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Priyanka Reddy’s Family Members Are Protesting And Have Approached The HC To Stop The Release Of Ram Gopal Verma’s Disha Encounter.

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Have you noticed that there is a shift in the kind of movies Bollywood is churning out? From mindless masala dramas to movies with a little substance. Of course, there is still a fair share of rubbish content but that is weighed out by movies like Padman and Mom. These movies are a means of spreading awareness. However, while making movies that talk about topics that are as sensitive as menstruation or rape, execution needs to flawless. Unlike the way, RGV has handled his movie Disha Encounter. Which, despite him saying otherwise, bears an uncanny resemblance in name and storyline to the Disha a.k.a Priyanka Reddy rape case.  

Now, we know the RGV is no stranger to controversy but this time he crossed a line. His next movie, Disha Encounter, is a “fictional story” that is all set to release on 26 November. If we go by the trailer, it mirrors the events that occurred in the Priyanka Reddy gang-rape. RGV he did not take the family’s consent before making the movie since he is adamant on the fact that it is inspired by various incidents of rape and not just that one. But if you watch the trailer, it’s extremely evident that the movie tells the story of the Disha gang rape. I mean, it’s right there in the title. 

RGV even tweeted about this. He said, “With regard to speculations on DISHA ENCOUNTER film I once again want to clarify it’s a fictional story based upon many cases from Nirbhaya rape onwards” But this claim has huge gaping holes. Wouldn’t you agree?

In retaliation, Priyanka’s family has approached the Telangana High Court seeking a ban on the movie. They have also approached the Centre, state government and Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to stop RGV from releasing the film. They claim that it’s completely inappropriate to make a movie on the 2019 Hyderabad rape case especially considering it is still a sub judice. They have a very valid point.  You can’t make a movie about a gang-rape and not take the victim’s family’s consent. 

Maybe the real question is, does RGV care if the family hasn’t fully come to terms with it yet

On Sunday, Priyanka’s family members staged a protest outside RGV’s house in Hyderabad. Speaking to the press present at the protest, her father lashed out at the filmmaker for “dragging his family onto the streets.” 

He said, “He has cast an actor who looks like my daughter, everything about the movie looks like it is about the incident, and despite this, he is saying it is about Disha which means a ‘path’. Do people believe that? He should tell us what the truth is. If the movie is not about my daughter, why would I get calls and messages about it? He should cast his own daughter in the role, then make the movie. I have another daughter who is of marriageable age, what will be our fate if he drags our family to the streets?”

Also Read: Was Justice Really Served In The Priyanka Reddy Case? Perhaps In Some Ways, But We Are Conflicted

As important as it is to spread awareness about gruesome cases like this one, all RGV has succeeded in doing is adding onto her family’s pain. Haven’t they been through enough? Why should they have to suffer through this not even a year after their daughter was burned by four rapists? It’s a highly sensitive topic and has to deal with tastefully. This is anything but. Ram Gopal Verma is the wrong person to be making a movie on this subject. He doesn’t have the ability to treat it the way it needs to be treated. 

We say this because his movie based loosely on the attacks of 26th November didn’t go down too well with the audiences and that was one where everyone was shocked and shaken, irrespective of their gender. The man isn’t exactly known to handle subjects like this well. And even if he does, and if it offends the family who have already had to live through this, isn’t it horrifying? And that this is called Disha encounter is also telling. Disha was the name given to Priyanka Reddy like Jyoti Singh was called Nirbhaya.

And despite him saying that the movie is based on various rape cases, the trailer revolves around only Priyanka’s gang rape and murder and the encounter of her rapists. To me, it all seems a little exploitative. Like RGV is trying to cash in on a rape case that shook our country. And that is disgusting. 

All in all, Disha Encounter should not be released. It’s not fair to Priyanka Reddy’s memory or her family. I agree that it’s important for the public to know what happened to her so that it never happens to any other woman. But that doesn’t mean we sensationalize the matter. 

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