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Toilet: Ek Prem Katha embroiled in plagiarism row

Documenatary filmmaker Praveen Vyas has accused Toilet: Ek Prem Katha makers of lifting the plot from his 2016 docu-feature Manini.

Mayur Lookhar

Akshay Kumar's upcoming social drama Toilet: Ek Prem Katha has run into rough waters after documentary filmmaker Praveen Vyas accused Toilet makers of plagiarism. In his complaint, Vyas has alleged that the Hindi film is a direct copy of his 2016 docu-feature Manini. Both films revolve around the issue of sanitation.

“Manini follows the female protagonist as she protests against the lack of a toilet in her marital home on the first night of her marriage after female relatives wake her up before sunrise to tend to nature's call in an open field. The scenes in Toilet: Ek Prem Katha's trailer shows the same interaction between characters,” Vyas told Mumbai Mirror tabloid.

Manini was featured at the International Film Festival of India in Goa last year where it won the third prize. Manini was uploaded on the National Film Development Corporation's official website, and awarded a certification of appreciation by minister of state for information & broadcasting, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.

The visuals in the Manini teaser bears resemblance to the one in Toilet: Ek Prem Katha trailer.

We tried contacting Toilet writers Siddharth-Garima, but their phone was switched off.

However, Shital Bhatia, co-founder of Friday Filmworks that is co-producing Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, rubbished Vyas’s allegations. "These allegations are baseless and border on harassment. The script of our film has been registered under our writers' names, Siddharth and Garima, with the authorised industry association since 2013,” said Bhatia.

It must be recalled that in April this year, Cinestaan.com had reported about the plot of Toilet being similar to that of filmmaker Sunjoy Nag’s  film Good Morning, Sunshine.

Is Akshay Kumar's Toilet — Ek Prem Katha inspired from another film?

While Manini director Vyas has taken Toilet: Ek Prem Katha makers to court, Good Morning, Sunshine director doesn’t feel that Toilet is inspired by his film.

“I read about the plagiarism row. We’ve seen the Toilet trailer and songs, from the looks of it, find there is no similarity between the two. My film is completely different,” Nag told Cinestaan.com.

Be it Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, Good Morning, Sunshine or Manini, each of these films appear to be inspired by the tale of Priyanka Bharti, the village belle from Uttar Pradesh’s Maharajganj district who created a stir in 2012 when she walked out of her marital home because it didn’t have a toilet.

Nag had claimed that he had obtained Bharti’s consent to make his film Good Morning, Sunshine and claimed that Bharti also made an appearance in his film.

Meanwhile, it is the second successive Siddharth-Garima film that has been involved in plagiarism row. Earlier this month, Dinesh Vijan’s Raabta was embroiled in plagiarism row after makers of the SS Rajamouli-directed Telugu film Magadheera (2009) had dragged Vijan and Raabta makers to court.   
Raabta was cleared by the Andhra high court, only a day before the film’s release on 9 June.

Starring Akshay Kumar and Bhumi Pednekar, Toilet – Ek Prem Katha is set to be released on 11 August.