Rani Mukerji plays the lead in the movie, which is based on the true story of Sagarika Bhattacharya.
Last Updated: 04.25 AM, Mar 18, 2023
The Norwegian Ambassador to India, Hans Jacob Frydenlund, has objected to the representation of his country's child welfare policies in the recently released film 'Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway'.
Rani Mukerji plays the lead in the movie, which is based on the true story of Sagarika Bhattacharya, who was living there with her husband Anup and their two children at the time.
Hans criticised "factual inaccuracies" and said the story is a "fictional representation of the case" on Twitter. Additionally, he said that the film's depiction of cultural differences as the case's main contributing factor is "completely false."
"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," Norway's Embassy in India said in a statement.
According to Frydenlund, because of strict confidentiality laws, the government is unable to comment on individual incidents in order to preserve the privacy and safety of the children. Nonetheless, a few general facts need to be corrected.
"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.
Sharing a screenshot of an op-ed article on his Twitter that he wrote for a media house, he tweeted: "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."
"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 went on to say that all children in Norway, regardless of their nationality or racial background, are covered by the Norwegian Child Welfare Act because Norway is a democratic, multiracial society.
"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 movie, Rani plays a woman fighting the government to protect her children. The book 'The Journey of a Mother' by Sagarika Chakaraborty served as the inspiration for the movie. Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway, directed by Ashima Chibber, also features Neena Gupta, Jim Sarbh, and Anirban Bhattacharya. On Friday, the movie opened in theatres.