This true story is like no other. Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway speaks of a mother’s resilience who fought tooth and nail with authorities at large to safeguard and reunite with her children.
Mrs Chatterjee (Rani Mukerji) is a character inspired by a real-life woman named Sagarika Bhattacharya. The film is based on Sagarika’s autobiography, “The Journey of a Mother” which was published in 2022.
In 2011, the Norwegian Child Welfare Services took the couple’s children from them stating ‘incompetent parenting’. Apparently, the Norwegian Child Welfare Services kept a strict watch on the couple after Bhattacharya’s children were born. According to the organisation, the couple indulged in things that amounted to child abuse. They went on to level allegations as strong as that Sagarika was mentally unwell and hence was unable to take care of her kids.
What led them to believe that? Well, the couple just like any Indian parent slept in the same bed as their children, handfed them, and indulged in practices customary to Hindu traditions and rituals. Practices as such were alien to Norwegian culture and thus the Children Welfare Services took custody of the children.
Conspicuously, Norway does have particularly stringent laws regarding children and their upbringing. These laws are universal and are followed irrespective of cultural differences.