Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Ray, Jul 25, 2011.
Food for thought from Pakistan
Cousin marriages: 3 siblings suffer from rare congenital bone disease
By Kashif Zafar
Published: June 2, 2011
Doctors say the condition is incurable as the disease is genetic.
A woman has appealed to the chief minister for help because three of her seven children are suffering from a severe congenital disease.
Nazirabad Colony resident Imtiaz Bibi, has seven children and three of them have been suffering from a severe bone disorder.
â€œThey have been suffering since they were children and the doctors said that they couldnâ€™t do anything to solve the problem because the disease was genetic,â€ Imtiaz Bibi said.
Imtiaz Bibiâ€™s husband Malik Allah Datta is a day labourer and earns Rs200 a day. â€œWe can barely feed the entire family so it has been nearly impossible to pay my childrenâ€™s medical bills. They canâ€™t walk and their knees are locked,â€ he said. â€œThey were born this way and we havenâ€™t been able to find any cure. My children have been suffering and we have taken them to several doctors but they donâ€™t know what to do,â€ he added.
Dattaâ€™s youngest son, Shah Zaib, 18, said that he was a matric student who had been suffering from muscular problems all his life. â€œWhen I was younger, I could still walk even though I had disjointed knees but now the disease has gotten much worse,â€ he said. Zaib added that the disease constantly made him feel weak and he could barely move now. â€œThe illness has progressed to my spine and I canâ€™t even move my neck properly,â€ he added.
Munaza, 26, said that she had been suffering from the same disease for the past ten years. â€œMy growth stopped when I was thirteen and my legs began to bend unnaturally. Now, I canâ€™t walk or move my left hand and it gets worse every year,â€ she said. Munazza said that she and her siblings suffered the most during winter season. â€œThe problem gets much worse in the winter because our entire bodies hurt constantly,â€ she said.
Aisha, 27, told reporters that she had been born with the same condition as her siblings and could barely move. â€œMy family has had a very hard time caring for us and supporting us despite the fact that they have no money. We cannot even help out,â€ she added. Imtiaz Bibi said that they visited the OPD twice a month but the doctors did not treat her children. â€œThey keep ignoring us and turning us away,â€ she said.
QMC Medical College principal Dr Mazhar said that the reason doctors were unable to find a cure was because the disease was genetic. â€œThis is a common occurrence in cousin marriages. Congenital diseases often crop up in these cases and all these children have malformed spinal chords and locked legs. It is a congenital bone disorder and we canâ€™t cure it. All we can do is to provide them with medicines and we have done that,â€ he said.
Imtiaz Bibi and Allah Datta have appealed the president, the prime minister and the Punjab chief minister to help them afford treatment for their children.
This is an interesting issue.
In certain parts of India, even now, one brother marries and the rest treat the lady as their own wives too.
Therefore, the child born has the love of all the brothers because none knows whose child it is.
Actually, this is a custom basically to ensure that the property is not divided.
Likewise, is the issue of cousin marriage or the marrying of uncles from the maternal side.
Now that there is no issues of property because the property of all has dwindled, is there any reason to continue the practice, given the medical issues involved.
Or is it merely a false idea that inbreeding causes problem?
I don't agree.....coming from an overwhelmingly endogamous community.
it has worked for us over the centuries well.
Endogamy doesn't translate into marrying your cousin. Endogamy means marrying within a particular group. If the size of the group is sufficiently large, problems related to genetic diseases decrease a lot due to genetic diversity in the group. But its a fact that small endogamous groups are prone to severe vulnerabilities, which might not be obvious today, but tomorrow will be an entirely different story. Isolationist groups have vanished from the earth in past due to severe vulnerability to new diseases and reduced fertility.
As far as endogamy goes, almost all Indians practice it. being a Hindu I am expected to marry within my own caste, although elders will make sure that me and the potential bride are separated from each other by at least five generations.
But even in cases of Men marrying their "murai ponnu" as their mother's brother's daughter is called in local lingo there have been no significant cases of any disability or congenital diseases.
Inbreeding actually causes problem, and I have witnessed it. One of my relatives married his first cousin from his mother's side. They have had three kids, all crippled and dysfunctional. One of them is severely mentally retarded and doesn't even move. Second one has got problems in his lower limbs (disfigured and fragile bones), third one is prone to infections and diseases.
Actually there is a good reason behind nature resisting the inbreeding. There was a well-reported case of death of 15 tigers within a timeframe of two months (Also read the NandanKanan tragedy). Later most of these deaths were attributed to severe interbreeding.
There is a good reason why those closely related by blood don't sexually attract each other, read Westermarck effectâ€Ž.
Cousin marriages are more rampant than we believe, according to some stats 50% of all marriages in the Muslim world are cousin-marriages. Problems don't surface in a day, but when they do they severely effect the existence of a closed community. Usually inbreeding doesn't cause problem in just one generation, bad effects get more visible in the coming generations. As far as India is concerned, we are not so health-conscious, many bad effects may very much be ignored. How many cases of Autism, Heart Ailment, diabetes or depression amongst children are identified here in India?
I have visited cancer hospitals and have seen it first hand that a disproportionately large number of children being treated at those facilities belonged to the Muslim community, I wonder why.
Now we know why Pakistanis are like that all the time . I read this article on PDF and was tempted to pull their leg... but hold a record of being banned thrice earlier. So resisted the temptation.
Hopefully this practice would be phased out from our society in the coming decades. There is a lot of evidence to suggest that if the parents are from diverse gene-pool then the child would be healthy and the exact opposite is also true. In most of India the practice of not marrying within the Godhra, ensures some genetic diversity, but TN seems to be the exception.
Cousin marriage is nothing but inbreeding. It leads to plethora of disease among the off-spring depending on the genetic make up of that society/family. These diseases are a result of coming together of two similar disease causing genes one each from the cousin to the off-spring. Most of such genetic diseases are recessive - means if one gene A from mother cause disease its counterpart gene A from father if doesn't cause the disease then the off-spring healthy because it contains at least one healthy gene from the father. But if the off-spring inherits diseased genes A from both the parents (much likely in cousin marriage) then off-spring will manifest the disease.
Well inbreeding is not good, it is known from a long time. But one question, does marrying couple should have there blood groups different too? Or that could also result in some problems
Blood groups of parents have no effect on off-spring whatsoever.
no need. there is no corelation between blood groups of husband and wife leading to disease in child. there are certain blood groups which are prone for particular disease. the individual will be at risk for that particular disease. it wont affect the child. for example - blood group A persons are more prone for stomach cancer , but it does not mean all person with blood group A will get stomach cancer.
In general any child can get genetic disease even though the child is born to parents whom are not married inbreeding but the chances of genetic disease is very high and risk is also high that the children born to parents of inbreed marrriage ( medical term consanguinious marriage ) and hence discouraged.
Since the article is based on Pakistan, I am forced to say, good they continue like this and hope their genetic transformation is quick. Martial race will soon become limping race. Quick walkover for Kafir Indians!!
I know the above is a complete troll but then, mods once in a while are entitled to it I guess!!
Tauba Astaghferulla for talking about limping race. It's dreadful yeah. I have seen it in many who marry their cousins esp "mausi" and mama's, and their kids have problems.
Yusuf, why do the muslims do it even today? I believe you'd agree that this practice should be done away with, now that the follies are well exposed.
And how did it come into being? Would like to know of its origins. Who advocated this thing?
Please share if you know about this.
/\/\/\ Well, educated Muslims I doubt practice it.
This is a sick notion. Apart from diseases caused due to inbreeding, how can someone marry a girl/boy whom they once called brother/sister?
That way we can even show awe at the multiple wives/marriages that happened in ancient world - regardless of religion and region. Sounds surprising today if you look at it, right?
Muslims may have had their own reasons to do it back then in medieval times, but what I don't understand is, over so many centuries didn't they come to know of the poor consequences of these practices. Why didn't they realize? If they did, why keep the practice on? Why not abolish it at least NOW?
Its not just the Muslim society but hindus also have these kind of ill practices. I did my eng in TN and there one lecturer was married to her own Uncle . I was shocked to hear that but she said that its common practice in TN . a girl marrying her own mama. wonder how much genetical complications that will bring.
Good point. However the power to bring in a change amongst the Muslims are concentrated on bigoted mullahs.
However, as I mentioned before, educated Muslims do not practice this. And even if they do, it will be just a fraction of their population.
Separate names with a comma.