Age discrimination or Ageism is a very serious issue that is not brought up in society. Ageism in common parlance and age studies usually refers to negative discriminatory practices against old people, people in their middle years, teenagers, and children. There are several forms of age-related bias.
Some examples I can mention of age discrimination can be that sometimes people ask children, “what do you want to do when you grow up?” but they never ask them what they want to do as children if they want to achieve something as children. This doesn’t happen only with children, this happens even with older people, for example, there is a senior citizen who has retired, society will just assume that the person is not capable of doing things by themselves anymore, but the truth is sometimes people just want to retire to get a break from their job and maybe start a new hobby or do things of their bucket list.
The term was coined in 1969 by Robert Neil Butler; Butler defined “ageism” as a combination of three connected elements. Originally it was identified chiefly towards older people, old age, and the aging process; discriminatory practices against older people; and institutional practices and policies that perpetuate stereotypes about elderly people.
There are no laws, national or local, in India that directly deal with the issue of age discrimination. The Constitution of India guarantees certain fundamental rights to the citizens of India, including protection to multiple things. But age is not included. These fundamental rights are available only against the State. Nonetheless, under common law (India being a common law country), it would be possible for an individual to seek protection against age discrimination.
All in all, I would like to conclude by saying that Age discrimination is not fair and should be stopped. Everyone should be treated equally and no individual should be judged based on their age whether they are 1, 50, or 100 years old. No one’s capabilities should be diminished or expanded based on their age.
By, Samriddhi Agarwal, Grade 7B, CMRNPS