By JR on Friday, January 20, 2012
Indian couple have children taken away by Norwegian social workers because they were feeding them by hand. Behaviour that is good enough for a billion Indians is not good enough for tiny Norway, apparently. There is a lot of authoritarianism in the Nordic countries
An Indian couple have had their children taken away by Norwegian social workers because they were feeding them with their hands and sleeping in the same bed as them.
Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya lost custody of their three-year-old son and one-year-old daughter eight months ago after authorities branded their behaviour inappropriate.
The drastic measure led to intervention from the Indian government who contacted Norwegian authorities in an a desperate attempt to return the children.
Norwegian Child Protection Services removed the youngsters from their home in May, 2011, leaving their parents horrified with the outcome of the report.
Father Anurup told Indian television channel NDTV: 'They told me ‘why are you sleeping with the children in the same bed?’. '(I told them) this is also a purely cultural issue. We never leave the children in another room and say goodnight to them.'
Anurup added: 'Feeding a child with the hand is normal in Indian tradition and when the mother is feeding with a spoon there could be phases when she was overfeeding the child. 'They said it was force feeding. These are basically cultural differences.'
Mrs Bhattacharya said: 'My son was sleeping with my husband. They said he should sleep separately from your son.'
The parents have been told that they can only see their children twice a year, for an hour during each visit until the kids turn 18 when they will no longer be bound by the current restrictions under current Norwegian law.
Despite the Indian government's intervention, Norwegian officials are refusing to meet the request for any further explanation.
Norway's Child Protective Service has come under much scrutiny in the past for excessive behaviour in their handling of child cruelty. Lawyer Svein Kjetil Lode Svendsen said: 'There has been a report in UN in 2005 which criticized Norway for taking too many children in public care. 'The amount was 12,500 children and Norway is a small country.'
With the Bhattacharyas' visas set to expire in March, they have revealed that they will be forced to stay against their will until the return of their infants.