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Film Screening of “Izzatnagari Ki Asabhya Betiyaan” by Nakul Singh Sawhney


Film Screening of “Izzatnagari Ki Asabhya Betiyaan” by Nakul Singh Sawhney

The Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) cordially invites you to a film screening of “Izzatnagari Ki Asabhya Betiyaan” by Nakul Singh Sawhney on 2nd March 2012. The screening will be followed by a discussion with the filmmaker who will be present.


Izzatnagari Ki Asabhya Betiyaan
Duration: 93 minutes (English subtitles)

Trailer of the film:
Youtube Video

“Those who threaten our traditional code”, says Jai Singh Ahlawat, the Head of the Ahlawat Khap “…are the educated youngsters, the Dalit officers, who want everything to be equal… And, of course, our “asabhya betiyan”, (immoral daughters) who imagine equality like animals and want our age-old customs to die out…”

Voices like Jai Singh Ahlwats’s belong to the patriarchal and casteist pillars of a feudal society — the Khaps; those who oppose “self-choice” marriages and deny young people the right to love.

In Izzatnagari ki Asabhya Betiyaan, we have the stories of five young Jat women who dared to resist. These women take on take on the powerful Khaps and in the process confront “honour” crimes, injustice and social boycotts.

There’s Seema of Haryana, whose brother Manoj and his wife Babli were killed for marrying in the same gotra. Seema and her mother are fighting for justice in the courts against the killers, though they are pitted against khap panchayats across the region and the political establishment.

There’s Mukesh of Rohtak, who almost became a victim of an “honour” killing herself; how she fought back and and created a new life for herself. Geetika, a student of Delhi University, directs a street play on “honour” crimes. She approaches the play keeping in mind her own need to question the belief systems she was heir to. Monica, is a Jat girl, who married Gaurav Saini, from Delhi. Gaurav tells us about Monica’s struggle to lead an independent life and the subsequent problems their marriage faced since they belonged to different castes. Anjali sees education as a way to break out of the arranged marriage and domestic life her family wants for her. Her M.Phil thesis, on honour crimes, is her answer to the voice of tradition.

These multi-narratives of women are intercut with that of the Khaps. Through these stories, Asabhaya Betiyaan exposes the fissures, hypocrisy and violence in a supposedly modern and democratic India.


Director: Nakul Singh Sawhney
Camera: Deval Samanta
Editor: Neetu Singh
Sound: Vinit D’Souza


Nakul Singh Sawhney directed his first film in 2005, "With a Little Help From My Friends" which won the award for the second best film at the "60 seconds to Fame" film festival in Chennai. He then did a course in TV direction at FTII, Pune in 2005-2006. Two short films that he directed at the film institute, "Agaurav" and "Undecided" won the awards for Second Best Film and Best Director respectively at the Hyderabad International Film Festival. After completing his course he made a feature length documentary on the history of the working class movement of Chheharta, Amritsar called, "Once Upon a Time in Chheharta".

Nakul was actively doing theatre and was also the President of Kirori Mal College's theatre society "The Players" in 2002-03. Two plays that he co-directed, "Main Sachcha Desh Bhakt Nahi" and "Advice to The Players" won a multitude of awards including Best Play and Best Director.He has also been actively involved with Jana Natya Manch since 2003.

Those who want to attend the film screening, please do RSVP to: aGRoYW5kYSB8IGlpaHMgISBhYyAhIGlu

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