The Norwegian authorities have done the right thing by charging a couple from India with gross repeated maltreatment of their seven-year-old son suffering from ADHD. If we can make a similar law in India to punish those who harass children in the name of discipline, thousands of hapless children undergoing humiliation at the hands of their fanatical parents and tyrannical teachers would thank us with their tiny hearts.
Their ordeal starts the moment they enter school. They face violence at classrooms and home. They are hardly allowed to relax and relish their childhood. With even normal children being pushed to perform, one can imagine the plight of children with conditions like ADHD. We need to emulate Norway and enact and enforce strong laws protecting our children.
While acknowledging our robust family system and its positive role in the upbringing of children, we should not be oblivious to our dismal track record when it comes to protecting our children from abuse of different hues. It is a sad commentary on our democracy that even after 65 years of independence, there is no let-up in crimes against our children. While we don’t need any sermons from the western countries on child rearing, there is nothing wrong in taking a lesson or two from their best practices and the guidelines they have ushered in with the objective to ensure children do not become victims of violence at home and in society.
Norway may not achieve its intended objective by imprisoning the parents and separating the child from them. Lack of parental care can harm him more as there is no substitute for parents’ love. The government can provide counselling to the couple and try to resolve the issue amicably.
M.S. Sagar Reddy,
From media reports, it appears that the issue is not serious enough to be taken to court. The authorities could have warned the couple.
Vijay D. Patil,
It is a strange that the Norwegian law warrants action against the young parents from Andhra Pradesh and has separated their child from them. If a similar law were to be enacted in India, about half our population would be in jail. It is important to understand that there cannot be a greater well-wisher for a child than a parent. The Norwegian authorities could have asked the couple to leave their country.