Shouldn’t We Have A Maximum Age Limit For Politicians To Contest In Elections?

Posted on October 19, 2013 in Politics

By Deepak Venkateswaran:

I often feel frustrated over the contradiction that a country of over 50% youth, full of energy and passion, is being governed by a group of aged politicians with narrow vision and full of internal disputes among themselves. The fact that many of them lack basic education is of extreme concern for India, which is to be the youngest nation in the world by 2030. The average age of our leaders in Parliament is 73 and our PM is 81 years old.

Youth

The sad part about this situation is that the youth doesn’t want to enter politics themselves, while those who wish to do something for the society aren’t able to do so without having a political DNA. This has bought about a quagmire in the political scenario as the senior and old politicians make it to the Legislative houses and strangle the ideas of good and efficient governance which are currently the need of the hour.

What we need, as of now, is a strong regulation in the eligibility to contest in the general elections. And the solution demands to be strict and aggressive. A few possible solutions that show a ray of hope to revamp the current mess are:

1) Restriction of the age to contest elections, just like a bureaucrat or any service job. Even our politicians need a break.

2) Politicians should have a minimum standard of education without which they cannot even file their nominations. Candidates those who are eligible to contest should be given some kind of endorsement from an independent body or the ECI itself.

3) The public should have the right to question the portfolios allotted to any minister based on his qualifications and his past work.

4) And any kind of Nepotism should not be supported. No two members of any influential family should be allowed to contest elections at the same time.

While many more solutions could exist, these are a few which I believe could make a swift change towards the desired direction.

Meanwhile, this does not mean that the old and experienced politicians should be side-lined. Their seasoned and valuable experience must be harnessed by giving them advisory and mentor posts to the council of ministers and departments where they have previously held the office.

The urgent need of the hour is a government where the youth have a significant say and are full of passion and innovative ideas clubbed with high energy, catalyzed by the valuable experience of senior leaders. A vision that sounds a bit difficult to achieve, while in reality, is not.  An India which is young deserves to be led by the young themselves.

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