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.