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Wednesday, February 09, 2005

the curtain call

It is revealed the in some countries restrictions are imposed on doctors who have crossed 65 and forbids them to work beyond 70.

Doctors look after the health of individuals and, naturally, the nation because individuals ultimately add up to make up a nation. The policy is to guard against ‘doddering idiots’, if I may borrow the phrase from the news clip. This decision has already raised many eyebrows. One group believes that age brings with it experience which is useful in the medical profession. They argue that experience may throw up similarities in symptoms and, hence, ease the subsequent treatment. The other group believes that old fogies are misfits in the present world where consultations can be held over the net and experiences exchanged with others at the click of a mouse opening up the flood gates of knowledge.

Both are right in their own ways.

This piece of writing is not about their debate but about the possibilities of opening a new debate on how long should a politician rule? From which age onwards should they be asked to retire from active ‘service’, revert to the role of a wise old man (or woman) and remain indoors to look after their families or spend the evenings in going to some ashram to attend lectures of religious leaders who love to recite from the age old scriptures like the Gita, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana?

Considering the prevailing scenario in our country, it is high time that we enact some ordinance to prevent them from undertaking the rigors of electioneering and, subsequently, adorning the Parliament. With all due respect to their age, let us admit that visuals of aging leaders, who need support to move from one place to another, who experience difficulties in making speeches depict a rather sad and pathetic picture to the outside world. Agreed they possess valuable experience in managing affairs of the party and the country, in that order, it is essential to find alternatives. As in sport, new blood brings with it newer ideas and helps in generating more involvement of the younger generation. Such interaction only can bring about the changes that we are all searching for. A sportsperson cannot expect to remain in top form till his dying days – at some point of time he has to call it a day.

Does the same logic not hold true for politicians?

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