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Justice denied, Varanasi man threatens to self-immolate in Delhi

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By Kanika Rangray

New Delhi: With an expression of lost hope and tears streaming down his eyes, Bholanath Jaiswal asks for help by inquiring if his story would be told in the media – maybe then the government would pay heed to those numerous letters he sent keeping his firm faith in justice.

“I will immolate self in front of Rashtrapati Bhawan if I do not get justice soon,” this is what he believes is the only course left to him as he spoke to NewsGram. Bholanath aka Krishnakanth Jaiswal, hails from Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh and deals in fertilizers.

He had sent five letters to the President since June 22 this year and all of them met with the same reply:

Dear Mr. Jaiswal,

Your letter to the President dated ……. in which you had requested a meeting with him, has been received.

Due to other previous appointments, the President is unable to grant your request. You may send your letter again at another time, through post.

Yours sincerely,
Rajneesh, IAS
Private Secretary to the President of India

Bholanath appealed to the President after he faced disappointment at all other doors of justice.

Bholanath JaiswalBholanath had got license for his business from Agra, Uttar Pradesh and after that he had rented a shop and a warehouse. The landlord, Ganesh Vishwakarma, used to frequently ask for loan from Bholanath, sometimes Rs. 10,000-Rs. 50,000, which he used to return on time.

On the eve of his daughter’s marriage on July 25, 1996 Ganesh took a loan of more than two lakh from Bholanath, which hasn’t been returned till date. Due to this unfortunate incident, Bholanath was unable to get his children admitted to school.

He took his appeal to the village panchayat head, where Ganesh insulted him saying, “I won’t return your money at any cost. Do whatever you want to do.” The panchayat head in turn advised Bholanath to file an FIR with the police station, which he did in the Cholapur police station.

The entire judicial process went from July to September, during which Bholanath had been called upon for signatures by the Varanasi District head 12 times. As the process continued, the case had reached the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and on July 3, 1997 Bholanath wrote a letter to the Prime Minister’s office. In reply it was stated that a letter was being written to the concerned police authorities to get him back his money.

When no action was taken Bholanath wrote a letter to then President Shankar Dayal Sharma on July 12, 1997. After that he has been repeatedly writing letters to the various authorities to appeal for justice starting from his letter to President K. R. Narayan on June 20, 2000, to the Home Minister and then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on August 12, 2003, to Minister of state of home affairs Shriprakash Jaiswal on Feburary 11, 2008, I. K. Gujral on August 4, 2008, and to the then President Pratibha Patil on March 10, 2008.

But the orders of even the Presidents have not been paid heed to and Bholanath till date keeps knocking the doors of law to get justice.

Has it really come to the stage where a common man keeps his faith in the judiciary for more than a decade only to see it break in front of his eyes, where he resolves to burn himself, with tears running continuously believing that the fire from his funeral pyre might give light to justice?

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Film Friendly Policies and Favourable Conditions in Uttar Pradesh Interest Bollywood

Popular films like "Raid", "Bareilly ki Barfi", "Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana" and "Toilet Ek Prem Katha" were also shot in Uttar Pradesh

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uttar pradesh, bollywood`
Uttar Pradesh is emerging as the new Bollywood destination. Flickr

Uttar Pradesh is emerging as the new Bollywood destination as A-listers have opted to shoot their films in the state and filmmakers are also busy exploring virgin locations. Officials say that the film-friendly policies and favourable conditions have envinced interest in shooting in the state.

Megastar Amitabh Bachchan is already shooting in the state capital for his upcoming movie, “Gulabo Sitabo”. Popular films like “Raid”, “Bareilly ki Barfi”, “Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana” and “Toilet Ek Prem Katha” were also shot in Uttar Pradesh.

The much-loved films like “Mukti Bhawan”, “Masaan”, “Ranjhana”, “Laga Chunri Mein Daag” and “Bunty Aur Babli” were shot in Varanasi. Karan Johar’s much-awaited film “Brahmastra” is also being shot in Varanasi. According to Principal Secretary Information and Tourism, Avanish Awasthi, Uttar Pradesh provides most favourable conditions and resources for film production.

“We offer subsidy if the film fulfils the set criteria and we make sure that the film units get all security and assistance. We have got approval for 21 films by the Script Examination Committee which means there will be more shooting in Uttar Pradesh in the coming months,” he said.

bollywood, uttar pradesh
Toilet- Ek Prem Katha was shot in UP. Flickr

The state government has also formed a committee in every district called the ‘Film Facilitation Committee’ which can be contacted at the time of any problem or any inconvenience. If the problem is not resolved then film producers-directors can contact ‘Film-Bandhu’ division for any assistance.

Lucknow, in particular, has been a favourite for film makers. The state capital has plenty of ‘havelis’ and palatial bungalows that add to the charm of storytelling on screen and the new memorials and parks that have come up are also an attraction for film makers.

In several cases, the owners of these locations have not charged a penny for shooting. The only ‘charge’ is a photograph with the stars or an invitation to a meal.

Earlier, Akshay Kumar had shot extensively in Lucknow for “Jolly LLB 2”. “Lucknow Central”, “Ishaqzaade” and “Dawat-e-Ishq” were set in the backdrop of Lucknow. John Abraham’s upcoming “Batla House” is another Lucknow based film. The critically acclaimed movie “Mulk” was also shot in the city of Nawabs.

bollywood, uttar pradesh
Popular films like “Raid”, “Bareilly ki Barfi”, “Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana” and “Toilet Ek Prem Katha” were also shot in Uttar Pradesh. Flickr

D.K. Singh, who works as a Liaison Officer cum arranger for film units, said: “The government has come up with film-friendly policies and even the bureaucracy is going easy with permissions. Residents no longer go berserk on seeing film stars and there is a definite ease in crowd management. The atmosphere in general is more relaxed and film makers get a good mix of urban as well as rural location in and around Lucknow. Besides, there are innumerable hotels in the state capital that suit every budget.”

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The biggest factor which is drawing filmmakers to the state is that in recent years, there has been no major law and order problem related to film and its subject.

Earlier, shooting of films like “Gadar- Ek Prem Katha” was temporarily stalled because some Muslim clerics objected to some of the names mentioned in the film. The unit of Deepa Mehta’s “Water” had to leave Varanasi without shooting even a single frame because the residents objected to the subject of widow remarriage. (IANS)