Friday, August 29, 2014

Old age homes (not just for politicians)

....Dwivedi's statement reflected that Congress wants to follow BJP...creating "old age home" for senior leaders.....a taunt directed at the ruling party by Congress when it dropped Advani, Joshi and Vajpayee from parliamentary board.....
When the revolution comes it can take off in so many uncertain ways.

We did not quite imagine that a Hindutva flavored govt that is in love with the concept of a 5000 year old civilization and making policy based on (age-old) scriptures would launch a movement (admittedly for self-serving reasons) for pushing youngsters to power (well OK 50+ aged youngsters, but then we are talking about India).
Continuing on this theme, we should not be limit the action to politicians only. Scientists, entertainers, technocrats,... all those who continue to feather their nests and do not let young talent come forward should be asked to retire post 70. One outstanding example that comes to mind: long after her nightingale as a girl days were behind her, Bollywood would stick stubbornly with Lata Mangeshkar (we mention this with all humility and as an ardent admirer).
Now the cremation fires have touched the Congress as well and it will spread beyond it for sure. As we see it, the party who can best capture the imagination of the youth will win the next elections. 

The only issue with an iron-clad Stop at 70 rule is that the Leader is 63 years young (Madam is 67). Are people not too concerned that they are making a nice rod for their own backs? We will believe the good news when we see the proof in action.
Congress today distanced itself from party leader Janardan Dwivedi's remarks that people in politics should not continue in active posts beyond 70 years of age even as another party leader Digvijaya Singh backed him.

"Let me make it clear. This is his view and he is certainly entitled to it.... This is not the party view. This is not the party stand. This is his personal opinion," party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi told reporters in reply to a volley of questions on the issue.

His refrain was the same when asked whether Dwivedi's statement reflected that Congress wants to follow BJP's model of creating "old age home" for senior leaders, a taunt directed at the ruling party by Congress when it dropped LK Advani, MM Joshi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee from parliamentary board.

A senior party leader speaking on condition of anonymity said that the sentiment expressed by Dwivedi were not improper but it is not feasible to have any specific cut offs in a large party like Congress.

Party general secretary Digvijaya Singh, speaking separately, backed Dwivedi saying that "change is the law of nature". Singh, who has generally been at odds with Dwivedi, recalled that in the Burari AICC sesssion 2010, he had pitched for a generational change in the party under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi.

"I had said the same thing in Burari session. Congress party always gives opportunity to the youth. Change is the law of the nature. In the modern management lexicon, it is called succession management. "It should happen at every level from top to bottom. I am in favour it. It is high time for major changes in the organisational structure," Singh said.

The conflicting views in Congress have been aired at a time when there is a likelihood of a generational shift in the party to take on a resurgent BJP.

Singh said, "We will do whatever we are asked to do. Antony Committee has given its report and the restructure should happen accordingly."

Citing examples of various other fields where elders handover the responsibility to a young team, Dwivedi had said "similarly generational change is also necessary in politics. "After certain age, people should not live on active posts in a political organisation."

Dwivedi has at the same time said that he did not mean to say that people above 65 or 70 should retire from politics and that they can take other responsibilities that do not require hectic activities.

To a question on whether he wants his 65 or 70 formulae also to be applicable to 67-year-old Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Dwivedi said that the post of Congress president and some others could be exceptions to it.

The remarks of Dwivedi, who is the general secretary in charge of the Organisation, had come yesterday a few days after BJP dropped veterans Vajpayee, Advani and from the parliamentary board and named them in Margdarshak Mandal, mentor's group.

They also came at a time when there is intense speculation about imminent changes in the AICC setup with the younger generation likely to call the shots and leaders of Dwivedi's generation may be replaced.

Dwivedi's remarks were being seen as indication of things to come.

"The writing on the wall is clear. After such a debacle, a party can come back only after fighting on the street for which youngsters are needed. It is the young, who have to fight the electoral battle," another senior party functionary said on the condition of anonymity.

The average age of AICC secretaries appointed by Rahul Gandhi last year was 40 to 45 years. Besides a number of PCC chiefs like Ashok Tanwar in Haryana and Sachin Pilot in Rajasthan, who were appointed in last one year are among the youth brigade.





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