Declare ‘parental alienation’ a crime: Rights activist

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Bengaluru, April 24 (IANS) The central government should declare “parental alienation” a crime and make shared parenting mandatory in order to protect the rights of the children, an activist said on Sunday.

“Parental alienation” refers primarily to the manipulation and brainwashing of a child that a parent resorts to in order to exclude the other parent from the life of the child. It happens in unhappy marriages.

A petition signed by the members from across India has been submitted to the Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi to demand that parental alienation be made a criminal offence, child rights activist Kumar V. Jahgirdar, who is based here, told IANS.

Child rights groups in many countries, particularly in the West, observe April 25 as the Parental Alienation Awareness Day.

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Jahgirdar asked the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights to accept and probe complaints of parental alienation and take appropriate action.

He said there should be speedy trial in all cases of dowry, domestic violence, child custody and maintenance.

“We urge all the stakeholders like the law commission, the women and child development ministry and the judiciary to take steps to save children from mental cruelty,” he said.

Jahgirdar is the president of the Child Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting (CRISP), which promotes the right of a child to receive the love and care of both mother and father even in cases of marital conflict, separation and divorce.

More than 20,000 divorce cases are pending in family courts in Bengaluru alone, according to data gathered by CRISP.

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