Sports and politics are irrefutably two themes that render the Indian subcontinent a hot topic for international discussions. Elections and sports world cups are like an everyday thing in India. Lok Sabha voting ends, state elections sets off followed by another form of election. Cricket World Cup ends, football fever starts with sporting events glancing for vacant space on the calendar.
However, this amalgamation has come as blessing for diplomats from both sides. Politics is the new career perspective after retiring from sports, whereas political parties draw their earned fame as proposal to lure voters.
So, let’s have a look at some renowned sportspersons who made their names in politics too.
8. Nafisa Ali
Born on 18 January 1957 in Kolkata, Nafisa’s life has numerous pageants and accomplishments to her name. From 1972-1974, Nafisa was the national swimming champion and also a jockey at the Calcutta Gymkhana in 1979. Nafisa made her first try in politics with a ticket from Congress during the 2004 Lok Sabha elections from South Kolkata. However, she had to wait five more years when she won the parliamentary seat from Lucknow on a ticket by Samajwadi Party. Nafisa, however rejoined the Congress in November 2009.
7. Kirti Azad
Son to former Chief Minister of Bihar – Bhagwat Jha Azad, Kirti Azad is prominent name in Indian politics and cricket. Mr. Azad played 7 Tests and 25 ODIs for the Indian Cricket Team from 1980 -1986 and was included in the world cup winning squad for 1983. However, after his cricketing career, Azad followed into politics with his win from Darbhanga, Bihar on BJP’s ticket. Even in this Lok Sabha election, Azad won from the same constituency before serving as a MLA from Delhi’s Gole Market.
6. Mohammad Azharuddin
Still recognized as one of the most successful batsman and captains in the Indian Cricketing history, Azharuddin is presently member of the Indian National Congress. Ever since his political joining with congress in 2009, Azharuddin has made concerns over constructing a university and a stadium in Moradabad as his priority. However, his intentions were ignored by the populace of Moradabad as he lost to BJP candidate Sukhbir Singh Jaunapuria.
5. Chetan Chauhan
The former opening batsman with Sunil Gavaskar for Indian National team, Chetan capped 40 Test matches making 2084 runs. Chetan later joined BJP and won his Lok Sabha seat from Amroha two times in 1991 and 1998. However, like sports, Chetan had to witness defeat in his political career when he lost three Lok Sabha elections in 1996, 98 and 2004.
4. Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo
K.N. Deo is a legendary leader of Biju Janata Dal from Odisha and was the Member of Parliament with 15th and 16th Lok Sabha. From his grandfather, Rajendra Narayan Singh Deo (former CM of Odisha) to his father Ananga Udaya Singh Deo, politics is inherited to Mr. Deo. However, a very few know that Mr. Deo was the youngest member of the Odisha Legislative Assembly and represented the triflag in shooting and basketball.
3. Aslam Sher Khan
A.S. Khan is undoubtedly a legendry name from the golden hockey era of India. He won the 1975 World Cup at Kuala Lumpur. After serving the nation on green turf, Sher Khan moved in to Indian politics as a Member of Parliament and a Union Minister with Congress. Mr. Khan joined BJP in 1997, but reunited with congress family in 1999.
2. Jyotirmoyee Sikdar
Born on 11 December 1969 in Nadia, West Bengal, Jyotirmoyee was an middle distance runner and represented India in various track events. In 2 Asian Championships and solitary Asian Game, Jyotirmoyee won three gold and two bronze medals. In 2004, Jyotirmoyee contested for parliamentary seat from Krishnanagar with a ticket from CPIM. Jyoti made her way to Delhi with a comfortable success, but couldn’t make it a winning streak with a loss at second attempt.
1. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore
Colonel Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, the Rajput from Bikaner rose to utmost fame when he won the solitary medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. Moreover, Colonel Rathore has a total of 7 gold medals in his professional shooting carrier. In 2013, Colonel Rathore took voluntary retirement from the Indian Army and joined BJP. Rathore won the parliamentary seat from Jaipur Rural in the recent Lok Sabha elections