Right or Wrong – who decides?

A news story has been doing the rounds at many Indian new channels these days. An Indian couple in Norway had their children taken away by the Child Protection Services. Allegedly, because they were feeding the children using their hands and the family slept in one bed, both of which are normal and acceptable in Indian culture (google “Indian couple in Norway” for the complete story).

Maybe there is more to it, but if that is the case, no one is talking about it. If there is nothing else to it, then taking kids away from their parents, separating the family for something as trivial as this, shows a serious lapse in judgement by the authorities. Seriously, what are they thinking? It is hard to imagine that in this age of globalization, a progressive government will refuse to acknowledge cultural differences while making such decisions. Cultural differences or not, since when did feeding kids by hand or co-sleeping become a crime?

Raising a child in a foreign country already has challenges of its own. You sometimes have to follow parenting methods you don’t really believe in, just to avoid being judged, and so that your child is not always the odd one out. It is a good thing to adapt and adjust, to do as Romans do when you are in Rome. In fact I would go one step forward and say it is not just good but necessary to be flexible and tolerant of new beliefs and ideas if you want to lead a happy and productive life, especially so if you live in a foreign land. However, you should not have to live with the fear of your child being taken away for doing what you think is normal, you should not have to compromise on your righteous beliefs and you should definitely not be punished for them.

When someone leaves their country to start a new life, they are looking for growth and a better life. This is not something they consider even in their wildest dreams. This is one of the worst nightmares of any parent that unfortunately came true for the Bhattacharyas.  I hope that the authorities come to their senses before any more damage is caused to the family, and if the parents are truly innocent (which I believe they are for the lack of any convincing evidence to the contrary), they be reunited with their children.


4 thoughts on “Right or Wrong – who decides?

  1. You are right. But I don’t know why it seems that there’s more to this case than what meets the eye. The government cannot be so ignorant… really don’t know what the truth is but for parents it is the most dreadful time and so for the children.

    • Probably you are right, but then why are they not talking about it? And why are they now talking about giving grandparents the custody of the children? Are they sure the grandparents will not treat the children badly like the parents did (if that is in fact true). Maybe the pressure from Indian government made them change their mind. Was their really something more to the story and the Indian goverment hushed it to get the children back? You never know what to trust where politics is involved. In any case, the poor children are the ones who have suffered the most in this chaos.

  2. Well written.. I have been following the story. Funny laws exist everywhere,what was needed was to take this to court of law what is more harmful to the child- the crime of eating with hand or the judgement of taken away from parents. Of course, to get to that stage Indian consulate help is never there !
    That’s the problem with us living abroad.

    • Gautam, I have had no experience with Indian consulate (thankfully), so can’t comment on that. Thanks a lot for the feedback though :)

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