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Mrs Chatterjee Vs Norway: Sagarika Bhattacharya condemns Norwegian Ambassador Hans Jacob Frydenlund's statement

Mrs Chatterjee Vs Norway: Sagarika Bhattacharya condemns Norwegian Ambassador Hans Jacob Frydenlund's statement
Sagarika with Rani Mukherji
  • Arundhuti Banerjee

Last Updated: 04.25 PM, Mar 17, 2023

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An important conversation started after the release of the Rani Mukerji's latest film, Mrs Chatterjee Vs Norway. The film is based on the real-life story of Sagarika Bhattacharya, a mother to two children who were taken away from her by Norwegian Child Welfare workers in 2011. This led to a legal battle over two years; Sagarika got her children back after the intervention of the Indian government. 

Earlier on Friday, Norwegian Ambassador Hans Jacob Frydenlund wrote a column in an English daily and later tweeted that there are some factual inaccuracies in the film.

His tweet read, "It (the film) 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."

In reply to the tweet, Nikkhil Advani, the producer of the film, shared his view along with a video attached in which one can see Sagarika condemning the Norwegian government.  

Sagarika says in the video, "I condemn the false statement by the Norwegian Ambassador in the newspaper today. He spoke about my case without having any decency to ask me about it. We should take this (the film) as an opportunity to sensitise Norwegian welfare workers about cultural prejudices. When the whole world can see the beautiful bond between me and my children, the Norwegian government still continues to spread lies about me."

She further added, "Till today, they (the Norwegian government) have not apologised for the decision of their care workers. They destroyed my life and my reputation, traumatised my children, and supported my husband when he was cruel to me. And they call themselves as a feminist country. In Oslo and other provinces of Norway, people are eager to watch the film, and tickets for all shows are sold out. People are coming from Norway and other countries to meet me."

Thanking the Indian government, Sagarika said, "The Indian government has helped me a lot and, in the future, they will help more (victim) families. Jai Hind."

Sagarika was separated from her children by Norwegian Child Welfare workers, who accused her of illtreating her children.

Mrs Chatterjee Vs Norway, directed by Ashima Chibber, is running in theatres. 

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