deserved it? Shivanand Tewari has turned senile and does not know what he is speaking. He needs a good psychiatrist.”
JD (U) spokesperson Nikhil Mandal added. “If Sachin did not deserve Bharat Ratna for his extraordinary feat, should it be given to those carrying water bottles to players in the field? What Sachin said is very sane. There is nothing wrong in saying that Indians are capable of solving their problems themselves.”
The RJD distanced itself from Tewari’s remarks. RJD spokesperson Mrityunjay Tewari said, “It could be Shivanand ji’s personal opinion. The party does not subscribe to his views. Tendulkar is an all-time great cricketer and did deserve to get the highest civilian honour.”
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