Monday, February 8, 2010

comment from Reader on "The Elderly are left out in the new India"

I read with some interest an article on the web about old age and parents facing old age. My husband commuted from the US to India every 3 months for 7 years to take care of his dad. My father-in-law passed away 2 years ago. He was in an retirement home cared day and night with nurses and a visiting doctor. My father-in-law refused to leave India and settle with us in the US. My husban's brothers who live in India refused to take care of him. My husband, I am happy to say, fulfilled his duties as a son despite the hassle of commuting from the US to India, the financial strain that it put on our family, and other things.

In the article it has quoted you as saying that the suffering of the vast majority of old people in India is because of Hinduism. To quote the Gita out of context and blaming Krishna's words because he said the body will die one day and it is the soul that matters is not correct.

We took care of our elders in India because of Hinduism; because Hinduism and its teachings has always put emphasis on respecting elders and taking care of them in their old age. All our puranas and other religious text repeat this over and over again. So to say that Hinduism is the reason for the abandonment of old people unlike Christianity or Judaism is unfair. I know that it has become fashionable in India to bash Hinduism and call people who try to deny such unfair words all kinds of names.

Many from the older generation are being neglected not because they follow Hinduism but because they have abandoned the old ideals because it belongs to "old ways" and it is "not westernized enough." Starting from Bollywood it has become fashionable to bash our old values (yes, the basic Hindu value of taking care of our old people. The joint family was a Hindu practice Sir) as "poorana." Is it a big surprise that young people today are ashamed of following those values?

Mathru devo bhava and Pitru devo bhava are Hindu values Sir.


1 comment:

saahilk said...

Nice Post. It's rather unfortunate that the elderly people are neglected in India. I was reading an article on the Jaago Re site the other day. This article mentioned that there are over 100 million elderly people (65 plus)in India. The astonishing figure is that just 1 million people are being taken care of!