Rani Mukerji’s latest film, ‘Mrs Chatterjee Vs Norway,’ a film based on an Indian couple who fought the Norway government for the custody of their children, controversy when the Norway Embassy called the movie a “work of fiction”.
‘Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway’ follows the story of an Indian immigrant couple whose world came crashing down in 2012 when their two children were removed from their care when the government took away by the Norwegian Childcare system (Barnevernet) in 2011 due to differences in culture.
My Op-Ed in @IndianExpress today about the film #MrsChatterjeeVsNorway. It incorrectly depicts Norway’s belief in family life and our respect for different cultures. Child welfare is a matter of great responsibility, never motivated by payments or profit. #Norwaycares pic.twitter.com/FpVWmdLv5h
— Ambassador Hans Jacob Frydenlund (@NorwayAmbIndia) March 17, 2023
The Norwegian Embassy on Friday said in its statement, stressing that some general facts must be set right, “The film Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway is a work of fiction, even though it is based on an actual case. The case being referred to was resolved a decade ago in cooperation with Indian authorities and with the agreement of all parties involved.”
“To protect the children and their right to privacy, the government can not comment on specific cases due to strict confidentiality regulations. However, some general facts must be set right.”
“Children will never be taken away from their families based on cultural differences described. Eating with their hands or having children sleeping in bed with their parents are not considered practices harmful to children and are not uncommon in Norway, irrespective of cultural background.”
“Child welfare is not driven by profit. The alleged claim that ‘the more children put into the foster system, the more money they make’ is completely false. Alternative care is a matter of responsibility, and not a money-making entity.”
“The reason for placing children in alternative care is if they are subject to neglect, violence or other forms of abuse.”
Producer of the movie Nikkhil Advani has accused Hans Jacob Frydenlund of “admonishing two strong women” for telling this story. “Atithi Devo Bhava! is a cultural mandate in India. Every Indian is taught that by our elders. Last evening we hosted the Norwegian Ambassador and volunteered to show him our film Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway.
#DeshKaMatter https://t.co/wq4LmOP2Zc pic.twitter.com/sXIOAK09el
— Nikkhil Advani (@nikkhiladvani) March 17, 2023
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