Eddie Stern shares a ‘harrowing’ story and issues a call to action

Eddie Stern has a very serious, but very important, blog post up.

It is right here.

For those who don’t want to click through, I’m going to break a general rule about not re-posting entire blogs. I suspect Eddie would be OK with that in this case:

Yesterday morning my old friend and old AYNY student, Dan Loeb, alerted
me to a story about an Indian couple living in Norway whose two children,
aged one and four, were taken by the Norwegian child protective services, who
have claimed that the couple is unfit to raise and care for their children because
they have fed their children with their hands, and allowed their children to share
a family bed with them. The latest updates on the story can be seen here.

The protective services have stated that they will keep the children until they
are 18, and the parents are allowed to see them twice per year, for one hour
at each visit.

I spoke about this situation with Sheetal Shah, the Senior Director of the Hindu
American Foundation, and she quickly mobilized her organization. They have
hand delivered a letter to the Norwegian Ambassador in Washington, DC, and
just this afternoon put up a petition at change.org.

This story is harrowing. We have no reason to believe that the parents have
done anything harmful to their children. Eating with one’s hands and having a
family bed are not just cultural – they are norms for many countries – this is not
a crime. Norway, in fact, has previously been criticized for these excesses: in
2005 a UN report criticized them for taking 12,500 children into protective custody.
A big number for a small country.

The Indian Government is engaged in the situation with their embassy in Norway,
but please consider signing the petition that we have put up. Let’s put some pressure
on the Norwegian ambassador to return these two, young children to their parents
(before their visa expires in March) and end this nightmare of a story.

Thank you very much.


What doesn’t come through in Eddie’s post, but seems to be the case from the latest stories, is that this happened eight months ago.

Yes. Eight months.

I would guess — with next to no knowledge of the situation, obviously — that without many resources, the parents have had difficulty getting attention, and thus the time lag.

It seems like they have attention now.

I’d especially encourage you to click on the petition link and read people’s reasons for signing. And then sign yourself.

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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