Parched, a bittersweet tale of four women rebelling against the age-old traditions of Rabari community, landed in a legal tangle on Thursday, a day before its release. A 26-yearold BJP leader from Anjar taluka, approached Gujarat High Court seeking a ban on the film saying it hurt his community's pride by portraying it as crude and assassinating the character of its women. Masarubhai Rabari, general secretary of BJP, Anjar taluka (Kutch), said, "The characters are showing in our traditional attire and as leading our lifestyle. But the dialogues portray our community in a bad light.

The women are shown as having loose morals and questions have also been raised on our traditions. If the movie is screened, it will give out a wrong impression of our community and that is unacceptable." Rabari said that after he saw the trailer, which released on September 9, he felt that the film would bring disrepute to his community. "Parched is presented in a highly destructive, improper, inappropriate and offensive manner against the sentiments of the petitioner's community. It shows a particular community as vulgar, rude, offensive and crude and creates wrong image of it in the society," says Rabari's petition.

After hearing the case on Thursday, the court issued notices to the central government's Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Censor Board and Leena Yadav, the director of the movie. "We have sought a stay on the movie's release but the court just issued notices to the respondents, citing late filing of the plea as the reason. We will demand a stay on the exhibition of the movie in the hearing on September 27," said Vijay Nangesh, counsel for the petitioner. Parched revolves around the plight of four rural women leading an oppressed life in the north-western region of the country.

They are shown as struggling against family, social customs, and physically and emotionally abusive husbands. The film was showcased at Toronto Film Festival last year. The film has already triggered controversy before its release after two clips were leaked on social media. The screen grabs of the trailer and clips were also annexed with the PIL. Director Leena Yadav nor actress Radhika Yadav responded to Mirror's phone calls and text messages till the time of going to the press.

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