Social Determinants of Senicide, a Cultural Killing of Elderly People in South Tamilnadu: An Empirical Reflection.

Thursday, 14 July 2016: 09:00
Location: Elise Richter Saal (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Gurusamy SELLAMUTHU, Sociology, Gandhigram University, Dindigul, India
Elderly life is considered or assumed as a burdened life, full of struggle, illness, depression, exploitation, abuse etc. The young consider them as burden and deny care support of the terminally ill, bedridden, sick and immovable. Consequently they become liability, unable to meet all required care and support, finally decide to eliminate them through comfortable killing taking advantage of mercy killing in the form of a culture supported elimination of elderly in the southern part of Tamilnadu called thalaikoothal (Senicide-killing of the elderly). Thalaikoothal, is the traditional and a cultural practice, equivalent to that of or involuntary euthanasia, by their own family members to prevent them from long term suffering. The study has the objectives like to identify the social determinants and reasons behind the culture killing in the study area. and trace out the cultural traits associated with the problem of thalaikoothal. To expose the methods adopted in thalaikoothal to eliminate the elderly people. Moreover it suggests the measures to protect the life of old age persons and ensure happy ageing. The Methodology adopted to conduct the study in the selected cluster of villages in Virudunagar, TN, India, where this cultural practice of thalaikoothal is widely prevalent, as reported in media and empirical researches.   Whatever the reason justifiable or not behind this cultural practice of thalaikoothal, it is a disgrace and a criminal act which needs to be curtailed through understanding and recognition since they were once mentors of the young in contemporary society.