It is our right to feel embarrassed about jumping to conclusions without considering all the facts or trying to understand the other side of the story, and we also owe an apology to Norway for calling them names.
However, the way I see it, the best thing about this case is that all the parties concerned – though their actions were grossly misunderstood by each other – acted on the best interests of the two young children. The methods were different and often at conflict with each other, but the goals were the same. The Child Welfare Services of Norway, the parents who wanted the children back, the Indian Government that intervened, the people and media of India who rallied behind the parents in huge numbers, everyone thought they were doing the best thing for the little ones.
Take a moment and consider the image.
In this dreary world where every piece of news that greets us in the morning, and throughout the day, depresses us and makes us lose faith in Life itself, this is the silver lining… That we are still ready to jump in and support others because we feel they are right, their struggles are genuine, there is something we can do to make things better for a total stranger. Even though we shout at an autowallah who cheats us of five rupees, or yell at our kids because they don’t listen, or refuse food to a beggar, we still try to do our bit to make the world a better place. As long as so many people and groups and organisations can work for what they believe is right, there is still hope that all is not lost. If we cannot appreciate that, I don’t know if there is anything left in this Universe to appreciate.
Tomorrow someone else may face a similar situation, and many of us would approach it cautiously because we were once fooled by a pair of Indian parents in Norway, but guess what? – a lot of us would still jump in and support them and hold candle light vigil or stage protest marches in their favour. Call it gullibility or foolishness if you will. The next time, who knows, maybe the State is wrong and the parents are right, and who will support them if a set of gullible people don’t.
Where would we be if we lost all sensitivity and left our fellows to suffer, because it is not our problem.
While it’s okay to be ashamed of making a mistake or falling for a lie, we should also be proud that we were ready to stand for the happiness of a couple of children and their parents.