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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Pope resigns; will there be retirement age for politicians too... !!

This is unheard of in the previous six centuries ~ retirement, a common term when it comes to people working and sportspersons, and others.   All office goers retire at 60 or at 58 in some cases; the Nation has seen enough debate on whether Sachin Tendulkar should continue or should call it a day, taking a decision to retire from Test Cricket…. Before the start of Pak series, he announced his retirement from One dayers, bringing  curtains on one of the greatest ever saga of batsmanship after creating so many World records. 

World over, Pope Benedict XVI’s surprise announcement on Monday that he will resign on Feb. 28 sets the stage for a succession battle that is likely to determine the future course of a church and has taken many by surprise.  Citing advanced years and infirmity, Benedict became the first pope in six centuries to resign. Vatican officials said they hoped to have a new pope in place by Easter, while expressing shock at a decision that some said had been made as long as a year ago.

Even Pope retires; but in India where retirement is compulsory for all office goers, there is none for politicians…. In the 9th Lok Sabha elections, there was this gentleman who at the ripe age of 89 was contesting the elections and actually won by a handsome margin too…. That was ‘Mr NG Ranga’. 

Gogineni Ranga nayukulu, better known as N. G. Ranga (1900 – 1995), was an Indian freedom fighter, parliamentarian, and kisan (farmer) leader. He was an exponent of the peasant philosophy, and considered the father of the Indian Peasant Movement after Swami Sahajanand Saraswati. Ranga was born in Nidubrolu village in Guntur District of Andhra Pradesh; he taught Economics at  Pachaiyappa's College, Madras.

In 1957 he was elected to the 2nd Lok Sabha from Tenali; the next 2 seasons he got elected as representative of Swatantra party and then returned to Congress fold in 4th, 7th, 8th and 9th.  He quit the Congress Party and founded the Bharat Krushikar Lok Party and the Swatantra Party, along with Rajaji but  rejoined the Congress (I) in 1972. Ranga served the Indian Parliament for six decades from 1930 to 1991.

There is another elderly person who is 92 years old, a Member of the Parliament of India representing Manipur in the Rajya Sabha; he as Chief Minister of Manipur from 1980 to 1988 and from 1994 to 1997.  It is Rishang Keishing who got elected to the first Lok Sabha in 1952.   He was felicitated on Parliament turning 60 for his regular attendance.  

There have been Governors and some others occupying high posts at ripe old ages when their senses, memory fail them and the physique also does not support them.  It is high time, India had a fixed age restriction for politicians too

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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