Underlining the need for changing the image of the "ugly Indian politician", senior BJP leader L K Advani on Tuesday said one way of making this possible was by encouraging more young people to join politics.
"I tell my fellow politicians, particularly those belonging to my own party, that it is our duty to erase this image of the 'ugly Indian politician'....It is necessary for the best and the brightest among the youth to join politics and serve the nation," Advani said.
He was speaking at a seminar on "National Values Crisis and its Redressal" organised by the Foundation for Restoration of National Values.
The 81-year-old leader cited Transparency International's annual reports where India ranks high in the corruption index and the United Nations report in which India ranks low in the Human Development Index. He held responsible the lack of professionalism among politicians as the reason for this state of affairs.
"Politics was a noble profession during the freedom Movement...After Independence, the spirit of mission got gradually diluted...Unfortunately, in India today politics is seen neither as a mission nor as a profession, but as pure commerce," Advani lamented.
However, the senior leader pointed out that it was not just in politics that the values had gone down. "The lack of integrity and professional ethics is seen among lawyers, judges, doctors.... And even security personnel. It is seen even in the media," Advani said.
BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate said though the intelligence quotient of an individual could develop lifelong, his emotional, moral and spiritual quotient developed mostly between the age of 15 and 25 years.
"It is necessary for the young to join politics and serve the nation," he said.