PACHU MENON, MARGAO
The decision by the BJP to keep its leaders over 75-years of age off the poll-race in this year of elections would have come as a whiff of fresh air to a nation that has ‘elderly’ statesmen who continue to tread the country’s political scenario. But the BJP appears to be unwilling to take any chances on the Prime Minister’s popularity to see it through in the ensuing parliamentary elections. With the party’s central election committee burning the proverbial midnight oil to finalize candidates based strictly on their ‘winnability’ criterion, it does appear that the ‘fiat’ is a convenient tool to see off the age of the patriarchs in its ranks. With senior leader L K Advani and B C Khanduri being overlooked for this Lok Sabah election, it is as if the era of old-guards in the party has come to end. An unceremonious exit if there ever was one, it is however surprising to note that the ‘age-bar’ has not been applied in toto when it comes to considering the nomination of many such leaders who by virtue of being avowed Modi-loyalists could yet find their names featuring in the subsequent candidates’ list. Without a doubt, the Modi-dispensation at the center has been high on rhetoric and at its nadir when it comes to implementing such well-meaning proposals. With each passing year the need to have young and dynamic leaders coming to the forefront of national politics to charter a new course for the country is being felt now as never before. Yet the manner in which old-age has never served to be an impediment for the seasoned politicians in our country to extend their innings forever is indeed a matter of concern. From being a means to serve the public, politics is today a career that astute leaders can take pride in. However, just as in other professions, politicians too should have an age-limit on attaining which they too should think of relinquishing office honourably. The politics that typifies the ‘ouster’ of leaders over the brink to accommodate the new-order is at times heart-breaking.