Administration and the Age Factor of Politicians

With the number of years added to the age, definitely a person enhances the know-how and becomes capable to take more informed decisions. This is the sole reason that work prospects for experienced professionals are much more than the new entrants. Not only a brain develops during the course of work, the person also ascertains the bottlenecks and opportunities in the field of work. But, similar to the four phases of a business cycle viz. preliminary, growth, stagnant, and decline, a human being too comes across a point from where the value addition from his part becomes nil/ negative. Though we retaliate this phase, the one who readily accepts and passes on the responsibilities to the newer generation is equitably respected.

In case you are concerned with the representation of L K Advani, aged 86 years, from Gandhinagar, it is considerable to note that Ram Sunder Yadav bidding his luck from the Hajipur constituency is 93 years old. The controversies of the seniormost leader of the BJP had been tough to handle. It should however be acknowledged that the leaders of the BJP made every possible attempt to uphold the dignity of party’s senior wing. The contribution from the other end though was not that willing. It took days to send across the message to the general public that leaders like Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi are at par with the party line.

I would not propose any age of superannuation for our political leaders; however, a few operative measures are the need of the hour. And those who advocate that our MPs and MLAs must leave their offices post a certain age must remember that government officials are readily absorbed by the private sector to exploit their familiarity with the market and expertise of dealing with adverse circumstances. Retired judges are bestowed upon with the task of heading advisory committees or becoming a part of crucial investigations. It is however vital to note that this work is consultative in nature and does not call for recurrent decision making and/or administration. The arena of Indian politics is still to acknowledge this underlying fact.

43 percent of the MPs post the 2009 polls were above the age of 56 years, a figure which was just 20 percent post the first general elections of 1952. On the contrary, just 14 percent of the MPs post 2009 polls were below the age of 40. The average age of Chief Ministers of various states is 62 years, while the average age of cabinet ministers during the UPA-2 reign was 60 years. Can our nation afford such absurd position? The task of administration and decision making has been conferred upon those shoulders who though have decades of experience, however, are unaware of the current global development and newer ways to tackle tough conditions. Can’t we relate this to the ever-declining GDP and the ever-rising inflation and poverty rates?

The political leaders of India will have to accept this deadlock sooner than later. 60, 62, and 65 are the ages beyond which employees in central/ state government/ companies can no longer serve the organization they belong to. Why can’t a figure between 65 and 70 be the uppermost servicing limit for our most vital administrative squad? A distinct way out herein can be the shift of matured leaders to the upper house of parliament, while retaining the vibrant blood in the lower house. A lesson has to be learnt from the western countries wherein young though knowledgeable administrators lead the nation. Thus, a room for innovation and creativity is erected that fosters growth.

Plus, a lesson too should be taken from entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Ratan Tata, and N R Narayana Murthy, who vacated their dominant offices and stepped into advisory roles. Politicians need to part with the urge of being in power post they realize that the young blood is ready to accept accountabilities with commitment. And this realization has to come from within, post which our senior MPs and MLAs can surely pursue the tasks of social welfare and advising the young blood during tough circumstances. Surely, this would enhance the prestige of our leaders who pledge to have devoted years for social and political betterment.

91 thoughts on “Administration and the Age Factor of Politicians

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