You'd think khap panchayats in some parts of northern India wouldn't have the time to look up trailers of upcoming movies, what with all the jeans-clad, mobile-phone-toting girls that they have to restrain from walking around or, y'know... existing.
However, according to a Hindustan Times report, the Ahlawat khap in village Bhainsi of district Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh has taken offence to the plot of the upcoming 'Miss Tanakpur Haazir Ho', directed by Vinod Kapri. The film, which releases on June 26, is a social satire in which a major plot point is that of a village boy being directed by a khap panchayat to marry a water buffalo following an accusation of rape.
The Ahlawat khap has reportedly been so enraged by this depiction of panchayats and village life that they have suggested placing a bounty of 51 buffaloes on Kapri's head.
Kapri, a reputed journalist who has spent two decades working with Hindi news channels such as News Express and India TV, has said that he is "shocked and worried" by this threat and is more worried about his family members, who reside in Noida, merely 100 km away from Bhainsi. Commenting to HT Cafe on Wednesday on the irony of the situation, he was quoted as saying, "...at the same time, I'm relieved that what I wanted to show through my film has already been proven by such statements."
While Kapri has asked for police protection for himself and his family, he has said that he doesn't plan to lodge an official complaint against the khap. "I would request them to ask sensibly, logically, and responsibly. Such immature and illegal statements are not expected of khap panchayats, which are headed by experienced and elderly people. I respect them, and want to request them to be patient and not pass such immoral judgements without even watching the movie," he told HT.
Here is the trailer of 'Miss Tanakpur Haazir Ho', which stars Om Puri, Annu Kapoor, and Ravi Kishen. The film releases on June 26.