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Beware, he brands you!

December 6, 2012

I was scandalised earlier by the way the child protection procedures of Norwegian social workers and government ignored foreign norms and sensibilities. Maybe I was a bit harsh on the Scandinavians. The domestic turmoil in the family of the “victims” was something I was not privy to, nor the ways of the couple. Yes indeed, Shashi Tharoor, who tried to intervene with FM Store did mention that there was more than what met the eye.

Now there is the case of the couple from Andhra Pradesh who were summoned back to Oslo and sentenced to terms in prison for ill-treating their child.

At this distance, one does not know the facts and it would be unfair to take sides unless one wants to be properly patriotic and say “My culture, right or wrong!” .

But it has been suggested that among other things, the child in the present case was branded with a hot spoon by the father, and the prosecutors have evidence adduced by doctors about the nature of the child’s wound. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a difficult thing for parents to handle too, but the circumstances of the persons in question indicate they should have sought professional assistance rather than resort to crude “correction”. I know that there is a large number of people who believe that bed-wetting by children can be cured by spanking. I also am aware that folk “knowledge” has prescribed that insanity (may be that is too harsh a term, let me say mental disorder) in a young man can be cured by getting him married. Our house-maid is a victim of this knowledge.

‘Spare the rod and spoil the child’ was assumed to be true, has had such hoary history in western society as much as in ours. Charles Dickens’s heart-rending narration of the cruelty suffered by Victorian children did have me in tears in my childhood. The episode of “Beware! He bites” gave me nightmares.

Norway is perhaps the last State that is near anything like “socialist” or “welfare state” pretensions. (No, I don’t believe the Chinese are anywhere near socialism). It does involve an interventionist government. The society may be challenged only by the kibbutzim of Israel in communal sharing...

Who am I to judge?

Tailpiece: The new CBI chief is reported to be attending to execution of Letters Rogatory. Probably disproportionate assets within India should not be touched for the moment.

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5 Comments
  1. shobha warrier permalink

    This is what i wrote today on my FB page. “After reading the news about the jailing of Indian parents in Norway for physically abusing their child, I am reminded of an incident that happened while i was travelling in a train. i was horrified to see a father biting the lip of a hyper active and uncontrollable 3 year old. The child’s lip started bleeding and i still cannot forget the huge tears that rolled down his cheeks, but the father had no remorse….. Are we a violent nation?
    Regarding what happened in Norway, I am not sure whether the state should be interfering in the affairs of an individual though the parents shouldn’t be doing what they did.”

  2. Hema permalink

    Parents are never going to learn how to bring up a child- becos they are always at the receiving end , especially if it is of the ADHD type.It is always a trial and error method- though some parents due to their own upbringing , seem to be either too passive or too strict.
    I really feel sorry for the poor children – and bedwetting is a psycho problem- no spanking or pinching is going to help- when will the parents really grow up?
    I wish the children had a union of their own…….?????

    • …. or a Nicholas Nickleby to assist them?
      Two teachers from a government school in Tamil Nadu have been charged last week with brutally thrashing their pupil for allegedly breaking a bucket. He died of his injuries after a painful three weeks from the time of the battery.
      I am getting prouder and prouder of our “culture.”

  3. We cannot change our:culture” overnight. I squirm when I see a little kid being spanked for crying. Why he is crying seems to be a secondary concern. In the case of the Andhra couple, I feel that they could have been given a light sentence, say, 7 days’ imprisonment. a warning, and a deportation. Despite all that they have done, the children still need their parents.

    In a lighter vein, my daughter says that my constant nagging of her amounts to “mental cruelty”, and, had we been living in Norway, she would have complained to the authorities. Thankfully, she is over 21, so I may just get away with it.

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