Government saves the Day for Indian Parents in Norway

In Indian culture feeding a kid by hand is a way to show love by mothers, we get examples for the same in Ramayan and Mahabharat where legends like Ram and Krishna were fed by their mother’s hands. When Gautam Buddha left his home in search of knowledge, that night his son and his wife were sleeping on the same bed as that of his. Having this kind of closeness with children is very much acceptable in Indian culture since ages and we consider parents as the first teachers and protectors of the child. Goddesses are often considered to be motherly figures and a suffix of “Mata” meaning mother is put in front of their names.

Norway govt agrees to handover kids to Indian parents

It is this closeness and care, that when news of Indian children being kept away from their parents because of parent’s Indian way of upbringing broke through the media, country was taken aback and shocked. Norway is known for its respect for human values and it ranks as number one in human development index. News surprised everyone because this step was taken in name of protecting the children. The children 3 year old Abhigyan and his sister one year old Aishwarya were separated from their parents for the reason that they were fed by hand and slept in the same as bed along with their parents. It sent a wave of sympathy across India and whole of the nation seemed to be standing behind the parents in order to make them united with their children. Government of India took the matter with Norwegian government and foreign minister of India Mr. S M Krishna took the matter directly with his Norwegian counterpart in Oslo for a speedy solution of the case. Finally Norwegian government agreed to release the kids and hand them over to their maternal uncle.

In this series of events apathy of Norwegian rules for other cultures takes the center stage where the parent’s argument that they are raising their children according to their own culture is refused by the authorities. The authority Barnevernet, is the one which takes care of such cases in Norway and it is considered to be one of the most powerful authorities in its own country. If it was not for a country like India, the children would have been kept in foster care till they would have got to the age of 18. Government of India and foreign ministry should be congratulated to get the matter resolved amicably without any conflicts. Its not the first time that the Barnevernet has been accused of such cultural insensitivity, it has done the same in past and have created uneasy situations for governments. Although it was not an intentional move for belittling Indian culture or an assault on our traditions, but it still makes us feel that western world needs to have a better understanding of other cultures. If the authorities would have taken a mature stand and would have tried to see the matter by keeping Indian point of view in their mind this embarrassment and hassle would have been avoided.

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