It is most unfortunate to read about the sentencing of Chandrasekhar Vallabhaneni and his wife Anupama by the Oslo District Court for alleged maltreatment of their child (“Indian couple found guilty, get jail term in Norway,” Dec. 5). The court should have taken a more lenient view and given them some monetary punishment.
As reports say that the child has some problems, the couple’s employers should have advised them. The court may be doing grievous harm to the child now as he does need his parents at the end of the day.
The couple should have studied the Norwegian law thoroughly before deciding to move in there. Family bonds in our country are still cherished and upheld at a level that amounts to nothing in the West. There, the concept of marriage itself is almost becoming obsolete. In the U.S. — where many young Indians have been migrating to in the droves — children are generally asked to fend for themselves on the completion of 16 years.
Does the Norwegian law ever consider the psychological fallout in the relationship between the son and the parents whom he has sent to jail? This is also a warning to all those eager to leave the country in search of prosperity.
I welcome the sentencing. I am ashamed that many fellow Indians are reflexively supporting them out of a misplaced sense of nationalism.
Many Indian parents feel that they have the right to hit their children in the name of discipline and, perversely, love. This has to end. It is time that the media here focussed on our failure to protect our children in India rather than highlighting the imaginary grievances of our child abusers who find that they cannot practise medieval child-rearing techniques abroad without getting into trouble with the law.
Dr. Rajiv M.,