Free Press Journal

Filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra says he isn’t defying belief, but sanitation is the need of the hour


Be it Akshay Kumar-starrer “Toilet: Ek Prem Katha” or his own directorial “Mere Pyaare Prime Minister”, films delving into the need to eradicate open defecation are “timely”, says filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, who feels the nation needs to build more toilets than mosques and temples.

Mehra said these stories go beyond the subject of toilets.”The stories are not about toilets. Stories are about human beings… So, I hope that as a human story, ‘Mere Pyaare…’ can reach out and touch hearts, and move you in a way which is very positive and thereby, the story becomes a part of a collective consciousness, rather than what just might concern a selective consciousness. I hope it becomes not just a talking point, but an awareness. Once there’s an awareness, something can be done about it.”

He said somewhere, “the voice of the film even tells you that rather than making mosques and temples, it’s more important to make toilets”.

Prodded on why he said that, the National Award-winning filmmaker clarified: “I am not defying a belief…Maybe what I am trying to say is that you can go without going to the mosque or temple for a day or even go without a meal, but you can’t just go without going to the toilet everyday. I am saying it in a practical way, and not saying it in a frivolous way or like a joke. It’s a simple biological fact of life.”