There is a very thin line between compassion and narcissistic compassion. The Norwegian child Protection body has absolutely no idea of any such line. Upcoming movie Mrs. Chatterjee vs Norway is an attempt to put it out in public domain.
The story is based on an Indian mother’s tooth and nail fight with the Norwegian state. The woman is Sagarika Chakraborty. In the late 2000s, she was taking care of her young son Abhigyan. Since, she was pregnant with the second child and father Anurup Bhattacharya worked in long hour shifts, a kindergarten’s help was sought after.
The nurse and psychologist thought that the mother was emotionally disconnected with child and reported it to the Child Welfare Service (Barnevernet) of Norway. According to it, the father was more responsible than the mother.
The family was kept under watch for months and finally in 2011, Barnevernet took away their children. The official reason behind it was bad parenting.
Cultural difference at the upfront
According to authorities, Sagarika hand-feeding her children was equivalent to force feeding. Even children sleeping with parents was also questioned. A single slap was termed as child abuse. Later, after several rounds of legal fights and diplomatic drama, Sagarika got her children back. Amidst this, she couldn’t save her marriage.
What Barnevernet did is nothing short of a crime. The authorities just refuse to accept the cultural difference between foreigners and locals. Parents sleeping with children or feeding by hand is the surest way to ensure emotional and physical well-being of children. Similarly, occasional disciplinary action is needed to keep children’s free emotions in check and help them become likeable to society and turn into respected grown ups in future.
Norway, cited as the peak of paradise in western world, doesn’t understand it. On one hand, they need immigrants to survive, while on the other they are not ready to respect their traditions.
State sponsored kidnapping
Norway’s child protection body has been particularly notorious. It is quite heavy handed and well-funded. Barnevernet is 4 times more likely to take away children born with foreign mothers. Between 2008 and 2013, it went on a spree and on the basis of “lack of parenting skills”, took away 50 per cent more children.
Even children whom they took away from parents aren’t happy with them and termed them as abusers. 4000 people taken away from their parents between 1945 and 1980 have sought compensation from authorities for abuse. Most of them have received their compensatory amounts, holding Barnevernet culpable. Similar cases have been filed against Barnevernet in the European Council of Human Rights (ECHR) too.
Some rightly term it as “state kidnapping”. It is a dereliction of human rights for both parents and children.
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