Viewers' Voice


Modern India tortures senior citizens

Alok Kumar Mishra


Delhi: The growing number of sexagenarians and their badey and chhotey bhai(s) thronging Lodi Gardens here seems to outnumber the youngsters’.

Visit Lodi Gardens in the morning or evening you will find dozens of aged persons clustering together chatting about family matters. If a regular visitor, chances are you will every so often find few senior citizens breaking down in the hands of their company men.

Most of the elderly living together with their sons prefer spending disproportionate amount of time away from home. They are among the firsts to come and among the lasts to go.

Talk to them and they will introduce you to a whole new world where people fling insults and expletives and even fists at their parents especially when they are too frail to face such things, where people keep up the false pretence of busy-ness to avoid all moral responsibilities like plague. They would take you to a world where under the camouflage of modernity and changing times children slaughter the faith and expectations of their parents.

“When values and ethics, morality and integrity were there we stood sentinel over them. That there is none today we are jobless. And people with no jobs are neglected and despised,” Chaudhury Charan Singh chuckles behind guarded screams.

Another frequenter, Ashank Mazumdar, who recently had a full blown fight with his grand daughter, a student of journalism at Delhi University, said: “Children no longer have time to lend ears to your harangues; and you can not help intervening when you see things going awry. And that is where problems start.”

S.P. Pillai also finds the green heaven on Lodi Road an oasis of calm and concord amidst cacophony and discord at his home.

“I don’t know why on earth my daughter-in-law and her parents are after my blood. My son is running the publishing agency that I founded and nurtured and is making handsome money,” he hissed and broke down, “They get angry when I get cold, infuriated when I get cough and go crazy when in I develop loose bowel moments.”

However Suresh Chandra Das, 71, is experiencing a dissimilar problem. Both of his sons run a consultancy in USA and are well settled. Extremely busy, they have been unable to visit the ailing septuagenarian for past 3 years however they remit luxurious amount of money every month.

“Money is a means to an end. But when it becomes the end the money maker takes a U- turn from the very purpose of making money,” Das said. It is his grand children whom Das misses the most and wants to hug them to the fullest of satisfaction before he dies.

Psychologists think changing life styles and growing expectations causes sourness in relationship between parents and children. “The young have a completely different set of values and expectations and the elderly a completely different one. Disturbances start when two different sets of values clash,” Matheu Millan, a psychologist running a private practice in Delhi, said.

However a yoga guru feels the responsibility lies entirely on children for such disputes. “A majority of the elderly are pretty less mentally agile to adopt to changes especially vulgar changes,” he said adding that the elderly had already gone through a massive change over the past years.

Raghab Das, a saint, based in Ayodhya, says, “It’s a paradox that even as such delinquencies are growing no substantial increase in the number of registered cases has been witnessed. The blame can be pinned on the insensitivity of the appellate authorities or the courage of our senior citizens to suffer can be hailed.”

The rush for useless money, the lure of unfounded modernity, and the shineless glamour of the changing world is fueling unhappiness in life, captivation of soul, and non-emancipation of mind. These are not the aims of humanity neither of the ‘changing world,’ the mahatma said.

The views expressed by the author are personal.



Good to see that we still have people with a heart of gold and compassion in our society.
This article brings out a very stark reality today, which most people tend to ignore.

Ms.Rama Naidu(MBE)


It is a piece of nice article based on modern lifestyle and misery of the senior citizens who cherish the dream that their wards will support them in the old age. But they face th opposite. Nice article. I love this.

Biswanath Praharaj Rajguru
Copy Editor / Reporter , ETV News, National Core Desk, RFC, Hyderabad