Every profession has a retirement age, but there are a few exceptions and one of the them is surely politics. There is a reason for having retirement age in every profession – after a certain age ones efficiency is considered to reduce and it is time for him/her to retire from work & enjoy the remaining life in peace. It is also essential as young need employments and one of the ways to provide for this is by filling in the vacancies due to retirement. But when it comes to the rule makers, no retirement age seems to apply. A recent suggestion by a senior congress party leader Janardhan Dwivedi that politicians must retire from active politics post age 70 has started a debate. So, what do you think? Should there be a retirement age in politics as well like any other profession?
– We need young people to take up senior positions in political arena, which is only possible when elders leave active participation in politics.
– Politicians are also human beings, and after a certain age they are also prone to age related issues and thus for the same reason as there is a retirement age in other employment there should be one for politicians
Whilst senior politicians would have valuable knowledge & experience, generally they have a more conventional approach which acts as a barrier to new thoughts & ideas
Ideally, the retirement age should not be set very high i.e 70 but should be more in line with retirement age set for other employment (age 60), and where a politician is considered as a valuable mentor he/she could be involved as a consultant but not put directly in power.
– We have seen enough family dynasty in Indian politics and do not need any individual to hold power until the next kin is ready to take up the position.
– Having a set retirement age for politicians would also ensure that a person knows that his reign of power would end at a definite point of time and he may have to answer for any misappropriation sooner rather than later.
– Politicians are representatives of the public, and assume public office. In reality they are public servants in service as long as the public considers them as suitable.
– If the public does not think they are suitable to perform required duties due to their age, then they would not elect them as their representative in rajya/lok sabha elections
– Over the years, politician acquire great knowledge & experience, which can’t be easily replaced
– Politicians also play an important role in maintaining diplomatic relationships which may be impacted by their retirement, and their successor may not be as successful
– Younger people in the party who lack legislative & administrative experience would need hand holding & direction, this would be difficult without the knowledge & experience of veteran politicians.
– Loosing senior politicians may also impact on public acceptability of the political party, as there is a element of individual trust and goodwill involved.
Senior politicians have a wealth of knowledge & experience, which is essential for the role but in order to ensure that one does not remain in seat of power indefinitely & young people are able to take key positions in political arena, thus contribution fresh ideas and new perspective, it is essential that politicians also retire at a predetermined age.