Skip to content Skip to navigation

Ageism infused Assam

Age is celebrated in Assam. People live their life fully through their ageism. Patriarchal ageism goes beyond gender. Any gender might practice ageism. People like to be ageing genders. Owning, patronising, controlling, oppressing and bullying are some of the consequences of ageism. If you are adulting, ageing and male you can earn maximum previlege as an ageist. Some of the classic ageist remarks,"Bura baapekor uporot kotha nokobi." 'Do not talk on top of an old father.' "Ami bohut thair pani khaisu nohoi amatke besi jano niki?" 'We have drunk water from many places, do you know more than us?' "Ajikalir deka tezor bor dom ami nu kun kuta." 'Nowadays young blood has too much power we are hardly anything in front of them.' 

These are some of the ways ageist remarks are part of a popular culture. Ageism is regressive and limits the understanding and innovation which can change many tough challenges and resolve the problems raised by situations and people. Intergenerational learning happens through insitutions only from a hierarchical approach. One really wonders how many students have actually taught their teachers about life, livelihoods and worldview which defines their essence. The ageism within academia in Assam is rampant and such practices have not blossomed new ideas to emerge from within the classroom spaces and from the learning spaces of research, field practices and social actions which strengthen the interdisciplinary approaches in our life long learning practices.

While fulfilling the social development goal for the ageing population and the youth, somewhere the intergenerational gaps are growing deeper with ageism and arrogant egoism.

We complain of arrogance and attitudinal assertions in young people much more than ageing population. Youth leaders failed us, young people have gone astray, youths have doomed the communities with drugs, arms and erosion of values. Young women with independent choices are further blamed for being blots in the cultural landscape of Assam. In most cases when an ageist person irrespective of their age reacts to a free thinking youth, such a person reflects their own unfulfilled desires and fascinations. Ageism is actually influenced by societal structures, personal comfort zones and regressive values which may not be universal and liberating. Thus widening the generation gap and criminalising the young and the old from their respective positions.

When ageism is wrapped up in one generation it is still manageable but when it spills over across generations then it becomes problematic. I have heard stories of children and grand children in some situations controlling their elders to perform age specific activities and they cannot tolerate if the elders deviate from that. Ageism affects the overall well being of anybody but most importantly the mental, psychosocial and at times even the physical well being of the people around the ageist person. All toxicity in words, deeds and thoughts get reflected in such ageist practices when the elders punish the youth and the youth lynches the elders when they deviate from the norms. Ageism fosters heirarchy which reinforces extreme angularity and suppression of ideas and practices. Ageism also suppresses the second or third generation leadership potentials in institutions, projects and different business enterprises too. Strictures of traditions and customary norms further reinforces the ageist approaches in people across diverse communities. Ageism in leadership also limits the multi-dimensional emergence of dynamic implementation strategies and evolving systemic processes. Thus creating clones in every aspect of mechanical existence of human beings. Can we unshackle such stifling ageism by engaging with transformational shifts in restrictive structures and reimagine a vibrant future?

Author info

Samhita Barooah's picture

Foodie and Travel Writer.

Add new comment

Random Stories

7 killed in Digboi accident

24 Apr 2015 - 1:10pm | AT News
Seven people died and five others have been battling for life when the vehicle carrying them collided head on a dumper in Tinsukia district on Friday. The accident took place in front of the Lion's...

ৰিলায়েন্সৰ অনুদানপ্ৰাপ্ত কোম্পানী এটাই কেনেদৰে ফেচবুকত বিজেপিৰ প্ৰচাৰ কৰিছিল?

22 Mar 2022 - 8:23am | Kumar Sambhav Shrivastava
বৰ্তমান সময়ত মানুহৰ সৈতে সম্পৰ্ক বজাই ৰখাৰ এটা উৎকৃষ্ট প্লেটফৰ্ম বুলি ক'লে ফেচবুকৰ কথাই মনলে আহে। ফেচবুকত ফটো বা ভিদিঅ আপলোড কৰাই নহয় আজিকালি ব্যৱসায়ো কৰিব পৰা হৈছে। ফেচবুকত ৰাজনীতিৰ পৰা...

Ankita Dey of Lanka town under Hojai district

6 Jun 2020 - 9:37pm | Nikhil Mundra
Ankita Dey of Lanka town under Hojai district has brought laurels for her home town as well as district by  securing 10th position in High School Leaving Certificate Examination, 2020. The...

UBPO's annual conference

1 Jul 2015 - 1:55pm | Hantigiri Narzary
A Reception Committee(RC) was formed with Ardhendra Basumatary as president and Bonti Rabha as general secretary to hold second annual conference of the United Bodo People's Organization (UBPO) and...

Other Contents by Author

On a Saturday afternoon I rushed to watch a much-awaited film called Emuthi Puthi in Guwahati. The best part was that it was running in the nearest movie theatre for a reasonable price of Rs. 100. I had already met the whole team of actors and directors at Tezpur University council hall when they came for their promotions. The film had hilarious moments of fun and entertainment throughout. It was a journey of salvation through fish for one generation, while it was a way of getting out of the country to fetch an American dream for another generation. Women are the protagonists whose trials and tribulations compel them to move into this journey of life and death. The travels around the...
Elections have become the T-20 matches these days. Everyone is busy with balancing equations with religious, class, regional, ethnic, traditional lineages. Today our household voting practice started with the staff seeking leave from work to vote for the 1st time in life. One is 18 and the other 22. Rushing home to cast their 1st votes. One friend went to his hometown in the 1st phase of voting. His ailing mother, caregiver wife and young daughters could not vote. Only one vote was registered. Another neighbour went home in Darrang to cast her vote. Voter information is defined by the symbols that they would cast their vote on. Whom to vote is a big question for Assam assembly elections....
New manifesto shared by women's groups in Assam is significant. Political assertion through women's collective efforts needs to be incorporated across diverse leadership agendas of social, cultural and political leadership in Assam. When women are discussed as sex objects on stage, pitied as battered persons in news, projected as mere cultural symbols of tradition and heritage during events and defeated as useless leaders in crucial decision making institutions and organisations, women need to assert their presence, participation and perspectives. Sometimes one realises when March 8 is celebrated across the world to endorse vaginal solidarity. With the pandemic times, such solidarity...
We have been residents of Guwahati a city in the making. Its a city of rivers, drains and hilly streams all woven together in a fascinating ecology of hill and valley. Our locality receives annual flash floods during the monsoon months of May till September and remains dry during the other months of the year. We live with respected elite citizens with academic, business, bureaucratic, political, social and cultural affiliations. Our house happens to be a centre of many things like trees, flowers, birds, cats, snails, earthworms, vegetables, grasses of diverse varieties and also water supply lines, floods and three electricity lines which connects the neighbours electricity supply too. We...
Covid 19 pandemic has opened up many truths around us. One such truth about our city is the growth of vendors and hawkers who visit our homes, byelanes or localities even during covid times. Only voices sometimes one could hear during home quarentine and lockdown periods were that of vegetable, fish, chicken vendors. Earlier we used to hear 'Dorupay wala' vendors from Bihar and UP with all kinds of utility products in dirt cheap prices and mekhela sador selling vendors during the flood season mostly from flood affected districts of Dhemaji and Lakhimpur. But these days we hear about spice sale, food item sale, delivery staff from various companies like swiggy, zomato and all food joints...
Journey of women through the heart of Assam across the banks of Brahmaputra is indeed an interesting one. It is a journey of knowing the length and breadth of the nooks and corners of the country at one go. Baatein Aman Ki or Peace Conversations is such a process which engages people, institutions and organisations to explore ways of understanding each other. It involves communities, people, women, activists, academicians and students to uphold the values of peace, co existence, harmony and democracy. This journey begins on Sept 22 and extends till October 13. It will be starting from Jorhat then go to Kaziranga, Tezpur, Nagaon, Guwahati, Bongaigaon, Gossaigaon and Kokrajhar before moving...
I am 71 years old now since I felt free from being a colony. I have travelled through waves of troubled existence and silent deaths in the last 71 years. Today at the threshold of being free and fair I have many thoughtful reflections. Do I celebrate the freedom of 71 long years or do I believe in the mirage of being free? I am a country with millions to be precise more than a billion odd persons in diverse contexts. My progress lies with the progress of these people and all others around me. My ecological existence is getting very diverse with changing moments in the history, politics and social relationships around my borders. I have survived a million mutinies which are both violent and...
Last month I travelled to Wakru in Arunachal Pradesh through Tinsukia district of Assam with a bunch of young professors. It was a self-driven ride of about 4 hours from Dibrugarh the second city in Assam. The journey was fascinating as my friends stopped at various points on the way spotting orchids, big trees, abandoned shrines and beautiful rivers. Suddenly my friend would look away from the steering wheel and say, “Look look, look at the pride of those orchids hiding behind the tree branches.” Orchids of different varieties bloom along the roadside in Arunachal Pradesh. There are yellow orchids, white and purple ones called ‘Kopou’ in Assam. There were trees along the highway which had...
My wilderness treks have taken me into some of the most memorable forests in India and abroad. Whether it was the sacred grooves of Mawphlang or the Rhododendron forests of North Sikkim, wild treks through community forests in Nagaland or elephant rides through the rhino, elephant and tiger parks in Assam. I was fascinated by the wilderness of Pench wildlife sanctuary in the border of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, Bharatpur and Sariska in Rajasthan and Bandipur in Karnataka. I was lucky to explore the teak forests in Narmada valley in Madhya Pradesh, hornbill habitats in Sejusa in Arunachal Pradesh, thick forests in Ranikhet, Nainital, Dehradun and Mussouri during the 90s and early 2000s...
In a recent incident of writing my name, a receptionist at the hospital asked for my name in full. After haggling with the convoluted spelling of my name, she reconfirmed Miss or Mrs? I said just write ‘Ms’. She seemed very confused. Her male colleague beside her smirked with a side glance while changing the spelling of my name on the file he was preparing. All other people in the queue who were male looked at me and the receptionist with many questions in their minds. I clarified to the receptionist who seemed like a newly trained hospital staff, about the ‘Ms’ part. Since marital status is not revealed in Mr, why should women reveal their marital status through Miss or Mrs. Then she said...