After touching a series of important issues, eleventh episode of Aamir Khan’s popular TV show ‘Satyamev Jayate’ pointed its anger towards the problems of senior citizens. The actor-producer talked about the fears attached to old age and the difficult survival of elderly members of the society.
Aging parents and their plights are not new; the society has been witnessing these things since long, however a significant development has taken place in last couple of decades. Arrival of the concept of old age homes has made children shy away from their responsibilities without experiencing the moral crisis, but the question is still the same. Can any shelter be a substitute of home?
Conventional Indian society has not accepted the western concept of ‘on your own’ yet. In middle class scenario, higher education still commands more respect than working right after the graduation. A child needs the most sincere support during that period which a parent tries his or her best to provide, but the problems start after the education is over. One finds it difficult to strike a balance between the professional and personal lives, without realising that when they are going places, their parents are getting old.
The typical Indian mindset is also responsible for it to some extent. The theory of ‘Kamaata bachchon ke liye hi toh hoon’ (I earn for my children only) causes a lot of problems. The children feel that they have absolute and justified right on their parents’ wealth and the atrocities start when they don’t get it normally.
One guest on the show Himanshu Rath went to the roots of the issue, he asked parents to share their happiness but not their wealth with children in very clear terms. This may sound awkward to many, but this can prevent the problem from spreading.
Senior citizens also need to show some courage like forming more dada-dadi parks and finding a partner. The marriage of Marathi Mr Joshi to a Malayalam woman should be seen as an ideal example to follow. What’s the point of spending the life without any thing to cheer about?
If Chandro can device her own methods to beat resourceful opponents at such an age, then others can too. Her mantra of ‘Mooh me Ram, haath me kaam’ is simple and fruitful.
It’s difficult to find ‘Thalaikoothal’ in today’s society but it certainly exists in different forms. Haven’t we heard of parents’ murder for a compensatory job?
Activists couldn’t be expected to come up with solutions of this problem as this is directly related to a family’s inside condition. Sympathy alone wouldn’t solve it, children should understand the social system first, and then they need to find out a way through which the aging parents can contribute and fit into that system.