OPINION

Lonely at Sixty

March 07, 2009
Shantanu Dutta

A couple of days ago, I opened up the newspaper to read that an elderly couple living in an upper middle class locality had committed suicide suddenly. There was no ostensible reason for this, but the newspaper reported that they were desperately lonely and a point came when they felt that they could not endure it any longer. They had several children; their youngest lived with them, but the others; married and with families of their own lived within a couple of hundred miles away from Delhi.  

This one of course was not the first suicide occurring among the elderly in Delhi, and neither will it be the last. Although the government in Delhi has tried to be responsive to the needs of him elderly in much way – it has a helpline for access by senior citizens, increased policing, free medical aid, bus travel and what not. But all the help that government and civil society organizations can and do provide does not alleviate the pain of loneliness and abandonment that our senior citizens go through.

But this is not just a Delhi thing, though this could well be an urban thing. Last year, BBC had covered the story of Laxmibai Laxmidas Paleja in Mumbai, whose grandson and daughter in law were abusing her and speaks of Laxmi bai’s hapless condition “"I'm old. I couldn't defend myself. I was bleeding all over. I've got bruises all over my body. Then they just bundled me in a car and dumped me here at my daughter's house."

There has been a steady rise recently in reports of cases of elderly being abused, harassed and abandoned in India and it does not need the BBC to tell us that Joint family systems - where three or more generations lived under one roof - were a strong support network for the elderly and they have more or less disappeared – at least in the cities.

But more children are now leaving their parental homes to set up their own. Sociologists say the pressures of modern life and the more individualistic aspirations of the young are among reasons why the elderly are being abandoned or, in some cases, abused.

Delhi University professor Kum Kum Srivastava makes a telling comment when she says that "I think this a child-oriented society, not a parent-oriented one anymore." Meanwhile, demographically, India is getting younger as a nation and the problems and aspirations of the youth alone are increasingly getting centre stage. But even so, India has more 60m men and women older than 65 and the problems of the elderly are multiplying, and with societal trends going the way they are, the problems of the elderly are likely to get more and more sidelined.

Although organizations like Helpage have long been around, typically NGOs and other organizations have a bias towards the poor and the marginalized. This is a bit irrelevant hee considering that many of the emotional deprivation that the elderly suffer are likely to more accentuated in the isolation that upper or middle class living brings. Despite there being a National Policy on Older Persons and several schemes for the physical welfare of our senior citizens, the emotional gap and loneliness is a need that looks set to grow at a much faster pace than can typically be met.

Shantanu Dutta is a medical doctor by training and a development professional by vocation. His writings mostly deal with change, complexity and conversion and tries to look at a changing world through heaven's eyes.
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#1
Sumanth
March 7, 2009
03:33 PM

We only wanted to convert India into UNITED States of America.

So, does it matter if elders are abused?

What matters is only the young people working hard like donkeys and then partying hard.

There are so many people in India, who already know what is right and wrong. So, they can easily find a solution for these problems.

In the meanwhile, 50% of Indian children are abused as well out of which 21% children face severe abuse.

Does it all matter to our working hard partying hard(WHPH) category of social transformers and creative thinkers?

It will not also matter, if these 21% of children become murderers, rapists, hooligans and psychopaths in next 8 to 10 years. When crimes increase, we all can blame the police commissioner running a demoralised pathologically corrupt police force and send him baskets of Pink Sanitary napkins.

After all, the urban convent educated enlightened know what is right and wrong. They can decide for all of us using their great brains, on which direction the country and society should go.

Let us ask USAID,UNICEF, UNIFEM, UNFPA etc about the solutions to elder abuse. After all these are the agencies, which control country's policies related to family structure and society. These geniuses can put an end to the problems within days.

#2
SD
March 7, 2009
04:05 PM

"We only wanted to convert India into UNITED States of America"

Why did you want to do that? And was this only you and your group of buddies that wanted to do this conversion or the whole nation?

#3
Slime_id
March 7, 2009
04:36 PM

the issue is love, being cared by. elder homes r fine and self reliant.

we have elders day, mothers day, granny day, seniors day. we also have nurses trained to attend to seniors. govt also has a law where elders can sue children if care is not taken properly.

SD, you are right, the conversion is done.

#4
kaffir
March 7, 2009
06:19 PM

Sumanth, no worries. All we have to do is campaign for an annual "Geriatric Day" when people can send greetings and cards to their parents in elderly homes, while they party hard. I'm sure Hallmark, GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer can be roped in to sponsor this day, and add it to the pantheon of "Mother's Day", "Father's Day" and "Valentine Day". Hey, at least "Geriatric Day" would be originally India's, since AFAIK USA doesn't have one...yet. :)

#5
Ledzius
March 8, 2009
01:33 AM

There is something called "National grandparents day" in the US. See
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Grandparents_Day

#6
kerty
March 8, 2009
11:04 AM

Ledz

I am not surprised that National grandparents day exists. West has reduced all relationships to tokenism and symbolic existence. I wonder why its celebration have not taken off big at commercial level which is surprising as commercial establishment usually jumps at any excuse. Perhaps they have so many grandpas from both sides from multiple marriages. Perhaps people are still struggling at mother and father level, and grandpa/ma seems so distant and far-removed to their lives. When parents themselves are struggling to remain within their definition of family, grandpa/ma have fat chance. When notion of nuclear family has become a political taboo, notion of joint family or extended family would sound like a revolutionary upheaval. Its a society that is built around social contract, not relationships. Young generation is paying taxes for the care of Grandpa generation, so every social security pay day is a gift to Grandpa and celebration of Grandpa day by the young. Have professionals take care of the aged and let Grandpas live in freedom that social security money can buy. So the contract is still solvent and viable.

#7
Ritu
URL
March 8, 2009
11:56 AM

Kerty, we have enough 'Days' in our Indian culture as well. It is high time we stopped berating the west for their 'Father's day', 'Mother's day' concepts. What is 'Bhaiyya Dooj' and 'Raksha Bandhan' if not a 'Brother's day'? In the olden days when sisters were married off to far flung places, this gave them the opportunity to return home and bond with their brothers (and the rest of the family).

In North Indian wedding rituals, every relative of the bride and groom have a pre-defined role and ritual. What was the purpose of it? To make everyone feel involved in the wedding.

I find 'Father's day' and 'Mother's day' no different from Raksha Bandhan and Bhaiyya Dooj. It is just that our society evolved with these rituals centuries ago that we have forgotten why they came into being and these rituals are new because the American society is new.

The other point is that, we have this skewed vision of lack of family values in the west(its not only you guys but many people I come across in India). I have seen enough Americans spending week-ends at their parents place to rake their lawn and clean the snow. I have seen them make 2 hour long journeys every week-end to check on an ailing parent. I also know many Americans who have old parents either living with them or in very close proximity. On the other hand I hear constant tales of youngsters in India abuse old parents who live with them. Even in the olden days many parents (esp. moms) were abandoned by their families to live in religious places like Brindaban, Banaras etc.

Both the systems have their pros and cons. People suffered in the joint family system as well but things rarely came to light. On the other hand people have close-knit and loving relationships within the nuclear family ambit more often than not.


#8
Ayan Roy
March 8, 2009
12:27 PM

Ritu, brilliant comment and spot on! Agree with you totally.

#9
kaffir
March 8, 2009
02:19 PM

"It is just that our society evolved with these rituals centuries ago that we have forgotten why they came into being and these rituals are new because the American society is new."

==
Ritu, are you saying you are (or were) unaware of the stories behind these two festivals, as well as the relevance of these festivals?
And if you find value in "Mother's Day" and "Father's Day", then doesn't it say something for a culture that already has festivals to celebrate brother-sister relationship? I guess people who started Bhai duuj and Rakhi were not stupid and were aware of the significance of relationships, and some thought must've gone into those festivals.

The West is more than welcome to continue celebrating "Father's Day" and "Mother's Day" - I have no issue with that. I have no issue with borrowing from other cultures either. The issue is blindly aping everything from the west as "better" than what's in Indian culture, and adopting it without examination or without any thought given to what impact it'll have.

#10
kaffir
March 8, 2009
02:27 PM

Ritu, just to be clear, I'm not saying that you are aping the west.

#11
commonsense
March 8, 2009
02:56 PM

Kaffir:

"Ritu, just to be clear, I'm not saying that you are aping the west."

I have heard of the charge levelled against the west, of "raping the east". Aping the west, is a new one!

#12
commonsense
March 8, 2009
02:59 PM

Kaffir:

""I have no issue with borrowing from other cultures either. The issue is blindly aping everything from the west as "better" than what's in Indian culture,""

hmm, except when it comes to a "better" understanding of India. Mark Tully gets it "better" than most Indians; thus spake the kaffir.

#13
kaffir
March 8, 2009
03:17 PM

Oh cs. :)
You continue to amuse me with your (unsuccessful, I might add) attempts at sarcasm aimed at me.

#14
Kerty
March 8, 2009
04:25 PM

Ritu

"What is 'Bhaiyya Dooj' and 'Raksha Bandhan' if not a 'Brother's day'? In the olden days when sisters were married off to far flung places, this gave them the opportunity to return home and bond with their brothers (and the rest of the family)."

There is a reason brother-sister relationship is subjected to tokenism, and not considered at par with all other relationships within the family ie brother-bother, father/mother-son, husband-wife. Because sister is considered a Paraya Dhan, destined to be her husbands family, that brother-sister relationship is not fully integrated. There are many communities where father will not even stay or drink water at his daughter's Sasural. Restrictions are placed upon father-daughter and brother-sister integration after girl's marriage. So it makes sense to celebrate them at a tokenist level by reserving special days.

#15
Aditi N
March 8, 2009
05:11 PM

If it makes sense only to celebrate bonds which have restrictions on them we should be celebrating damn near everything in India.

There are restrictions on bloody everything from wearing jeans to inter-religious marriages!

India should have one big party every friggin day for all those million things we have restrictions on from father-daughter (!), brother-sister (!), boyfriend-girlfriend, girlfriend-girlfriend, boyfriend-boyfriend, Hindu-Muslim, Hindu-Christian, Christian-Muslims, inter-gender friendship...........

all those different things we have restrictions on but are actually legal as per our constitution and yet we are still scared to do in our beautiful free democratic, secular country that we so bravely snatched out of the Britisher's wicked wicked clutches.

Isn't freedom just beautiful! So, so beautiful. Sighhh.

#16
kerty
March 8, 2009
06:07 PM

Aditi: "Hindu-Muslim, Hindu-Christian, Christian-Muslims, inter-gender friendship"

Those relationships are at very superficial and tokenist level, confined only to certain spheres. There is no full integration.

#17
Aditi N
March 8, 2009
06:35 PM

Yeah, thanks for clearing that up kerty. We are just all gathered here collecting your blessed pearls of wisdom about Indian culture. We know nothing about relationships and their implications in India.

That's why we empty souls seek purpose by celebrating Valentine's Day and other such empty "Western" rituals. We, the fallen souls, wear jeans and engage in other such vices.

You and only you can save our souls from this impending culture-less doom. Enlighten us kerty! Enlighten us.

#18
Ledzius
March 9, 2009
05:00 AM

Maybe they should also come up with "Send flowers to your ex day" in these days of starter marriages.

#19
Aditi N
March 9, 2009
10:59 AM

You can come up with a few more ridiculous days to celebrate but the fact remains that as long as people have the intelligence and freedom of choice to decide what they want to and do not want to celebrate, any day should be fine. We are not sheep. We ultimately do what we want to do if we have our sanity, freedom and rights, and to claim that commercialism forces us to do things which don't in some way define us, is just a lame argument.

When has celebrating something hurt anyone...unless of course you were unfortunate enough to lose an eye by a water balloon on Holi or were burnt by a firecracker rocket someone set off outside your balcony on Diwali (or on the "India won the cricket match against Pakistan" Day that we celebrate once in a while)

#20
Kerty
March 9, 2009
02:50 PM

'any day should be fine. We are not sheep."

But that is exactly the rationale behind setting aside a fixed day - it treats people as sheep and and wants people to follow it like sheep.

"to claim that commercialism forces us to do things which don't in some way define us, is just a lame argument."

One should also apply the same yardsticks when dealing with malpractices in social and cultural spheres.

#21
Ledzius
March 10, 2009
01:20 AM

"We ultimately do what we want to do if we have our sanity, freedom and rights, and to claim that commercialism forces us to do things which don't in some way define us, is just a lame argument."

Oh, so in the US, you can do whatever you want, eh? I know in most neighbourhoods in the US, people are obsessed about not their lawns, but also their neighbours, and leave nasty messages at their doorstep if they find their lawns hadn't been mowed regularly. Talk about individual freedom. An Indian man has actually been sent to 30 days in jail by the damn Americans because he didnt mow his lawn! If you don't believe that, here is the link-
http://articles.latimes.com/1999/oct/22/local/me-24978

When it comes to minding their own business, no society is perfect. Some societies are more concerned about a dry patch or an overgrown neighbouring lawn than the public display of cleavage or butt-crack of those neighbours. As they say, to each his own.

#22
Ritu
URL
March 10, 2009
01:35 AM

So you think celebrating Holi and Diwali is also sheep mentality? any festival where a collection of people do the same thing could be considered as 'aping'. Unwittingly you are using the same argument that you espouse against the west yourself.

The idea to do something collectively is to take enthusiasm from each other. That is what society is all about. That is what community living is all about.


#23
Kerty
March 10, 2009
02:17 AM

Ritu

Religious festivals are family and community affairs. They are communal events. They are not expression of freedom or individualism, and not celebrated as such. When expression of individualism are imported or set aside for collective celebration - it requires people to ape and follow them like a sheep - it is antithesis of freedom and individualism. BTW, the term 'sheep' was used by Aditi(#19), I am only pointing out the irony.

#24
dark lord
March 10, 2009
07:33 AM

"Because sister is considered a Paraya Dhan, destined to be her husbands family, that brother-sister relationship is not fully integrated....So it makes sense to celebrate them at a tokenist level by reserving special days. "

ROTFL

#25
Aditi N
March 10, 2009
12:47 PM

Ledzius: pls tell me you are not comparing nasty notes about mowing your lawns to having Ram Sene people assaulting those who want to celebrate V's day :) Haha.

Would a political party leave nasty notes on your lawn if you didn't mow it?

And yes, in the US we do what we want to. Absolutely...as long it does not violate other people's rights and freedoms. A note is not that scary. Nobody attacks us for wearing salwar kameez or sarees etc. And if they somehow did, the police at least for sure will be on my side. I not only say this, I can guarantee it.

It is just sad...I am an Indian and I feel safer in the US. I feel protected by those who are paid by my taxes to protect me.

kerty "But that is exactly the rationale behind setting aside a fixed day - it treats people as sheep and and wants people to follow it like sheep"

It doesn't turn into one does it? That is surely up to you.

Lame argument.


#26
Indra dhanush
March 10, 2009
01:33 PM

"And yes, in the US we do what we want to. Absolutely...as long it does not violate other people's rights and freedoms. A note is not that scary."

Maybe you should move to rural alabama and have tea and crumpets with the KKK.

"Nobody attacks us for wearing salwar kameez or sarees etc"

You really should move to Alabama. Or even to New Jersey..

"And if they somehow did, the police at least for sure will be on my side."

You really really should move. To Alabama, Mississippi, ex-Atlanta Georgia, or even to New Jersey.

"I not only say this, I can guarantee it."

Never mind - stay in your state of ignorance. You are better off there.

#27
kerty
March 10, 2009
01:55 PM

Aditi

People feel safer in USA because millions of people carry guns for self-defense, millions are locked up in jail, millions are welfared and sedated by robbing the taxpayers. Somebody else always pay for your freedom and security. I will let Sumanth strut statistics how safe people are in USA.

Those scary notes on the lawns can cost if they are from the city based on neighbor complaints. I have had 3 scary notes in last 15 years and each of them cost me money. First one was about 10 degree bent on my mail box pole that was hit by a postal van - the best was barely visible but somebody found it worth complaining to the city. The other one was floor tiles stacked on my driveway during floor renovation of my house - the infraction had lasted no more than 3-4 days but some people didn't like it, hence complained. The last one was about putting the tree trimmings out as garbage over the weekend which was 2 days earlier than the scheduled garbage pickup date. All of them were one time infractions but I was ticketed by the city based on complaint received from neighborhood. We have had police stop by couple of times because neighbors complaining about noise during weekend family gatherings in an apartment. We have had dotbusters in NJ, countless shooting of Indians at their businesses - most robbers view Indians as soft targets. There are some gangs in Chicago that target only Indian homes for burglary as they know most Indians have some cash and jewlary at home. Police or no police. Shit can happen in Banglore, and it can also happen in Brooklyn.

"Lame argument."

It isn't a lame argument if you have to respond to it.

#28
Aditi N
March 10, 2009
02:30 PM

kerty: firstly you can't tell me why I feel safe. Only my shrink and I would know that. :)

but just the fact that you are relying on Sumanth for statistics is enough to put a grin on my face. so thanx for that.

I don't have a gun. I still feel safer here. It has nothing to do with gun laws. its actually pretty simple for me: if I feel threatened and call 911, help arrives, I can rely on them to not only respond to my call but in case I cannot speak or give details on the phone or am lost/ stranded/ delirious, they locate me using satellite devices/ telephone number, do whatever it takes and find me, and when they do arrive within minutes, they are on my side (unless I am the perpetrator).

I've been in such situations and know firsthand the difference between Indian and American law enforcement.

"Shit can happen in Banglore, and it can also happen in Brooklyn"

Sure, it can. I think that my chances of surviving this "shit" with the help of law enforcement are just way better in Brooklyn.


"It isn't a lame argument if you have to respond to it"

If I stopped responding to all lame arguments, I wouldn't be on DC or in research.

#29
Aditi N
March 10, 2009
02:38 PM

Indra Danush: I have lived in New Jersey for several years actually :) There are more Indians and Chinese people there than there are Americans :D I dunno whose ignorance is being exposed here.

BTW Georgia? Are you serious? Are you talking about like in the 60s or something? Have you lived in Georgia recently?

BTW, you gave me examples of rural Alabama and Missisipi. How about the commercial capital of Bombay. Not rural or village areas...lets talk about the big cities in India. Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai. Are we safer there than we are in say L.A or NYC?

there are racist people every where. The question is how well does the law enforcement protect you from these people if they decided to attack you or assault you.




#30
SD
March 10, 2009
02:47 PM

I repeat a question I had asked a while ago: Aren't Ram Sene, Shiv Sena etc. political parties?

If I read the news correctly, Ram Sene sanctioned assault on people who celebrated Valentine's Day, girls who wore western clothing or visited a pub (??!) etc.

And Shiv Sena actually carried out attacks against people of their own country because they were "North Indians" in Mumbai which according to them belonged to "Marathis".

Why are people comparing political parties which represent the population and the constitution to KKK, gun weilding criminals, nasty neighbors etc in the US?

kerty and Indra Danush: I can assure you that if your neighbor assaulted you or attacked you, you can call the police....even in Missisipi, Alabama (which are really not that bad anymore...maybe some years ago).

#31
Kerty
March 10, 2009
04:03 PM

Aditi

"The question is how well does the law enforcement protect you from these people if they decided to attack you or assault you."

Finally, something you and sumanth can agree on. Sumanth too believes neither laws or law-enforcements are fair and adequate in India.


Indra:

There is sharp urban rural divide in Alabama. Rural Alabama is much safe, at least if you are a white, and to some extent, even if you are a Black. I own a gas station in rural Alabama, population 15k, and it is totally crime free, zero crime in last several years, only two cops on the beat for the whole town. They are regular at my gas station and have nothing but juicy gossips on the town people. They seem so harmless guys. I have heard of old white boys network, but I am too small a fry in their town for them.

80 miles north is Montgomery, Alabama, a big urban town, where I almost bought a big truck stop by I-65, but my buddy beat me to it and I helped him with the initial set up last year. I had visited that truck stop number of times during day time as a part of due diligence. It seemed nice safe neighborhood. So it came as a complete shock to me when I saw the place get complete 360 degree make over after 6pm. The whole neighborhood got completely transformed after 6pm and the truck stop became a central hub of drug and sex circus show that went on all night long. Hundreds of trucks and cars were doing their business any time you look. Literally hundreds of hookers, drug dealers, johns and trucks everywhere you look. Couple of police cars hanged out, but as long as there was no violence, they stayed up and didn't bother anybody. The merchandise were robbed every night, customers routinely walkout without paying, employees were routinely abused and beaten up, police were called every night but did nothing. Couple of Indian employees were beaten up so bad no other Indian employee was willing to work there anymore. We tried to seek city and police help to clean up the truck stop, but their standard refrain was 'call us if somebody harms you'. We hired couple of big bad bouncers from Atlanta to keep elements off the property, but they were no match for drug dealers and pimps. It didn't took us long to realize why previous owner had sold this turkey to us at such throw-away bargain price. Not whole Montgomery is like this, of course, but this is a typical landscape in many urban areas. What was shocking was the brazen do-nothing attitude of the law enforcement in Montgomery which was in sharp contrast to law enforcement I experienced in rural Alabama - I guess they both were laid back but there was no much it was required to do in a rural setting. I know police is not so brazen in other states, at least not in chicago where I live.

The rural America is defined by the attitudes of people - that is where sharp contrasts come from.

#32
Aditi N
March 10, 2009
05:39 PM

kerty: believe it or not, I get the feeling that Sumanth and I may have a lot more in common in terms of idealogies...it just gets lost in the fact that we are very different when it comes to mode and tone of expression and the manner in which we place forth our arguments.
******************************************

BTW I wanted to add that Shantanu's article raises some very important questions and I feel terrible about having contrubuted towards leading this thread astray from the relevant discussion it could be.

One of the things I did love about India and felt was lacking here in the US was the care, consideration and respect a majority of people give to elders. And to start realizing that things aren't that great in that area makes me sad. Personally I feel guilty about not being around my grandma to make her feel wanted and appreciated.

Thanks Shantanu for addressing this important issue.

#33
kerty
March 10, 2009
06:55 PM

SD

"I can assure you that if your neighbor assaulted you or attacked you, you can call the police....even in Missisipi, Alabama (which are really not that bad anymore...maybe some years ago)."

That is, if you or police can identify or track them down. I have had dozens of drive offs at my gas stations, several armed robberies and physical assaults at some of my businesses and police is yet to catch or apprehend a single one of the culprits. When you call, cops dutifully come, but they can't do didley about it. Non-lethal violent crimes fall way bellow in priority in their crime food chain.

#34
SD
March 10, 2009
07:22 PM

kerty, true but the police is not unable to solve crimes because they are bribed not to do something or due to from pressure from a political party?

I admit, this did go on quite a bit in the US too many years ago. But now such cases are extremely rare and if caught, even a corrupt police official has to face extreme repercussions.

Since these disparities b/w US and Indian law enforcement are so obvious, I personally get the feeling that you are trying to argue with this point not because you are convinced that you are factually right but because you are either too ashamed to admit that law enforcement in India is lax or because you want to have the last word.

So I won't take this debate any further from my side at least.

#35
Ledzius
March 11, 2009
01:15 AM

Even in the US, you cannot always depend on the police who most of the times arrive at the scene after the fact. Look at the latest shooting incident in Alabama.

And please don't tell me that crimes against women don't happen in the US. Many instances of date rape go under-reported. Date rape drugs are a concept that originated in the West.

There are many neighbourhoods of most major US cities where even men wouldn't want to venture after it gets dark, forget women.

Yes, in India you might have stray incidents of women being harassed by rowdy elements (but again blown out of proprotion by the media), but don't tell me good looking women don't suffer catcalls when walking through many neighbourhoods in the US.

And when crime does happen in India, it is on a lesser scale than the US. At least you don't get shot or hit on the head with baseball bats by a group of thugs (be it black or white).

#36
Ledzius
March 11, 2009
01:22 AM

"One of the things I did love about India and felt was lacking here in the US was the care, consideration and respect a majority of people give to elders. And to start realizing that things aren't that great in that area makes me sad. Personally I feel guilty about not being around my grandma to make her feel wanted and appreciated."

Ah, so finally you do agree that not everything is rosy with the US and not everything is wrong with India. In India, at least, you don't have to worry about your aging parents hauled to court, or worse, sent to jail, for not painting the garage door or not maintaining a lawn. Societies which do so are absolutely pathetic, in my opinion.

#37
commonsense
March 11, 2009
08:24 AM

shit happens everywhere, with the not unexpected variations in color (colour), texture and yes of course, the odor (odour) and the regularity or lack thereof.

#38
Aditi N
March 11, 2009
10:01 AM

Ledzius: Of course I know everything is not rosy with the US! In fact nothing is all rosy anywhere in the world. I just detest people constantly chalking everything up to the "evil West". I find it juvenile.

W.r.t you rother comments, you guys need to think about the question in comment #30.

#39
kerty
March 11, 2009
10:38 AM

Aditi:"I just detest people constantly chalking everything up to the "evil West". I find it juvenile."

That is because anglophile running dogs want to push west down the throats in India and around the world without critical examination, even when it is not relevant in the context outside the west, even when it has not worked well in the west, even when it is only going to compound the problems where west is superimposed. They simply want west to be accepted on blind faith, west interpreted only by them and only thru their ideological prisms. These people detest critical examination of west and introspection for their intellectual dishonesty and ideological follies. And that is not infantile or juvenile musings. They are like fanatics on a jihad and they feign shock and act surprised when people react strongly in India and elsewhere.

#30 was addressed in #31 and #33.

#40
Slime_id
March 11, 2009
10:46 AM

#38, we forget the nerve gas attack in 1994 in Tokyo metros. We forget the racist policies in US how immigrants are treated. Please check the number of law suits in USA against Obama. We forget Nazis of Germany. We forget Western support of aparthied. We forget Vietnam war. We forget Iraq war. We forget Guantanamo. We forget Palestine rockets. We forget Islamic terrorist in Mumbai. We forget militants hitting Lahore. We forget Taliban, we forget Chechneya.

All the above are worser than Ram Sene or Shiv Sene.

Ram Sene is a political party of no consequence. It is similar to Bajrang Dal and Ram Sene will be banned sooner or later as soon as Congress/Left will come to power.

Shiv Sena is a Marathi pride oriented party very much like Kannada Rakshana Vedike. The parallel would be the fight between Detroit senators supporting the Big three against the southern states where the Hondas and Toyotas have presence.

There are regional agendas in every country. Why else will Obama support H1B cap on Asians or why will UK have strict anti-immigration laws?

I grew up in a border district along Maharshtra and Kannada and there were these huge tensions and curfews and bomb blasts and stabbings many a times. It was simply whether we were Kannada or Marathi as a district. These tensions still exist today except Karnataka has its winter legislature in Belgaum. If BJP was not there, DeveGowda's son would even declare Belgaum as second state capital.

India is a melting pot of regional identities and that is the strength of India. We are much much better than west at any point in our civilization even today. In the 16th century we had 30% of the world GDP and Inshaah Allah, we will reget out status.

#41
SD
March 11, 2009
10:57 AM

"#30 was addressed in #31 and #33."

Nope. Not even close.

#42
kaffir
March 11, 2009
11:22 AM

Of course I know everything is not rosy with the US! In fact nothing is all rosy anywhere in the world. I just detest people constantly chalking everything up to the "evil West". I find it juvenile....

...which is the flip-side of chalking up every Indian social problem to evil Hindu religion, bad Hindu culture/bad Hindus.

#43
SD
March 11, 2009
12:05 PM

"...which is the flip-side of chalking up every Indian social problem to evil Hindu religion, bad Hindu culture/bad Hindus"

Maybe it does happen but I have yet to hear of anybody chalking anything up to evil Hindus! Muslims usually get the rap for everything these days IMHO.

#44
kerty
March 11, 2009
12:49 PM

Shantanu

Sorry for distracting the thread away from the main topic. Sometimes, the chips in a discussion do not always fall within the thread.

I relate one incident that happened last week, within my family.

My cousin robbed his old and ailing parents who are in 70's. He took away all his parent's money and left them poor and to the mercy of social security. Here is the story.

My uncle retired from government job in 1991 and came to USA on greencard, so he can help his young son migrate to USA. Due to long immigration delays, his son could come to USA only after 17 years, this December. My uncle, in spite of being old and sick, struggled for 17 years to survive on petty labor jobs with the fond hope that his son would be able to come to USA and make a bright future. He sent his power of attorney so his son can sell off all his properties, and bring all that money to usa so he can take care of them. Both uncle and aunt are heart patients, with multiple bypass surgeries, and need constant medical care. So he was delighted when his son finally came to USA.

The son spent 17 years in India waiting for immigration call. He lived off dad's pension income, lived in a dad's house, and did not make any attempt to make a living in India as he always thought his immigration call was just couple of years away. Now he is 45, no source of income, no habit of working hard or making a living. He struggled all his life for money and lived off his dad. When he sold his dad's property prior to coming to USA, the money came to him like a windfall - it was almost a crore rupees. He had never seen that kind of money in his life time. His cunning wife started calculating the interest they can earn and how well they can live off that money for rest of their lives without ever needing to work. So they tucked all that money in their own bank under their name and came to usa empty handed even when asked to bring the money to USA. His dad was hoping to pay all his debt out of that money and take care of his old age, also help his son settle down in USA. But the son came to USA as if he came for sight seeing with every intention to go back to India and live off dad's money. Dad wanted him to settle down in USA, take up labor jobs and work his way up, support them in their old age. Thus started a mini Mahabharat in their household. Every day became an episode from some TV serial. Son looked for excuses to fight his dad while dad looked for ways to get his money out from his son and make him stay in USA. His father protested. All the relatives tried to intervene but to no effect. The son dared his dad to sue him over money, and threatened to have him beaten up if he ever came to India or demanded his money. Dad threatened to hand him over to police for abusing the elders. The son's wife threatened to sue the in-laws for dowry abuse. Son would call relatives in USA and India to borrow money so he can buy tickets to go back to India. Dad will call relatives not to lend any money or help him buy tickets to India. Finally, the son found somebody to borrow money from. He flew back to India this week on monday.

The dad is now devastated. He is left with no money in India and no money in USA. Biggest of all, he lost his son when he needed him the most. His son was his only hope that gave him purpose to go on. He has been living off food-stamps and social security. But hope in life is lost. Fortunately, his daughter is in USA and she is very caring and loving to his parents - she is married but she has given roof to her parents and taking good care of them. How roles are reversed. We don't realize the importance of loved ones and family when we are young and full of life. But they are terrible thing to lose, especially when we get old, when loved ones remain our sole link to the world, our only reason to keep on bearing the traumas of life that is failing all around and within during sunset years. What a terrible way to leave the world. Its inhumane and cheapens the value of life that is treated like disposable rags.

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