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Why sanyas only for LK?

Why sanyas only for LK?
Highlights

Why Sanyas Only For Lok Sabha. Manmohan is clinging to office at 82. Prakash Singh Badal is firmly ensconced in the gaddi at 86. Deve Gowda wants to contest a LS at 81. M Karunanidhi was CM till electoral defeat threw him out at 86 (He will hit 90 this year). Things are not significantly better in India Inc, and in babucracy.

Manmohan is clinging to office at 82. Prakash Singh Badal is firmly ensconced in the gaddi at 86. Deve Gowda wants to contest a LS at 81. M Karunanidhi was CM till electoral defeat threw him out at 86 (He will hit 90 this year). Things are not significantly better in India Inc, and in babucracy. AM Naik is Chairman of Larsen & Toubro at 72, and Narayana Murthy was called back from retirement at 67

Media reports say nearly 90 babus being “parked as governors, information commissioners, and as heads or members of a slew of bodies such as the Union Public Service Commission, the National Commission for Minorities, Central Information Commission, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission and the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT). Most of these posts enjoy the rank of secretary to the government of India or above

For a culture that practically invented the concept of sanyas, in real life we seem to be shunning the idea altogether. We talk about sublimating the ego, but our leaders are all driven by pure ego and hubris.

We talk of sacrifice, but we are always lusting after power. The not-so-curious case of Lal Krishna Advani, who tried to embarrass his own party by playing his games, tells us what is wrong with us – and why we can never live up to our true potential till we abandon his attitudes.

At 86, LK Advani does not want sanyas or sunset. But he is not alone in this. Manmohan Singh is clinging to office at 82. Prakash Singh Badal is firmly ensconced in the gaddi at 86. Deve Gowda wants to contest a Lok Sabha election at 81. M Karunanidhi was CM till electoral defeat threw him out at 86 (He will hit 90 this year). VS Achuthanandan was Kerala CM late into his 80s, and at 90-plus today, the AAP is wooing him to join. Jyoti Basu didn’t leave office till 86.

Things are not significantly better in India Inc, and in babucracy. AM Naik is Chairman of Larsen & Toubro at 72, and NR Narayana Murthy was called back from retirement at 67. Ratan Tata did not retire till 75. Babus and judges refuse to quit till they are taken out feet first. They retire from one government job only to hop on to another post-retirement sinecure.

The Indian Express ran a series a couple of years ago showing retired babus and judges getting new jobs after retirement when they should be playing with their grandchildren or doing social work.

The Express found nearly 90 babus being “parked as governors, information commissioners, and as heads or members of a slew of bodies such as the Union Public Service Commission, the National Commission for Minorities, Central Information Commission, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission and the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT).

Most of these posts enjoy the rank of secretary to the government of India or above. In the case of some officers, new positions have been created to accommodate them.” As for judges, if they are appointed heads of inquiry commissions, it’s like a job for life. Former Supreme Court Justice GT Nanavati not only headed the commission to look into the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, but now heads the Gujarat probe into the 2002 riots.

He is still at it, 12 years later, at age 79. Justice MS Liberhan took 17 years to submit his Babri demolition report.

Quite clearly, Indians are unwilling to take sanyas even when it is long overdue. In a country where more than 95 percent of the population was born after independence, our senior leadership seems is disproportionately drawn from the pre-independence generations. Little wonder, their mindsets are a serious problem.

However, this article is not just about age, but all the attitudes that excessive respect for age engenders in us. Here is my personal list of attitudes that we ought to dump if we are to progress as a nation. We have to start with age, even though I plead not guilty to the charge of ageism.

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