Nandgaon priests are with us, not having any trouble here: Makers of Toilet Ek Prem Katha

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Less than a week after the shooting of Ali Fazal and Judi Dench-starrer 'Victoria And Abdul' was disrupted in Agra over the installation of a statue of Queen Victoria on the sets, another film, the Akshay Kumar-starrer 'Toilet Ek Prem Katha', which is being shot in Nandgaon (near Mathura), seems to have ruffled a few feathers.

Reports on Monday said that some sants from Vrindavan had announced a 'reward of `1 crore' for 'cutting off the tongue' of the film's director, Shree Narayan Singh. Their purported grouse - the movie includes a marriage sequence between a boy and a girl from Nandgaon and Barsana, a practice they claim is "against their traditions". They said that marriages between these two villages have not been solemnised for ages, as one village represents the home of Lord Krishna and the other of Radha.

But when we spoke to one of the producers of the film, Shital Bhatia, he said that the situation was under control. "We are not facing any problem here (in Nandgaon). The temple priests of Nandgaon are with us and we have spoken to them. This statement, that whoever 'gets the tongue of the director' will be given `1 crore, came from some religious leaders. People from our team are talking to them and there has been no problem so far. We explained the concept of the film to people here and how it takes forward the idea of Swachh Bharat, and they supported us," said Shital.

Talking about the marriage sequence, he said, "There was this misunderstanding that the girl in the film is from Barsana and the boy from Nandgaon. We know that it is a 5,000-year-old tradition that a boy and a girl from these two villages do not marry, and we are not showing that in the film. It was a misunderstanding that we have cleared now." Some people have also objected to the title of the film, which includes the word "toilet", when it is being shot in the home of Lord Krishna. "We are talking to people who think that the word toilet presents the place in a bad light," Shital said. He added, "We are in the initial stage of production and the movie name can be changed later, if we feel there is a need for it. In fact, people are happy that we are shooting in their village. They are very cooperative. They bring food from their homes for the production unit. We will continue shooting here till mid-December." 

Meanwhile, Madhav Goswami, priest of the Nand Baba Mandir in Nandgaon, who owns the dharamshala where the crew is shooting, said, "It is a confusion created by some miscreants. There is no marriage sequence between a girl and a boy of Nandgaon and Barsana in the movie. It is against our tradition, and if there was something like that in the film, I would have protested too."

Talking about the word 'toilet' in the movie, Goswami said, "The film talks about a very important topic, swachhta, which is also being promoted by PM Modi. It makes people aware of the importance of cleanliness. I don't think anyone should have a problem with the name of the movie."

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