New Delhi, Mar 17: Norwegian Ambassador to India, Hans Jacob Frydenlund on Friday said that the film 'Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway' starring Rani Mukerji in lead incorrectly depicts the country's belief in family life. The Norwegian envoy said that the film has "factual inaccuracies" and the story is a "fictional representation of the case."
There has been a lot of attention towards the film, Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway. The film 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, read Norway's Embassy in India statement. Frydenlund said that to protect the children and the right to privacy the government cannot 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 sleep in bed with their parents are not considered practices harmful to children and are not uncommon in Norway, irrespective of cultural background," he added. Taking to Twitter, he shared his article and wrote about the film, "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." He also said that in the film cultural differences have been shown as the primary factor in the case, which is "completely false." Hans also "categorically" denied that "feeding with hands and sleeping in the same bed would be the reason for placing in alternative care."
"Children will never be taken away from their families based on cultural differences described. Eating with their hands or having children sleep 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," read the statement.
Frydenlund further stated that Norway is a democratic, multicultural society and the Norwegian Child Welfare Act applies to all children in Norway, regardless of their ethnic background or nationality. "We sympathize with the affected families, particularly the children. For those involved, there is no denying that such experiences are difficult. Child welfare cases are not easy. Certainly not for the children, not for the parents and not for the Child Welfare Service tasked with finding the right solution," he added. In the film, Rani essays the role of a mother battling the state for her kids. The film is based on Sagarika Chakaraborty's book The Journey of a Mother. Helmed by Ashima Chibber, 'Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway' also stars Neena Gupta, Jim Sarbh and Anirban Bhattacharya among others. The film hit the theatres on Friday (Mar 17).
Sagarika Chatterjee is a woman who stood up against the government of Norway to fight for the right to be reunited with her children after they were taken away from her and placed in foster care and were told that they will not be returned until the age of 18.