It may not be happening in your house, but it definitely is happening in someone’s – at this very moment. Elderly abuse is a rambling and persistent issue that the society has been facing. And of late, we are being greeted with standoffish videos of people mistreating the elderly inside the safety of their houses, and on roads. This barbarism has been bullying helpless souls, because they are the softest of targets and the meekest of people. So, this is where we draw a line between social quarantine and humanity.
An unnerving video of an octogenarian being abused and assaulted by her daughter in Delhi’s Kalkaji area has disturbed the society and netizens alike. The video surfaced online a few days ago, and went viral since. In the video – that has been captured by a neighbour – the 85-year-old woman is seen sitting on a balcony. Moments later her daughter walks out and tries to drag her inside by force. When the woman resists her vehemence, her daughter slaps her hard, while hurling a few invectives.
A neighbour records the disgraceful act on her camera. She austerely tells the daughter to have some shame, assaulting her guiltless mother like that. While it is not audible, animated hand gestures suggest the daughter is asking her neighbour to stay away. Her mother, meanwhile, has been reduced to a howling mess.
While neighbours’ intervention brought the case under the local police’s scanner, the octogenarian had refused to file a plaint against her daughter, citing ‘personal differences’ and ‘anger issues’.
Yes, this is the face of viciousness. Often, people who inflict torture are the ones who defend their ‘pent-up’ frustration/anger by stating a certain unfairness or contravention. Psychologically, they are convinced they have been wronged all their life, and physically abusing someone is just giving them a fair outlet to release their heightened emotions. These people must be dealt with sternly, without doubt. There is the law that is beyond every misdemeanour. But the foremost step would be to counsel such families, where physical and emotional exploitation is considered ‘alright’ as long as it is a family fiasco.
But when you are a part of a society, you cannot indulge in activities that disturb the social tuning – it is unfair and insensitive. Besides, life has a way of coming to a full circle, thanks to the concept of karma and the fact that it is the severest of teachers.
It is an earnest request to everybody who is a part of a family and the social milieu – there will come a time when you will grow old, when your limbs will cease to be strong. What you are doing today, will come back to haunt you tomorrow. Would you want an abusive life for yourself as well? If not, then stop manipulating and assaulting those who have absolutely no strength to fight back.