Akshay Kumar and Bhumi Pednekar starrer upcoming movie ‘Toilet- Ek Prem Katha’ is drawing controversy over its name and storyline. It is alleged that this movie violates a marital tradition of two villages- Nandgaon and Barsana located in Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh. A religious leader has declared a reward of Rs 1 crore to anyone who brings the tongue of the director Narain Singh.
Phooldol Behari Dass Maharaj, a Hindu saint in his presidential address at a mahapanchayat of Hindu saints at Barsana village on Monday,asked the producer of the movie to change the title else they wont allow the shoot of the movie in the Braj region. Eminent visionaries of Vrindavan went Barsana to attend this mahapanchayat.
Senior religious leader, Mahamandleshwar Nawal Giri Maharaj suggested that had the film’s name been ‘Toilet – A Swachhta Abhiyan’ then it would have given a better message to the society. Another leader, Mahant Haribol Maharaj condemned the use of the pious land of ‘Radha and Krishna’ for shooting a movie with such an insulting title.
“We would not allow shooting if the title is not changed,” warned the mahant. Another mahant Swami Adityanath Maharaj added, “Even the Muslim community cooperates with Hindus in safeguarding the custom and tradition of Braj.”
The movie Toilet – Ek Prem Katha which is being shot at rural locales of Mathura district, has already enraged the saints who want the title and storyline to be changed immediately. As per the tradition, no marriages takes place between the men and women of Nandgaon and Barsana villages with respect to the ‘pious love’ between Lord Krishna and Radha. Lord Krishna hailed from Nandgaon and Radha was from Barsana. Some natives stake claim that the story revolves around marriage links between Nandgaon and Barsana villages of Mathura.
Narain Singh, the director of the movie, who addressed the media in Mathura later in the day, refuted allegations that his movie would hurt religious sentiments of the Hindus. He said, “We are shooting scenes in Nandgaon and Barsana but every doubt would be cleared with release of movie as nowhere the name of Nandgaon has been used in it. The movie is on women’s empowerment and ‘Swachhta’ and Barsana is chosen for communicating this message through ‘lath-maar’ Holi since Mughal period.”
A lawyer Goklesh Katara has threatened to serve legal notice to the film’s director if the storyline goes against the customs and practices in the Braj region, wherein people of Nandgaon aren’t allowed to marry people from Barsana, sticking to the tradition. On the other hand, right-wing elements are also disappointed by the movie’s title. Akshay Kumar’s fans had no such anxieties on the controversy and crowded the helipad arena as the actor flew in from Delhi for the shoot.