Is Ageism the new Racism?

Ageism, that is also known as age discrimination is the unfair treatment of older people, because of their age. This is a very common problem, which never really ages. It’s usually the so-called youths of today’s society, who often display this rude behaviour. Growing up, our parents and our teachers have always taught us to be kind and helpful, to the older pack of this world, respect them for their long journey and admire them for having survived this harsh and tough world. But as the time is passing, we are all leaving behind the values instilled in us. They not just face discrimination from today’s youth, but also in their work place or wherever they go they are subjected to discrimination. Personally growing up as a Indian, my mother not only always taught me to respect and help the elderly just like every parent did, but also upheld good examples that I can carry throughout my life. All of you reading this would have ignored, or have refrained yourself from helping the elderly, at least once. It might have occurred, when you stopped yourself from giving an elderly person your seat, while traveling in a bus, or when you ignored an elderly person, who needed help, in climbing the stairs.

Some examples of ageism:-

  • Losing their jobs, because the employer feels that their aging, would become an obstacle to their work.
  • Not being entrusted with any major work at home,by their children or grandchildren, who feel they are incapable to do so.
  • Not being given new credit cards, or insurances like travel insurance etc, because of their age.
  • Receiving a very poor service, either at a restaurant or at the place of purchase, because of their age, not to forget being mistreated by them as well.
  • Being mistreated by doctors and staff at the hospitals, who do not respect them, because of their age.

How does the law protect the elderly from Ageism:- 

There is no codified law on basis of age discrimination in India, but our constitution guarantees us equal protection under law, and protection of every individual from discrimination on various grounds such as, religion, caste, sex or place of birth, under Article 15 of Indian constitution. However there is no inclusion of discrimination of age in this article. Our country still has no law as such in place, and in a country like India where one of the major economic problems is unemployment, they cannot afford to keep the elderly in their jobs.

Conclusion:-

It is our duty as fellow human beings, to love,care and respect each other, especially the elderly. Age discrimination can cause a lot of psychological problems to the elderly, they may loose confidence in their abilities, and stop living their life, the way they want to, it will surely make them lonely and depressed. Ageism is increasing day by day, and people must realise that age is not static, and one day we’ll all grow old and weary and be treated the same way by the generations to come. This is not a cycle we all should be proud of, this should stop. We need to educate ourselves and others around us about the vicious cycle of ageism. It’s time to bring up the values deeply rooted in us, and be wise in realising that, being rude does not equate to being cool. 

Published by MARTINA FATHINATHAN MANI

This is for my internship as a law/legal content writer in the Hariyali NGO in collaboration with the Eduindexnews portal.

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