Mathura, 2016.11.20 (TOI, HT): The film Toilet – Ek Prem Katha (A Love Story), a romantic comedy starring Akshay Kumar currently being shot in Nandgaon is in a bit of hot water with locals for going against a long-held local tradition.
A lawyer has threatened to serve legal notice to the film’s director if the storyline goes against a tradition in the Braj region, wherein people of Nandgaon aren’t allowed to marry others from Barsana.
“Lord Krishna was a resident of Nandgaon and Radha, his beloved, was from Barsana and their ‘pious love’ is depicted during Holi festival organised every year. The tradition not to have marriages between boys and girls from these two villages continues,” explained lawyer Gokalesh Katara.
The production unit is filming in Nandgaon, but not much else is known about the film’s story or schedule as they are keeping their distance from the media.
However, locals got whiff of the plot from a scene shot in which the line “Nandgaon ka chhora and Barsana ki chhori (a boy from Nandgaon and a girl from Barsana)” was used.
“There had been scenes of a baraat [wedding procession] moving from a school premises. Based on media reports, we have come to know that the story somehow revolves around marriage links between Nandgaon and Barsana villages of Braj,” Katara said.
The movie is a satire on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’. However, nearly twenty village heads from panchayats [village councils] in Barsana have decided to approach the district administration regarding a sequence showing a boy from Nandgaon getting married to a girl from their village, a practice which has not been allowed for ages.
Talking to TOI, Goswami Ghanshyam Raj Bhatt, spokesperson of Braj Acharya Peeth, said that they also have objections to the fact that a movie with the word ‘toilet’ in its title is being shot in their district, which has a religious history.
He added that the movie depicts a marriage between a boy and girl from the villages of Nandgaon and Barsana which is against the tradition as no marriages are solemnised between couples from these villages as one represents the home of Lord Krishna and the other of goddess Radha.
He claimed that people of all religions who reside in these two villages follow this age-old tradition. He also said that they would meet the district magistrate and urge him to stop the shooting of this movie.
“There is a population of about 200 Muslims in Nandgaon and about 1,000 Muslims in Barsana but they too have been cooperative enough to maintain this tradition and don’t have inter-village marriages.”
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