– This is not the story as it happened – Dagsavisen

– This is not the story as it happened – Dagsavisen

Bollywood movie Mrs. Chatterjee vs. Norway” will be released in mid-March, but the trailer has already come out. The film is based on a real child welfare case about an Indian family in Stavanger.

Family man Anurup Bhattacharya was working as a genetics researcher in Stavanger when he and his wife, Sagarika Chakraborty, were deprived of their two-year-old son and five-month-old daughter while breastfeeding in 2011.

The main character was played by Bollywood star Rani Mukherjee. She is one of the most popular actors in India and is married to Aditya Chopra, who is one of the most powerful film producers in Bollywood.

The more children in foster homes, the more money they earn. One of the lines you can hear in the trailer.

Watch the trailer:

– It’s a Bollywood movie, and maybe as dramatic as it gets, says Gunnar Thoresen, who was head of child protection for Stavanger municipality when the case was revealed in 2011 and 2012.

He is now retired and indicates that he is not speaking on behalf of Stavanger municipality, but as a private person. He says that when the case was under consideration he was bound by a duty of secrecy, but now, more than ten years later, he wants to tell his version of the case.

He’s seen the trailer and says it’s as expected.

– This is not the story as it happened, but the film may reflect the violent feelings the case aroused in the family and in India, he says.

Neither he nor Children’s Services Stavanger had been contacted by the film team that produced the film, which was also confirmed by John Skillbread, Municipal Director for Children, Youth and Families for Stavanger Municipality.

great international interest

Thoresen says the case began in 2011 when the Child Protection Agency took action after concerns about two young children of Indian parents. He says extensive guidelines regarding parent-child interaction have been implemented.

– During the period of work of the Child Protection Service with the family, major disagreements arose between the parents. This led to confrontations that led to the exit of the police after the unrest. Children’s Services decided to move the children temporarily to the emergency home and then opted to file a case to take over the care. Until the county council’s decision in the fall of 2011, this appeared to be a relatively mundane child protection case, he says.

According to him, soon after the Child Protection Service received an inquiry from the Indian Embassy, ​​which could tell us that the mother’s parents had political relations at the highest level in their home country.

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The case eventually received explosive media attention thereafter new time Submit a case report. There, the parents claimed that the children’s transition was caused by the major cultural differences between raising children in India and Norway, and that child protection interacted with such things as children sleeping in the same bed as the mother, and the mother. Feed her babies by hand.

– This was not at all the basis, the issue has nothing to do with cultural differences, says Thoresen.

The NYTED article was translated and went viral. The Norwegian embassy in the United States was summoned by the Indians living in the country, and a major international campaign was launched. The condition is referred to as Nightmare in Norway.

– Soon the central authorities in Norway contacted me with political pressure to “find a solution”, says Thoresen.

In India, large demonstrations were held. Then a central politician from Bengal made it an electoral issue External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj participated And the matter was raised at the highest level. Both Prime Minister Stoltenberg and Fm Store co.

This has become a case of extraordinary political interference in the world’s second largest country. The pressure on Norway increased. He mentioned several times that the issue threatens the political and trade cooperation between India and Norway, he said.

Toresen says that it soon became clear that unconventional solutions had to be sought, and according to him, many back channels were used to solve the problem. The Indian chief sent one Special Envoy to Stavanger.

The solution was finally an agreed agreement between the two parties to return to the father’s family. Thus uncle and grandparents in India were given custody of the children. It was agreed that children could not live with their parents. The district court annulled the care on the basis of a private law agreement registered by the Indian Embassy, ​​and the children were returned to India in May of the same year.

One year later, the case had repercussions when the mother’s family breached the agreement and kidnapped The children are from my father’s family, says Thoresen, who doesn’t know what has happened since.

Right to intervene

Gunnar Thoresen, Head of Child Protection in Stavanger Municipality

Thoresen describes the whole affair as a violent experience, not least from the perspective of the media. Several Indian media outlets had reporters stationed in Stavanger in the spring of 2012.

I have appeared in a number of interviews and been interviewed live on Indian TV. It was difficult to face the criticism without being able to list the details. Today, 11 years later, we can say a little more than that. However, the one-sided condemnation in India subsided somewhat when the parents themselves took their dispute into the public domain. Of course it was tiring. Based on a professional child care assessment, I still believe it was the right intervention towards the family. But we have completely underestimated how, in the short term, an ordinary child protection issue can become a major international policy.

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Later, Toresen used the expertise in lectures on how child protection addresses international issues.

– We assessed the case based on the standards that were in place for child protection at the time, but the children were not Norwegian citizens and this created challenges. A direct result of the India case and similar cases was that Norway ratified the Hague Convention and made legal provisions regulating cases where children had connections with other countries. Thoresen thinks this is a good thing and can prevent similar conflicts.

Rina Sander

– Nurseries are referred to as a business

Norway isn’t portrayed in a very flattering light in the trailer. The impression left in Asia after the promo is that Norway is an inhumane country with a child protection agency that steals children. Nurseries are referred to as a company, says Rina Sander, president of Det moderne India.

According to her, this impression is confirmed by the comments section of the trailer, where many people write that tears were shed when they saw it.

Fifth largest economy in the world

She points out that India is important to Norway, not least because the country has the fifth largest economy in the world and is among the five countries in the world with the fastest growing economy.

– Recently, the Energy and Environment Committee of the German Parliament visited India, and two weeks ago the Minister of Industry, Jan Christian Vestry, visited the country. He had a working delegation with him. Norway’s goal is to increase trade with India, and to strengthen our relations with the country. The impression made by the Indians is a success factor for future business, says Sander, and adds that it is therefore important for Norway to assert itself in competition with other countries.

She says that India will have a workforce of more than 1 billion people, which will then be the largest workforce in the world. In all likelihood, India will be increasingly important to Norwegian business in the coming years, whether as a manufacturing country, an export market or a supplier of technological expertise.

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According to it, the Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Families and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs must work in order to reduce the negative consequences of the Norwegian brand.

– Indians and Asians are much closer to the family than is usual in Norway. The Indian family structure differs from that of the Norwegian family. For a Norwegian, it is almost impossible to understand the complex interaction that takes place between relationships, unless, as you say, you yourself are part of this family.

Relying on a good reputation

Jone Skjelbred, who is the municipal director for children, youth and families in the municipality of Stavanger, says they do not want to comment on the case because none of the people they worked on the case are no longer working with. As a result, they do not have sufficient knowledge of the subject.

Child protection service relies on a good reputation. We do not know if this film will affect the reputation of child protection today. We will follow developments and assess whether it is appropriate to make any statements at a later stage, Skillbread said.

to VG They will also comment back once they see the movie, says Christine Augstad Steinreim, director of international services at Bovdere.

– There are strict conditions in the law that must be met before a decision is made about childcare in Norway, and that decision should be a last resort, Steinrem tells VG. It rejects the trailer’s claim that children are placed in foster homes in Norway for profit.

– It’s an opinion we’ve heard before and it’s downright wrong. It is important to emphasize.

Shahzad Ghafoor, Managing Director of Green Chili Entertainment.

– Launched in Norway

Managing Director at Green Chili Entertainment Shahzad Ghufoor confirmed to Dagsavisen that they will release the film in Norway on March 17. Ghafoor was a number of years ago one of those who worked on launching Bollywood films in Norway.

– I think this is an important topic that we should dare to talk about. This topic involves me as a father and cultural worker and not least as a multicultural person, I know very well how easily misunderstandings can arise, he says.

He believes that the film will engage people especially in the Nordic countries, but not least in Europe.

We don’t know if the movie will be a huge hit, but if it does, the movie could have a huge impact. He says that Bollywood films are released in more than 150 countries.

Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

"Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff."

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