Elections are being held in several phases across India, and electioneering is at its peak. The candidates are leaving nothing to chance to woo the voters. However, becoming a lawmaker is a tough job and it can sometimes take a toll. For example, two senior politicians, Kamakhya Prasad Singh Deo (Cong) and Bed Prakash Agrawal (BJD), were admitted to hospitals in critical state as they were unable to take the strain. Their hospitalisation has brought up the question whether there should be an upper age limit for candidates to seek re-election. A few youths shared their thoughts on the issue with Orissa POST.
Ganesh Prasad Barik from Pipili in Puri district said that after reaching a certain age, politicians should say goodbye to public life. “One needs to take important decisions and travel a lot as a people’s representative. And for that the person concerned should be physically and mentally sound. So, it is better to have a retirement age for politicians like for government employees,” he said.
There are some people who argue that experience counts, seniority should be respected, and the decision should be left to the politician as to how long he wants to carry on.
“I don’t dispute this view. But how can you expect to get new leadership unless the seniors vacate their positions? Ours is a young nation and we need young and fresh minds to lead the people. It is time to change the system and the senior leaders should set an example. The voters should also elect representatives who are fit physically and mentally,” added Ganesh.
Senior politicians always enjoy an edge when knowledge and experience are taken into account, said Dipak Kumar Sahu from Nimapada, Puri. “I am not against inducting young blood into politics, but wisdom is also important which an experienced politician can offer. Politics is a different ballgame, therefore, you can’t afford to discard the old warhorses mindlessly to welcome youth. There are many senior politicians for whom age is just a number and they work like their young counterparts. So, age shouldn’t be a barrier to contest elections so long as the person is fit,” said Dipak who works in the government health department.
Smrutishree Nandi, a bank job aspirant from Boudh, said, “It is an open secret that lust for power drives politicians to go on even if they are unable to stand on their legs. So, fixing an upper age limit for those who are going to lead is a good idea. Post 70 years, they should be in a guiding role instead of being lawmakers. Aging politicians always want to go with their own old philosophies. If the government employees have age limits, why should we make an exception for politicians?”
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