The movie 'Khap - a story of honor killing, based on Haryana's notorious caste panchayats, has invited wrath of the village bodies.
The khap leaders have demanded a ban on the movie in the region and have informed the Haryana government. The movie is slated for release on July 29 in Haryana.
Prominent khaps, including Meham Chaubisi Panchayat, Dahiya khap, Bhanwala khap, Dhankar khap and even women's wing of Sarv Khap Panchayat have threatened not to allow screening of the movie in theatres, claiming the promos of the movie indicated that it portrays them in negative light.
"We have been struggling to make the media and authorities understand us. Khaps bind the society by conserving traditions, but are open to changes. We never order any honour killing. Portrayal of khap members as blood thirsty fanatics is entirely wrong", said septuagenarian pradhan of Meham Chaubisi Panchayat, Randhir Singh.
He also demanded intervention of the government. "The filmmaker is out to cash in on the issue. For him, it's a commercial venture. The promos of the movie indicate that it has shown the khap panchayats as perpetrators of honour killings, which is untrue".
Santosh Dahiya, pradhan of women's wing of the Sarv Khap Panchayat, which has been advocating participation of women in decision-making in panchayats, said the movie aimed at tarnishing the image of khap panchayats. "I have talked with senior khap leaders and lawyers and am planning to serve a legal notice on the film director. The film is an attack on our culture and we will oppose it," she said.
Another khap leader, Baljit Singh Malik of Gathwala khap, which is said to be progressive, also objected to the movie. "These people don't understand the pain of the society. Their sole aim is to make money and this film too has been made aiming at commercial success."
Director of the movie, Ajay Sinha, however, said the film was just a reflection of the incidents occurred in the recent past. "The film is not against khap panchayats. We have also highlighted their positive side. It's about the conflict between generations leading to bloodshed and the film is a comment on this violent phenomenon".