[AI] First cousin marriages in Pakistani communities leading to 'appalling' disabilities

avinash shahi shahi88avinash at gmail.com
Thu Jul 9 02:42:50 PDT 2015


Ekinath,The questions you've raised are thought-provoking.

First cousin marriages have led to genetic disability in southern
Indian families. Moreover, I sometimes worry why we have more than one
persons blind in several muslim families? This is a serious concern
and one could hope that we are in know of this naked eventuality in
future.
On 7/9/15, Ekinath Khedekar <ekinath at gmail.com> wrote:
> Dear Avinash,
>
> Kudos again for highlighting an important aspect of causes of inborn
> disability.
>
> For the start, I am more worried about my fellow Indians. I have
> researched and could not find reliable data on
> 1.	How much percent of disables acquired disability on account of
> genetic disorders?
> 2.	Does Gotra differentiation for marriages actually ensures genetic
> diversity at least in north India?
> 3.	Do we have more disabled people in central and south India, as
> consanguine marriages are rampant there?
> 4.	How many NGOs or organisations working in the field of disability
> have focused sensitisation or action plan on genetics?
>
> Sadly, our existent medical regulations don’t encourage genetic
> research to find treatment to these problems.
>
>
>
>
>
> On 7/8/15, avinash shahi <shahi88avinash at gmail.com> wrote:
>> By  Steven Swinford, Deputy Political Editor
>> http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/children/11723308/First-cousin-marriages-in-Pakistani-communities-leading-to-appalling-disabilities-among-children.html
>> 5:33PM BST 07 Jul 2015
>>
>> CoCouples who are getting married should be forced to have a DNA test
>> first to ensure they are not cousins amid growing concern about incest
>> within Pakistani communities, Britain's first Asian peer has claimed.
>>
>>
>> Baroness Flather, a former Tory who now sits as a cross-bencher, said
>> in the House of Lords that it is "absolutely appalling" that first
>> cousin marriages in Pakistani communities are leading to "so much
>> disability among children".
>>
>>
>> She said: "There are a lot of first-cousin marriages in certain
>> communities, particularly among Pakistanis who come from the Pakistani
>> Kashmir area. We know so much about DNA now, but there is so much
>> disability among the children, which is absolutely appalling.
>>
>>
>> "You go to any such family and there will be four or five children, at
>> least one or two of whom will have some disability. That is absolutely
>> unacceptable, and if we cannot do anything about it, is it fair to the
>> children?"
>>
>>
>> Baroness Flather, a former barrister who was born in the Pakistani
>> city of Lahore when it was part of India, said: "Never mind the
>> parents — it is not fair to the children that they should be allowed
>> to become disabled because of a social practice. It is a social
>> practice which does not belong in today’s age, when we know so much
>> about DNA. There should at least be some rule which says that you must
>> have a DNA examination before your marriage can be registered."
>>
>>
>> First-cousin marriages, which are are legal in the UK, are practised
>> within Britain’s Pakistani community, as well as among some Arab and
>> African families. Medical data previously suggested that while British
>> Pakistanis were responsible for 3 per cent of all births, they
>> accounted for 30 per cent of British children born with a genetic
>> illness.
>>
>> The noble Baroness Flather also raised concerns about Sharia law,
>> under which women struggle to get a divorce.
>>
>> She said: "I know I am probably talking about Muslims, but we now have
>> this business of sharia marriages. It is appalling that the man can
>> get a divorce by just asking for it, while a woman may have to wait
>> years, and may still not get it. She can get a British divorce, but
>> not a sharia divorce.
>>
>> Noble Lords may ask, “Why does that matter?”, and I asked that of
>> those women. They replied, “It means that we can’t go to Pakistan”.
>>
>> "If they go there, the husband can come and take the children away, no
>> matter what age they are. In any case, the husband can take the
>> children from a sharia marriage when they are seven. All marriages
>> should be automatically registered in this country. It is not fair to
>> the women that some British women — they are British women when they
>> come here — are treated in a different and unacceptable way from
>> others."
>>
>>
>> On 6/13/15, Ekinath Khedekar <ekinath at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Thank you for a very important article Avinash.
>>>
>>> You may have noticed upon any celebratory email from disable marriage
>>> gathering by any organisation, I ask a question if they are going to
>>> or have sensitised participants about genetic risks of such marriages.
>>>
>>> Till date, I have never received reply in affirmative. It is very sad.
>>>
>>> I hope you will keep your eye on such blind marriages literally. To
>>> re-iterate, nothing wrong if couple suffering with genetic disorders
>>> knowingly take a risk to go for children. That is their personal
>>> choice, but organisations have a moral and a professional
>>> responsibility to make their participants know about this factor.
>>>
>>> Cheers
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On 6/12/15, avinash shahi <shahi88avinash at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> This article is very productive and enlightening. The casuistry
>>>> provided by the author for avoiding such marriages is quite
>>>> convincing. We have several families where more than one-persons
>>>> acquire disability due to genetic antecedent. And the most of such
>>>> cases are presumably found in muslim families and in the south Indian
>>>> states. It would be great if somebody attempts to write  a paper
>>>> highlighting the social profile of families consisting of more than
>>>> one disabled people.
>>>>
>>>> http://www.thehindu.com/seta/2004/04/29/stories/2004042900161600.htm
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Problems with consanguineous marriages
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> BLOOD RELATED marriages are called consanguineous marriages — sanguine
>>>> meaning blood.
>>>>
>>>> Around the globe consanguineous marriages have been practised by many
>>>> societies from time immemorial. It is widely practiced in Asia, North
>>>> Africa, Switzerland, Middle East, some parts of China, Japan and
>>>> fishermen communities in Europe and America. One in two rural
>>>> marriages in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh are consanguineous.
>>>>
>>>> What type of marriages are consanguineous marriages? When you marry
>>>> biologically related or blood relatives then it is consanguineous
>>>> marriage. Most commonly in our part of the world, first cousins —
>>>> uncle's son marries auntie's daughter or vice versa.
>>>>
>>>> However another type of marriage is where maternal uncle marries his
>>>> niece (sister's daughter). Theoretical risk of having a genetic defect
>>>> child is higher in the latter type of marriage than the former. Most
>>>> of us do not even recognize the pros and cons of such marriages.
>>>>
>>>> While assessing the consequence of consanguineous against
>>>> non-consanguineous (non-blood related) marriages in health and
>>>> disease, several scientific studies have shown that consanguinity
>>>> leads to death of infants before, during or immediately after birth,
>>>> increased incidence of birth defects, genetic diseases including
>>>> blinding disorders, blood cancer (acute lymphocytic leukemia),
>>>> breathing problems for children at birth (apnea), increased
>>>> susceptibility to disease etc.
>>>>
>>>> Some scientists contradict these studies and state that other
>>>> biological factors could be accountable for the results and not
>>>> consanguinity alone.
>>>>
>>>> In our study we showed that consanguinity could increase the incidence
>>>> of many blinding disorders like retinitis pigmentosa, Leber congenital
>>>> amaurosis, Lawrence-Moon-Bardet-Biedl syndrome, Stargardt disease,
>>>> Usher syndrome etc (Consanguinity and Ocular Genetic Diseases in South
>>>> India: Analysis of a Five-year study. Community Genetics:
>>>> 2002:5:180-185). Consanguinity could increase the risk of inheriting
>>>> any one of the 4968 (autosomal recessive) genetic diseases that could
>>>> affect any part of the body from head to foot.
>>>>
>>>> Some animal studies have shown that inbreeding or consanguinity could
>>>> enhance longevity. It has been proved beyond doubt that consanguineous
>>>> marriages farther than second cousins would not result in major
>>>> genetic diseases.
>>>>
>>>> There are certain misconceptions regarding marriages amongst
>>>> relatives, marriages between social relatives like wife's brother and
>>>> husband's sister can get married, where there is no role for blood
>>>> relationship.
>>>>
>>>> Why do consanguineous marriages result in children with genetic
>>>> diseases? Due to inheritance parents and children, and brothers and
>>>> sisters, commonly share 50 per cent of their genetic make-up.
>>>>
>>>> Similarly uncle and niece share 25 per cent and first cousins 12.5 per
>>>> cent of their inherited genetic material as it originates from a
>>>> common ancestor. In such situations if there are any `silent' genetic
>>>> defects, then such errors manifesting as a disease in the child of a
>>>> consanguineous parents is high.
>>>>
>>>> Whereas, if we marry a person non-consanguineously in a random manner,
>>>> then for both the partners to share the same `silent' genetic defect
>>>> is extremely rare.
>>>>
>>>> Hindus in northern India as a practice outlaw the consanguineous
>>>> marriage by avoiding the same `gothra' or patrilineal relationship
>>>> between the probable bride and the groom. In some of the western
>>>> countries including the United States consanguinity closer than the
>>>> first cousins are considered to be legally incest.
>>>>
>>>> Historically closest consanguineous marriage was performed between
>>>> brothers and sisters by the Egyptian Pharaohs to preserve the royal
>>>> blood and interestingly Cleopatra was born out of such marriage.
>>>> However this disgusting practice has never been duplicated anywhere
>>>> else in the world.
>>>>
>>>> It is sad to note that many movies in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh
>>>> highlight and glorify consanguinity. Evidence suggests that
>>>> consanguinity does play a negative role in human health. The social
>>>> benefits of consanguinity should not outweigh the biological damages;
>>>> many in the community are ignorant about these facts.
>>>>
>>>> G. Kumaramanickavel
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> G. Kumaramanickavel
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>  Sankara Nethralaya
>>>>  Chennai
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Read more studies on the issues
>>>> 1
>>>> http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/the-biology-of-first-cousin-marriages/article4902050.ece
>>>> 2
>>>> http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/consanguineous-marriages-are-a-major-cause-of-hearing-loss-among-children/article5061498.ece
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> --
>>>> Avinash Shahi
>>>> Doctoral student at Centre for Law and Governance JNU
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
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>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>>                                           ***************
>>>
>>> "I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do
>>> something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do
>>> the something I can do. What I can do, I should do. And what I should
>>> do, by the grace of God, I will do."
>>> EDWARD EVERETT HALE.
>>>
>>>
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>>
>>
>> --
>> Avinash Shahi
>> Doctoral student at Centre for Law and Governance JNU
>>
>>
>>
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>
>
> --
>                                           ***************
>
> "I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do
> something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do
> the something I can do. What I can do, I should do. And what I should
> do, by the grace of God, I will do."
> EDWARD EVERETT HALE.
>
>
>
> Register at the dedicated AccessIndia list for discussing accessibility of
> mobile phones / Tabs on:
> http://mail.accessindia.org.in/mailman/listinfo/mobile.accessindia_accessindia.org.in
>
>
> Search for old postings at:
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>
> Disclaimer:
> 1. Contents of the mails, factual, or otherwise, reflect the thinking of the
> person sending the mail and AI in no way relates itself to its veracity;
>
> 2. AI cannot be held liable for any commission/omission based on the mails
> sent through this mailing list..
>


-- 
Avinash Shahi
Doctoral student at Centre for Law and Governance JNU



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