Indian films offer a variety of entertainment for the audience. Creating these films involves a lot of hard word. But what if the film is banned even before its release? Well, this spells disaster for the film makers and the audience will also fail to watch the film, which results in disappointment.
Films that usually court controversy often revolve around sensitive topics or deal with issues that are considered a taboo in our society. Here’s a list of controversial films in Bollywood.
10. Bandit Queen
Bandit Queen is now hailed as a cult classic, but when back when the film was made, it generated controversy. This film was based on the an Indian bandit Phoolan Devi, and further based on Mala Sen’s book India’s Bandit Queen: The True Story of Phoolan Devi. The film won accolades at several film festivals. The movie contained violence and nudity, and the censor board decided to ban it. The film faced new issues when the Bandit Queen, Phoolan Devi herself decided to object the release of the film.
9. Black Friday
The film was based on the book titled ‘Black Friday -The True Story of the Bombay Bomb Blasts’ by Hussain Zaidi which was based on the 1993 Bomb Blast in Bombay, Black Friday was directed by Anurag Kashyap. The film gained international recognition, it won an award at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles and was nominated Best Film (Golden Leopard) award at the Locarno International Film Festival. The film released in India three years after it first courted controversy.
Portraying religious men in a negative light in films is never well-received by many. Sins was such film, which revolved around a similar theme. The film revolved around a Catholic priest who gets romantically involved with a young woman. Considering how priests practice clerical celibacy this movie was in the news for portraying them in way which was against their religion. The film was certified ‘A’ for excess nudity. The film was based on a priest in Kerala who was sentenced to death for sexual harassment and murder.
Anurag Kashyap’s debut film, Paanch remains unreleased till date. The film is said to be based on the1976 Joshi-Abhyankar serial murders in Pune. The Censor board stayed the released of the film as it had excess of violence, filthy language and for the depiction of drugs. After a few minor cuts, the film was cleared, however it didn’t see a theatrical release.
6. Kama Sutra
Although Kama Sutra originated in India, the Censor Board wasn’t very lenient when it came to clearing the film of the same name. It termed the film as unethical and immoral for Indian standards. Directed by Mira Nair, this film was based on a short story by author Wajida Tabassum in the book titled ‘Utran’. The film was set in the 16th century and depicted the tale of lovers. The film gained curiosity for the sexually explicit scenes it features.
Deepa Mehta’s films are well-received around the world. However, when her films release in India, they generate controversy. One of her films, Fire, won critical acclaim and was lauded for its subject. But it received hate from religious Hindu groups in India. This was because of the film’s subject. It dealt with a lesbian relationship between two sisters-in-laws who belonged to a Hindu family. The controversy took new heights when the lead actors Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das, their director Deepa Mehta received death threats. The Censor Board then decided to ban the movie in the country.
The story revolved around the 1984 riots when a number of Sikhs were massacred. The New York times mentioned that the director was brave enough to portray big topics like politics, The censor board decide to take on this film by making six cuts due to political references making it unfit to be aired on television. It also won the National Film Award: Best Feature Film in English.
Deepa Mehta’s film always raise interest in India. Water, another film directed by her courted a lot of controversy. This was because of depiction of the lives of widows in India. The film was set in India. The plot of the film was written by another famed director Anurag Kashyap, Themes like misogyny seemed new to the Indian audience and also to the censor board. The sensitive theme was depicted with clarity. However, some miscreants attacked the sets, while the film was in production. The protest took a new turn when activist Arun Pathak organized a protest to stop the film from completion.
2. Madras Cafe
The title of the film may seem harmless, however it did generate a lot of attention. The film revolved around the Sri Lankan war, a topic which was highly sensitive in India, and still is. This John Abraham starer courted controversy when it was in the making. The actor-turned-director faced flak from Tamil Nadu’s Naam Tamizar and MDMK for depicting the post-civil war status in Sri Lanka. And also shone light on the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. The political parties went on to seek a ban.
Parzania revolved around the communal riots that shook India in 2002. The film is based on a true story which was inspired by a ten-year-old Parsi boy, Azhar Mody, disappeared after Gulbarg Society massacre. Nearly 69 people died in the communal riots in Gujarat. The film traces the lives of the Pithawala family while trying to locate their missing son.