National Award Winning director of Jolly LLB, Subhash Kapoor's upcoming film Guddu Rangeela is comedy with a message. The director had a secret under wraps for long that a plot in the film is inspired by the famous Manoj-Babli honour killing case of Haryana. Subhash Kapoor was a political journalist before he became a filmmaker, and he had closely followed the case and got affected by the outcome.
Commenting on the story, Subhash Kapoor said, "The honour killing case was about a girl called Babli and a boy called Manoj, who got married in 2007 and were killed in 2009. Even though both of them came from one caste and community, the khaps said that all of them who came from that one community were like sons and daughters of one man and so, everybody within this khap were like brothers and sisters. Therefore, in their view, how could Manoj marry Babli who was like his sister? Manoj and Babli probably knew that they would not be allowed to, so they not only got married in an Arya Samaj Mandir, but were smart enough to carry their age certificates to show that they were eligible to marry. Post that, despite being village people, they were smart enough to approach the Chandigarh High Court, who not only took cognizance of their case and marriage, but also granted them police protection and security from the Haryana Government. As a result, even if they were travelling in a government bus, there would be a police van accompanying them with 4-6 cops. Meanwhile in the village, the khap panchayat had taken a decision to kill the both of them. Meanwhile, Manoj's family got concerned about their son, but faced social boycott from the village to the extent that even the supply of milk was stopped to their house. The newly-married couple thought that having got police protection they were safe and decided to return back to their village. But while they were travelling back on the busy GT Karnal Road, the bus they were travelling in was stopped by men in two Scorpios, and the two were taken out. The cops were warned to stay out of this as it was an intra-community issue and they just stood there doing nothing till the girl was killed and the boy's hands and legs were chopped, put in a rug sack and thrown into the water. It was a gross violation of the High Court order and so, the administration took notice of it and there was a case and the people connected with the killings were arrested."
Adds Subhash Kapoor, "The khap leader, who had ordered for them to be killed, was hailed as the big khap hero. The story goes that whenever there was a date and the khap leader appeared for it, there would be about 5,000 people raising slogans in their favour in the court and outside of it. The case was so high profile that the then Home Minister P Chidambaram took it up in Parliament and even recommended for a separate section to be created within the IPC for honour killings, but of course there was not enough consensus on that at that time. It was at this time that I was writing Guddu Rangeela (an entertainer about these two ruffian boys, Guddu played by Amit Sadh and Rangeela played by Arshad Warsi) and I decided to incorporate the story of Manoj-Babli's case in my story. The film is not about that case and it is not about honour killing, but in the film, Guddu and Rangeela are seen fighting a case about honour killing that has happened in their family. Arshad's character in the film is based on Manoj's. And so I have even named his wife (played by Shriswara) in the film Babli."
Guddu Rangeela stars Arshad Warsi, Amit Sadh as two bumbling criminals who run an orchestra party. They take on a villain (Ronit Roy) way stronger than themselves which land in a soup. The film produced by Mangal Murti Films is presented by Fox Star Studios is set to release on July 3.
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