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Debate | Tathagata Satpathy on Quitting Politics for Journalism

60+ may be seen as a prime age for politicans, but Tathagata Satpathy wants young people to join politics. 

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It’s rare to hear of a successful politician quitting politics right before a big election to focus on journalism.

Four-time member of parliament from the Biju Janata Dal, Tathagata Satpathy spoke to BloombergQuint to explain the reasons behind his departure from politics and why he thinks that after achieving certain goals, politicians should venture beyond politics to serve people.

“I am now 63 years old. I thought when we are always talking about India going to be the youngest country with the largest population below 35 in 2020 – and I have have been hearing this for the past 15 years in the Lok Sabha – What are we old hags doing?...All politicians above 60 should quit!”
Tathagata Sathpathy

‘Back to My Passion of Journalism’

Sathpathy said, “My 12-and-a-half-year-old son told me, “Baba, you leave this and be at home in Orissa and spend more time for journalism and with me.”

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“He will leave soon, just four more years, and so I thought this was an opportune moment. I had done the best to my abilities and beliefs to what I could contribute for free liberal, democratic thoughts in this country,” he continued.

“I thought instead of making announcements why don’t I make a move? Why don’t I do something and with my son pushing me, I thought journalism is where I belong to. I have been the editor of two newspapers – Dharitri and OrissaPost. I have been writing my editorials, but have not been able to give them justice in terms of time to the two newspapers that I own and edit, but I will go back to my passion.”
Tathagata Sathpathy

He also said, “I will try to be impartial and fearless in our journalism.”

“Through journalism, I would like to try in Orissa to build a social leadership which will be above and beyond political leadership. Something that speaks about the people.”
Tathagata Sathpathy

‘Politicians Often Go To Extreme Lengths to Stay in Power’

Sathpathy further spoke on the requirements of politicians, and how best they can serve the public.

“I also believe that politicians in India, like in the West, should have a core competency in some profession. When we take up politics as a profession, we go to extreme lengths to damage whatever is required to stay in power and I don’t believe in that.”
Tathagata Sathpathy

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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