Age is just a number

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These days the buzz word doing the rounds is the power of the youth be it in the world of business, to politics to whatever else comes to your mind. Stretching it to a limit where in the people in their 60’s are made to feel ancient and past their sell by date!!

Isn’t this a fallacious thinking?? I totally agree that youth has brings in new thought processes , new ideas that we can do with but at the cost of negating the experience of decades is just not justified. With the advancement of medical sciences and better lifestyle the 60’s isn’t what it was used to be. We see examples of people all around us whose mental and physical agility can give loads of youngsters a run for their money. Someone famous recently suggested that people beyond 60 should take up retirement really??? Its asking a man in his prime to sit at home and wither away is knowledge, experience acquired over the years.

Who decides what is young and what is old? The age, experience or your physical prowess!! When does someone seizes to be a youth? I became a father in my thirties where as my father first became a Maternal Grand Dad when we was in his thirties. So by virtue of me being just a dad makes me any younger than my father who was a granddad at around the same age ?? The indefatigable Dev Anand once famously said that age is just a number.

Late Jawahar Lal Nehru was 58 when he became the Prime Minister of India, a tenure that lasted for a full 17 years till 1964, till he passed away at the age of 75. He was visionary an architect of Modern India the fruits of his labor continue to ignite young minds even after so many years the case in point being the establishment of IIT’s and IIM’s . He built modern factories and worked on the much needed industrialization post independence. His secular credentials were unmatched and beyond question. Inspite of all the possible opposition from both inside and the outside the government he bought the Hindu Code Bill.

And look at some of the examples in front of us: Hardik Patel, 22 yrs old is talking about caste politics and the young Aditya Thackeray who I thought would bring in a modern outlook to the otherwise traditional Shiv Sena continues to dwell in the politics of the 60’s. Seldom do we see the youth coming out in numbers to vote during any given elections. If the youth don’t take vote what change can they possibly ask for ??

The noted Patrick French had in a study discovered that every Member of Parliament under the age of 30 had inherited a seat. That 65 per cent between the ages of 31 and 40, and 36.8 per cent between the ages of 41 and 50 were from political families. This reflects the preference of the voters to elect experience acquired either through age or through their lineage.

The new business ideas that the youth have come up for a long term sustainability is few and far in between. Recently the Ex- Infosys Director Mohan Das Pai said that only 10% of Start-Ups will be very successful, 25 % will stay afloat and a whopping 65% will fail.  That says a lot about their business models. Where is our own Mark Zukerberg someone who has risen through his own grit and determination and not someone backed by old money or on family back-ups.

I in no way advocate to completely write-off the power of the youth to bring about the change and to shake up the system out of its slumber but again it has to be bought around with the experience of a generation preceding theirs !!

For Sixties is the new Forties …

Like the Poet Firaq said in this couplet

रात भी, नींद भी, कहानी भी,

है क्या चीज़ है जवानी भी !!

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