The Embassy of Norway on Friday, clarifying its stance on the Rani Mukherjee starrer film – ‘Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway’ based on the decade-old Abhigyan-Aishwarya custody battle case, noted the film was fictional and maintained that the case was “resolved a decade ago in cooperation with Indian authorities and with the agreement of all parties involved”. The embassy also refuted the allegations that there was any discrimination because of the unfamiliarity with Indian cultural practices.
5 things the Norway Embassy said:
1)“The case being referred to was resolved a decade ago in cooperation with Indian authorities and with the agreement of all parties involved,” the Norwegian Embassy said, adding that the country’s government cannot comment on specific cases due to “strict confidentiality regulations in order to protect the children and their right to privacy”.
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2) Noting that some general facts “must be set right”, the embassy refuted the allegations of discrimination based on cultural differences. It said “children will never be taken away from their families based on cultural differences described (in the movie). 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”.
3) Norwegian ambassador to India Hans Jacob Frydenlund, also tweeted his opinion about the film on Friday, and said, “The film incorrectly depicts Norway’s belief in family life and its respect for different cultures”.
4) The embassy maintained that in the Scandinavian country, child welfare is not driven by profit. Its remark came in response to the allegation that “the more children put into the foster system, the more money they make”.
5) Refuting the allegation, the embassy said that Norway believes alternative care is a matter of responsibility and not a money-making entity”. It maintained that the reason for placing children in alternative care is if they are subject to neglect, violence or other forms of abuse.
‘Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway’ hit theatres today, renewing the debate about the 2011 Abhigyan-Aishwarya case, where the two children of Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya, an NRI couple living in Stavanger, Norway, were taken under protective care by Barnevarne (Norwegian Child Welfare Services) when they were just three- and one-year-old. The Norwegian authorities placed them under foster care alleging that the NRI couple had ‘an emotional disconnect’ with the children.