Saturday April 01, 2023

Watch and learn

January 29, 2023

Jacinda Ardern recently stepped down as the PM of New Zealand saying “I am human. We give as much as we can for as long as we can and then it’s time. And for me, it’s time”. This was her last speech as PM. She took power in 2017, aged just 37, and could have easily remained in office for years to come. However, she felt that she would not be able to perform to the level required and decided to end her premiership on her own terms. Her actions and words sound totally alien and unbelievable to us as the politicians in our country believe in ‘till death do us apart’ when it comes to power.

No wonder that despite being a country of fewer than five million people, New Zealand has a nominal GDP almost as high as ours. Arden exhibited the best of democratic norms and political integrity by stepping down the moment she felt she could not give her best to the country. On the contrary, our leaders try to cling to power for as long as they can breathe and, almost always, have little to show for it.

Raja Shafaatullah