They don’t know our Indian culture. What kind of stupid culture is this? If parents are arrested, what will happen to the child’s future? Can’t we have universal parenting norms which doesn’t leave any scope for confusion? A lot of us Indians have gone on the rampage saying all this and more against the decision by the Norwegian court to convict V Chandrasekhar and his wife Anupama for 18 months and 15 months respectively for suspected child abuse. Is it right or wrong? Let’s check it out.
So what is the case all about? According to what is being said, the child was threatened to be punished and sent back to India when he wetted his pants. The boy was also hit with a belt or a similar object by his father who also threatened to burn his tongue with a hot spoon. There are also suspected burn marks on his left leg. The parents defence includes points like cultural differences, the child having behavioural problems and also the child imagining and exaggerating things. They have also alleged that the Norwegian authorities have destroyed the evidence in support of them.
First things first. There is a saying – “When in Rome, behave like the Romans do”. When in a different country, one has to respect the laws, regulations and customs of that land. Obviously there can’t be any excuse of ignorance. It’s the concerned person’s duty to learn and read about them even before he / she leaves for that country. One can’t keep saying that they should change their laws or hide behind the term cultural differences. Why should they? It’s their country and they know how best to run it. For eg: One can start peeing on the road in India but that maybe punishable by law in some other country. One can’t say that since he / she used to do it in India, he will continue to do so.
Secondly, if the allegations are true, they are definitely serious. Punishments like these would surely serve as a deterrent to parents who hit and beat their child. Sadly in India, most of the parents believe that beating a child makes him / her a good human being. But if they think beating a child is definitely OK across the world, it surely isn’t. On a different note, if this rule were applied to India, the jails would surely be overfull!
Thirdly, suggestions of having universal parental norms are outrageous to say the least. Aren’t there differences in culture, regulations, laws everything? So how can one expect parental norms to be the same? Eg: In many parts of the west, children have their first sexual encounters at the age of 12-13. This is still not too much the case in India and other parts of Asia. So do they expect parental norms to be the same for such a case? Guess people comment without even thinking one bit!
Fourthly and most importantly, considering how we Indians are, I really wonder how the parents will treat their kids now once they are out of jail. Will they still love them as before? Will they take care of them? Will they consider them as their own? It was not a fault of the kids but sadly a lot of us end up portraying it as that.
Whether their arrest is right or wrong is for the concerned authorities to decide, but what I feel is that one needs to respect the laws of the land. If one doesn’t, then the consequences can be disastrous as this case shows!