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Brothers document khaps' tale

india Updated: Aug 30, 2013 12:55 IST
Sat Singh
Sat Singh
Hindustan Times

A 22-minute documentary movie titled 'Khap panchayats - Its two faces', made by two Jat students of the State Institute of Film and Television (SIFT) here, has been selected for screening in the Chandigarh Film Festival, scheduled to start from Friday. The movie will be shown on Saturday.
Ashwani Sharan, 25, and his brother Vipin Sharan, 21, hails from this district's Farmana village, a part of Meham Choubishi khap.

They started working on the film after Ajai Sinha directed feature film 'Khap' in 2011. The brothers, who are batchmates, said the decision to make a documentary on khap panchayats struck them when Sinha was here to screen his film in the SIFT festival 2011 held in a multiplex. Owing to a protest by khap panchayats, the movie's screening was cancelled but it was stealthy screened at the SIFT campus.

Later, during an interaction with SIFT students, Sinha had asked them the reasons behind khaps' reaction as the censor board had certified the movie. To this, Ashwani had said: "The khaps' decision to oppose the film's screening is devoid of rational thinking. Their method of opposition is intimidating."

'In true light'

On subjects touched in the film, the brothers said they wanted to portray the true picture of khaps. Being from the khap area, they knew that the village councils had been playing a constructive role in issues of marital discord, they said, adding that they had incorporated critical as well as supporting views about khaps.

The documentary incorporates an interview of a Jhajjar district's couple, who were banned for life from entering their native village after khaps declared their marriage invalid.

Ashwani and Vipin are hopeful that their self-financed film that cost them Rs 60,000 will be part of the Mumbai international film festival in September.