Kolkata: Now at the very outset! How many of us are aware that today happens to be the World Senior Citizens’ Day? Let’s be honest, even if we were, a sense of indifference prevails.
Who bothers? There are better ways to spend the weekend – freak out or if it’s office day, get deluged in professional priorities. Do we have the time for our elders, majority of them oblivious to the importance of the day? A bit of reverence towards them would have made their day. But alas! Look around the social media – celebs merrily post pictures at random, announce their latest ventures and even opine on issues of ‘grave’ concerns, but the elderly is nowhere in the vicinity.
Now, how many of them actually are in the know-how on the day? Hardly anyone! Well, Union minister Nitin Gadkari has tweeted and so have some ordinary citizens, but are they enough?
Such is the deplorable plight of our senior citizens much to the chagrin of a miniscule section of our society. Condemnable, indeed! We marvel at providing government facilities to them, but in reality our apathy is shuddering.
At the mandatory adda, we discuss everything under the Sun – an array of views on the ongoing Afghan strife, a debate on Bihar CM Nitish Kumar finally set to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, heated discussions on West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee’s relentless mission to oust the BJP from Lutyens’ Delhi and some lecherous indulgence in what a beauty in the neighborhood is up to. Nobody even bothers to dwell upon the inhuman treatment meted out to our elders.
According to a survey reported by The Economic Times in 2019, more than 71 per cent of senior citizens in India were subjected to some kind of abuse which is distressing to say the least. Open the papers, stories of elderly parents tortured are rampant across spectra.
Our filmmakers have time and again explored the behavioural patterns of senior citizens – Avtaar, Saaransh, Baghban (still above), Bela Sheshe and others – these movies might have set the cash registers ringing at the box office, but have they impacted our mindset? When we force our parents to old-age homes to abdicate responsibilities, do we display our Being Human side?
Before winding up, even yours truly was more hooked to Afghanistan, Mamata Banerjee and Joe Biden and even Tiger Shroff’s Ganapath’s release date – a write-up on our senior citizens was way down in his priority list. Shame, utter shame! No self-aggrandizing here, bare truth!
On a parting note – the occasion reminds us of Nachiketa’s song Briddhashram (old-age home). We will all age and shouldn’t be surprised if we spend the twilight years in the ‘cosy’ confines of a home!
Again brutal truth!