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oldest, longest-serving parliamentarian is in India

Rishang Keishing, a charming 94-year-old Baptist from Manipur, sits in the upper house, the Rajya Sabha. He is believed to be the oldest MP in the world. Looking fit in his gold-rimmed glasses and a neat blue shirt, Mr Keishing remains alert and well-informed. Elected to independent India’s first parliament in 1952, he offers the long view of politics.

Now he laments endless confrontation, posturing for television, widespread graft and constant shouting during debates. The result: this parliament has passed fewer laws and sat for less time than any full parliament in India’s history. He worries that voters are losing respect for the institution, though not for democracy. He plans to retire in April.Sadly, what Mr Keishing sees is mostly parliamentary decline. He recalls constructive, articulate debates soon after independence, when members respected the speaker as if “a priest in a church”. Elected politicians, he says, perhaps a little rosily, had a readiness to serve the people and “the corruption we see today was completely absent.”

At 91, Politician Remembers the First Parliament -

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I had to do a double take that he was talking about India's parliament not America's congress.

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