By Fida Firdous
Human beings working under different capacities, for different areas must , be replaced at the proper specified age to let others play their role, so that vitality of working machinery and systems be maintained and the sanctity of a polity be preserved. To buy human service means to employ serviceable energies in return for payments of appropriate dues. But, when the dues paid are appropriate and the services brought are deficient, the pragmatic approach to balance the same becomes a must. It is perhaps this idea that respective governments across the world have specified retirement age limit to their employees.
I must say that I could not possess the profound knowledge or information about the phenomenon called “retirement” which exits in every system, in every form of government and in every society. People working in various department are subjected to retirement at a specific age and, as per my humble understanding, are replaced by those who are more productive qualitatively as well as quantitatively. As such, it indicates that we can serve a system with our best capacities only until a specific age limit and after that we tend to go slow weak and un-productive.
When this is a very well established truth, more like a natural truth , one wonders that how politicians skip and continue to stay in politics until they either loses the capacity to say interfere or are completely paralyzed?
In Jammu and Kashmir, the civil service rule was passed on first August 1920, wherein the retirement age of the employees was fixed 58 while earlier on, it was 55. As legislators (politicians) itself fixed the age of retirement for every government servant, unfortunately the same law is not applicable to the politicians, ministers themselves any minister who, by the way, is also government employee draws monthly salary, perks and other facilities till the time he/she seize to live, even if they serve just for a period of one day,
When law makers consider that at the age of 58 to 65 government as well as private employees cannot perform their duties with sound mind and mental condition, how than our legislators manage a little thin bypass and escape unhurt?
It is true that man grows wise as he grows old but it is equally true that in advanced age he is sure to lose passion and compassion for the profession; a politician who is young and energetic can work with same passion and enthusiasm for the betterment of his nation. A politician is supposed to meet public expectations. But how can he when he suffers stress and strain related to aging. But here, from president to prime minister everyone is above 65+ years of age, and most are illiterate. Politicians are in no way separate or special human beings form government servants and are equally physically and mentally unfit at the age of 58 or 65 like the other subordinate government servants, as inequitable employment rule has been created by them. If the situation is such what kind of anticipation common man can expect from politicians who are law makers for the welfare and betterment of public which requires knowledge, qualification, intelligence and lot of wisdom.
Public representatives, politicians, political parties and politics in general are responded very poorly by the public, due to their corruption, sex scandals, disparities and duo political behavior. This will only further entrench anti-political attitude. The reputation of all politicians is at stake, and the political process whether at local or national level-is likely to be tarred by their bad activities. The logical fall of such profession was because of growing rise in crimes in politics at the cost of life along with negative campaigning. The trivialized coverage of politics is a decline for public participation in politics.
Common voice should gather together to broke the old dejected and expired politicians. Getting stuck to the chairs for long closes the doors of opportunity for the young political aspirants who if given a chance might work wonders in the political field. It also means that the degeneration of democratic principles for political hegemony consequently gets birth out of this unfair practice.
Public opinion is considered everything in a democratic set up. It must be respected at all costs. Political priests of our state must feel the pulse of the public now. After all, the rulers are always considered to be of wise stuff. General will is in the favor of breaking political hegemonies and to reverse the trend of dynastic chain system to see new passionate and viable faces in the field who can lead the state with herculean strength and with indefatigable efforts. Rule of law prevails where there is no chaos and confusion, inequality and injustice, inefficiency and stagnation but when you are acting against the public will you are straight way creating these five counter- productive forces and with the result doing any good for the state, submerges it into the more dark depths. This reluctant behavior of legislators has tarnished the image of the politicians beyond repair.
Democracy, in itself, is a healthy process of governance. It is the greedy and the power hungry politicians who have damaged its essence by adopting wrong policies. People are losing trust in it because politics is being misused. It can be said with certainty that in our state it is standing on its last legs. If democracy is to survive politicians, legislators should never use power like tyrants but instead make their own selves too accountable before public. It is high time that retirement age for the politicians/legislators be fixed at an earliest, which is not a disgrace to our seniors or old politicians who have played their role in their post retirement period. In fact they can play a constructive role by drawing upon their vast experience, knowledge and wisdom-based to guide and advice on a variety of issues. Whereas, we have to gave youngsters a time to prove, only in a way when aging politicians retire and retire with grace and honor. Therefore, politicians should have retirement age or specified eligibility criteria, as its practice exists in several democracies of the world. Legislators must take up the issue for debate and discussion and pass the same for final resolution to restore the popular credibility in the process of democracy, a governing mechanism for their well being.
—The author can be reached at: Fidafirdous8@gamil.com