SATIRE: HEART OR PUNISHMENT, WHO WILL ENACT THE LAW?
- IWB Post
- February 1, 2014
Elderly people are increasingly being regarded in India as a burden as nuclear families become the norm against the backdrop of rapid economic development that is fast breaking down traditions.
India is a young country with a massive 51 percent of its population younger than 25, and two-thirds below the age of 35. But the number of elderly people is also growing with 113 million Indians expected to be older than 60 by 2016, up from 81 million now. That figure is seen swelling to 179 million by 2026.
Indians who neglect ageing parents could be jailed according to Maintenance of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007. Learn more details about this Act here: http://www.helpageindia.org/our-work/rights/parents-maintenance-act.html
Dr. Anita Hada Sangwan sent to us satirical interpretation of this law and shared her thought that only human code can force love and care on children.
Law: You are hereby ordered to meet your parents every month.
Ward: Even in February? It has less days…can we combine February and March?
Law: Okay, but in the leap year, you will not be allowed to merge. And the visit has to be with family members.
Ward : Whose family members?
Law: err…your family.
Ward: But I have not seen my brother in the past ten years, I only have his e-mail id. This is hardly a workable idea.
Law: I meant YOUR family, spouse and child/children.
Ward: WHAT ? My spouse and child? We NEVER move out together. My husband and I schedule a family dinner every fortnight but my daughter has not been a part of it for the past one year. She is very busy on weekends and we are very busy on weekdays. And as far as my husband is concerned he will not come as I do not visit his parents. We came to this understanding after four years of our marriage.
Law : Well, then you visit alone and do take along flowers or chocolates.
Ward : My mother is anti-chocolate, she never let me have any even when I begged as a child. Flowers … Nobody has given ‘me’ flowers in the past 14 years, can you please pass a law ordering my husband to gift me flowers once a year on my birthday at least?
Law : We do not meddle in personal family life …usually… I mean wherein husband and wife and close family relations are concerned …parents are not close…are they? Where were we? Chocolates and flowers are out, just take something your mother likes, okay?
Ward : Okay, but can you tell me the budget, what should be the cost of the gift?
Law : What? How much do you earn ?
Ward: Well, it depends , I am a freelancer and we are still paying for our home and car. And it’s not easy , do you know the amount of clothes and make-up and accessories a teenager needs nowadays? I tell you ….
Law: (Interrupting hastily ) Okay , decide this on your own please, 0.5 % of your monthly salary should suffice. But you must stay for minimum 4 hours.
Ward: 4 hours? Does this include the travelling time to the Home? Because it’s a 40 minute drive one way. So, that means I stay with her for 2 hours and 20 minutes unless there is a traffic jam?
Law: No! The commuting time is not included, you ‘stay’ with her for 4 hours.
Ward: But she falls asleep every two hours, what will I do just sitting there? Can I take along my laptop, I can do some work.
Law: You can’t take your laptop otherwise you will be on it for all the four hours.
Ward: Well, at least I can do some texts from my phone when she is dozing.
Law: Only when she is dozing. The phone should not intrude in her time.
Ward: Okay. Can you please pass a law that my daughter should also not text when I am talking to her ?
Law: Yes, we will, when you are a senior citizen we will ensure it.
Isn’t it a thought-provoking dialogue? It is.. And unfortunately, only a heart can enact the implementation of this law… the Loving Heart.
By Dr. Anita Hada Sangwan,
Talk show host at “ETV Rajasthan”. Activist NGO “Prem Mandir Sansthan”. Member of ‘RAYS”- for HIV+ve Children. Volunteer for Eye Donation. Founder member – Justice for Women. Writer