A new movie builds on the story of 2003 Ig Nobel Peace Prize winner Lal Bihari, founder and and president of the Association of Dead People. Reviewer Utpal Borpujari explains (on the web site Dear Cinema):
In eastern Uttar Pradesh, there is a Mritak Sangh – the Association of the Dead – founded by Lal Bihari Mritak. And it is no joke. Lal Bihari, born in 1961 in Azamgarh district, went to apply for a bank loan in 1976, only to find that he had been officially declared “dead”. From 1976 to 1994, he continued to be “dead”, before he could win back his right to be “alive” again after fighting a long legal battle.
Lal Bihari’s plight – the result of an avaricious uncle who wanted to usurp the family property (the uncle had bribed the officials to tweak the records and get him declared dead) – was not his alone, as he found out during his struggle to reverse the official records. So, he formed the Mritak Sangh in Azamgarh, reportedly with a membership of over 20,000 members from all over India.
During his struggle, Lal Bihari did everything possible to draw the attention of the powers that be – he held his own funeral, demanded widow’s compensation for his wife, and even fought elections against Rajiv Gandhi in 1989 just to prove that he was alive. Now Lal Bihari, who won the Ig Nobel Award in 2003 for his “posthumous” activities, has officially appended the title Mritak to his name to highlight his plight which luckily for him ended. Director-actor Satish Kaushik had even declared some years ago that he would make a film on Lal Bihari, the role to be essayed by Anil Kapoor. Though Kaushik had made the announcement in Delhi in the presence of Lal Bihari at a press conference at a five star hotel, nobody knows what happened to that project.
But Raja Menon has picked up this very interesting premise to set up his film Barah Aana, with Mishra-ji (Naseeruddin Shah) playing the “dead” man.
More info, and trailers, can be had at the movie’s web site.