Child Welfare Not Driven By Profit: Norway Embassy On Rani Mukerji’s New Film

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.

Norwegian Ambassador to India Hans Jacob Frydenlund, who watched the movie at a special screening, has raised an objection over the content.

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.

She also alleged that the Norwegian government ‘continues to spread lies’ about her.
Directed by Ashima Chibber, the film has Anirban Bhattacharya, Jim Sarbh, Neena Gupta and others in the cast.

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