Mumbai July 26: Four days before the release of 'Khap A Story of Honour Killing', based on Haryana's khap panchayats, Khap leaders have approached the Haryana government to ban the film as they feel it shows them in a negative light.
The khaps have threatened that they won't allow the film to be screened in theatres, as they feel their portrayal as bloodthirsty fanatics is incorrect.
The film's director Ajai Sinha, told Delhi Times that he was only condemning the act of honour killing through his film,and not the community.
Says Sinha, "I haven't made the film to malign any community. I interacted with a few people from some khaps too, and did a lot of research on why they were formed, what it was like in the initial days, etc.
"I also consulted social workers who have been working on the issue in Haryana."It was only after understanding the system that I decided to make the film.
"So,while the movie is about the khaps and their way of justice through honour killings, it also talks about the positives of the khaps", says Ajai.
The director says he was prepared for some opposition,but not to this extent. In fact, he even tried requesting a few political bigwigs in Haryana to watch the movie, but says that no one wants to court any controversy.
Ajai adds, "It was two months ago that I heard for the first time that the khaps want the film to be banned. But we know we haven't made anything that maligns anyone.
"If a teacher beats a boy, and the boy dies, we condemn the act and not the entire teaching community.
"It portrays the negative acts of the community and their medieval system of justice.
"But when we contacted some senior politicians in Haryana, no one wanted to see the film. They are concerned about their vote banks and do not want to generate controversy."
The lead actor of the film, Sarrtaj Gill, plays Kush, an MBA student who revolts against the system since he falls in love with a girl from the same khap.
Says Gill, "the movie shows the truth. There's no exaggeration. We've discussed the positives of the khaps too, like we have a character played by Alok Nath who comes to Delhi from a khap and they have funded his education.
"It also shows how they help farmers, make schools for the farmers children,etc."We're not attacking the panchayat, but the thinking of the people. We're only hoping to impact their thinking and that theyll change their system of justice."