Presence of elders, honourably perceived as senior citizens, in the country is placed at ten percent of the total population. Assuming that the current population of the land is made up of about 300 million families and every family blessed with an elderly member, the count of senior citizens has to be 300 million. But, their estimated population, as officially stated, happens to be 100 million or thereabouts, meaning that overall 200 families are without an elderly member to ostensibly oversee the respective family’s progress and welfare. More than two-thirds of this section in the country’s population can be said to be in the villages, given the feature of majority of urban families being averse to host their elderly members in their homes. That brings up the matter of families at large denying to themselves the benefit of the elderly wisdom, an essential factor in sustaining virtues and complying with life’s discipline, the former phenomenon vanishing and the latter woefully declining. The society, both globally and regionally, is poorer for it.
The process of learning about virtues such as respecting elders, keeping anger in check, avoiding greed, eschewing hatred and so on has to begin in the homes and imbibing a sense of discipline to be an ideal citizen has to be an integral part of schooling. Elders of families and mentors of society, both diminishing in their presence among the masses, have played their selfless part in sustaining order in society in the past.
The plight of people at large, barring a fraction in the masses, has its roots in the steady shortfall of per family access to the life’s wherewithal, compounded by steadily rising unemployment rate. The other causative factors such as absence of quality leaders, discord between people and the ruling class, unhealthy outlook to hard work, dishonest public servants, vacuum of mentors in society and so on are there for all to witness. False sense of prosperity, not complying with the principle of live’n’let live, ineffective education, influence of fraudulent sections of society, overcrowding in every public place competing for various services including necessities of life in times of scarcity and so on have totally killed order in society.
Outlook for the society’s future is a choice between optimism and pessimism. Its members owe it to themselves, to reform their public conduct as no external force is visible to bring order in society. The Kannada idiom maadiddunno maharaya sharply summarises the scene.