The Ministry of External Affairs that has been playing a pro-active role in the Norwegian custody row after External Affairs Minister SM Krishna declared last month that he was monitoring the case personally has now pressed the pause button and directed a senior diplomat to defer his visit to Oslo after indications in Indian media reports that it is a case of family dispute.
Minister of State in the MEA Preneet Kaur said as much on Wednesday. “The Joint Secretary was planning to leave for Norway, that has now been put on hold. Now it's a personal matter between the husband and the wife. We had made efforts to get the children to India,” Kaur went on record as saying. The government strategy as of now is to ask the Indian ambassador in Norway to play a mediatory role between Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya, parents of the stranded children, Abhigyan and Aishwarya.
CPI (M) leader Brinda Karat, who has been in the forefront in pressuring the government in the Norwegian custody row, asked the government on Wednesday to stay engaged in the case. For their part, the parents of the two children have taken a U turn from their published comments in the media, have asserted that they are together and not planning for separation and have blamed the media for spoiling their case. The Indian government pushed the pause button after Anurup went on record in an interview in a leading Indian daily wherein he alleged that his wife had psychological problems and accused her of marital violence.
The parents’ act of smouldering a family dispute through the media has now delayed the release of the two children currently in Norwegian foster care who otherwise would have returned to Kolkata in a matter of few days. The case had already turned complicated when the children’s uncle refused to be their guardian and take their custody.
* The case is scheduled to come up for hearing before a Norwegian court this Friday. The prevailing confusion makes it extremely difficult for the court to come up with any clear-cut order.
* The inevitable adverse impact will be on the children whose arrival in India looks postponed for an indefinite period.
* The only ray of hope now can be if the MEA becomes pro-active again and bats for the children whose parents’ open slugfest has spoilt their case.
India, world's top milk producer, may become net importer of milk
The UPA government on Wednesday warned that India, which scripted history fourteen years back by achieving the number one position in global milk production, may become a net importer of milk in near future.
Minister of Consumer Affairs and Food and Public Distribution K V Thomas painted this troubling scenario at a food and agri-business conclave here and cautioned that shortage of milk, dairy products and eggs is a principal contributor to food inflation. The remedy suggested by the Minister is to bring about a second white revolution.
Thomas pointed out that the momentum of milk production has slowed over the last decade with growth stagnating at about 5 percent per annum, throwing up worries that India may become a net importer of milk in years to come. To nip the looming problem in the bud and to tame inflation as well, Thomas said it is crucial that dairying framework undergoes a paradigm shift: from being a “subsidiary” occupation to “mainstream” activity. This would mean high-tech dairying, better mechanization and automation of dairy farms and increased corporate participation in the production sector, he stressed.