Update, March 19, 2012: More than a month after agreeing to transfer custody of the children to the children’s uncle, the kids still languish in Norway’s foster care system. Indian politicians are headed to Norway to participate in the custody hearings. Norway should be fined a million dollars a day for holding the kids hostage. That should get them to return the kids promptly.
And shame on other European countries for not calling on Norway to return the kids immediately. By being quiet on this issue, the European Union is condoning such atrocities in Europe.
It appears the parents need to work out some things for themselves. This should be easier in their own cultural setting.
Update, Jan 23:Norwegian child welfare services listed other shortcomings in the parenting of the Bhattacharyas. These include (are you ready for this?), unsuitable toys and clothes, insufficient room for the children to play in the house and lack of a basinnette or diaper changing table .
… the couple does not own a basinette/diaper-changing table. The child’s diapers are being changed on a bed, an arrangement much lower than a traditional Norwegian basinette/diaper-changing table.
This was justification enough to take the children away from the biological parents and send them to foster care till they were 18 years old. Verily a sophisticated way of kidnapping children.
Update, Jan 23: Norway seems to have offered a face-saving deal; custody of the 2 children would be handed over to the grandparents in India, according to India’s External Affairs Minister SM Krishna. The grandparents will have to agree to provide full-medical care for the kids. There is no mention of Norway apologizing for removing children from their linguistic and cultural background during a key phase of their development. Further once in India, the children can continue to be fed with the fingers.
Statistics from Norway on the number of children they place in Foster care.
And, Save our children and families from Child Protection in Norway
Main Post: The Child Protection Services in Norway have taken away two young Indian children (three-year old Abhigyan and his one-year old sister Aishwarya) from migrant parents Sagarika and Anurup Bhattacharya because they disapprove of the parenting methods. See story in The Hindu. The Child Protection Services has charged the mother with “negligence and unable to bring up” the child. This is galling!
What made them come to this conclusion? (1) the mother Sagarika “was in depression, tired and had no patience”; (2) the mother fed her child with her fingers and “over-fed” him; and (3) the boy slept with his father (apparently in the same bed).
1. Norway is such a homogeneously white society that migrants like Anurup, who is a highly educated, senior geoscientist at Halliburton in Norway, are essentially outcasts; there aren’t enough Indians in Norway to form a minority society providing social and cultural solace. I would be depressed if I had to live in such pathetic, winter climes in the midst of a racist, white society. Throw in post-partum depression and it would be surprising if the mother was not depressed. If Norway was really concerned, they should have given visa for Sagarika’s parents to come to Norway and help her take care of the children, as is the norm in Indian culture.
2. Eating with our hands is an Indian tradition and we have managed to do it (and survive well) since the beginning of humankind. At home in India and Boston, we still eat with our fingers. Meera was, and continues to be fed with the gentle loving hands of her mother, grandmother, aunts and me. Its the Norwegians who are abusing their children by pushing pieces of metal in the tender mouths of their babies. Metals when associated with liquids (and semi-solid foods) release high levels of metal ions, which is increased in the presence of salt. Many of the common alloys used in tableware can release metal ions like hexavalent chromium and nickel, which are scientifically documented to be carcinogenic.
The children were over-fed? The Norwegians should provide growth and weight charts of the children to demonstrate that the Indian kids were truly over-fed. We would like to see the growth and height percentiles of the children compared to the local Norwegian kids when they were taken away. Ha!
3. It is very uncommon in India for children to sleep in a different room than the children. Norwegians should visit some Indian families in Mumbai and observe sleeping arrangements. Even today, Meera sleeps with her mother and me in the same bed. It is the Norwegian culture that is cruel, depriving their children of bonding with their parents.
Norway should be cited for cruelty to children.
Their Child Protection Services took baby Aishwarya from her parents when she was only five months old, when she was still being breast-feed. Thus Norway deprived the baby of natural nutrition and immunity that only comes from the mother’s breast-feeding.
A Norwegian court has now ruled that the two children would stay in different foster homes in Norway until the age of 18 years, with the parents allowed to meet them only once a year for one hour. ~ The Hindu
By raising the children in Norwegian foster care. Norway is also depriving Abhigyan and Aishwarya of their cultural and language heritage. The baby girl and boy are going to be raised by white people who only speak Norwegian to them! The children are also going to be raised separately, depriving the brother-sister bond of the children. Tell me: who is cruel? Norway is essentially kidnapping Indian children!
It looks like the President Pratibha Patil of India has gotten involved in this case and appealed to the King of Norway.
Story covered in media: