We all know what happened to ‘Padmavat’. The name of the movie has to be changed to pass the Censor Board’s decision. The film may be a huge hit, but it lost the essence of originality. Yes, that happens to many of the Bollywood films that intend to walk on a different lane; that talks about the out-of-the-box theme. In India, you can’t talk about religion, sex, gender taboos and obviously about Kashmir issues. Now, making films on that will obviously create controversies. When will our Indian film industry be mature? When will it talk about things freely and openly? To show a same-sex relationship, Karan Johar has to take the make it comical in Dostana, when this is really a very common issue in every society. Today, you will get to know about the films which never reached the silver screen, but if you watch them, you get to know how valuable gems they are in the B-town.
- Bandit Queen (1994)
Indian Censor Board had titled the movie as ‘vulgar’, ‘offensive’ and ‘indecent’. A film with such ornaments cannot pass the strict guidelines of the Censor Board. This Sekhar Kapoor film was based on the life of Phoolan Devi. But, it was banned in India as it had sexual contents, used vulgar language and also showed nudity. It is quite obvious that the Censor Board can’t take that much all together. If you get the link online, watch the movie for once. You will understand it is beyond the allegations.
- Lipstick under My Burkha (2017)
Having your secret desires is Okay, but revealing them is risky, especially when it is about women, no matter what their age is. This movie has brilliantly portrait that. The casting is outstanding as you can watch the genius like Ratna Pathak, Kankana Sensarma along with Vikrant Massey and others. This movie has been honored with the Spirit of Asia Award in the Tokyo International Film Festival and got the Oxfam Award in Mumbai Film Festival. But, to watch it, you have to rely on the links, available on the internet. Due to the use of ‘audio pornography, sexual scenes, and abusive words’, Censor Board couldn’t give permission to release the film.
- Fire (1996)
This Deepa Mehta creation is worth to watch, at least once. If you are a student of film studies, this movie will teach you how to make films that are much ahead of time. When the society is under the taboo of talking about a same-sex relationship, Deepa Mehta brought this film on the floor. While talking about lesbianism, gay relationships and transgender is still a hush-hush issue, releasing a film based on such storyline in 1996 required real guts. ‘Fire’ literally set a fire in the country when the leading actors of the movie, Shabana Azmi, and Nandita Das, along with the director, Deepa Mehta got death threats from several reactionary groups in India. Finally, the Censor Board banned the film.
- Unfreedom (2015)
The name is really ironical for the movie. The movie is based on two controversial plots. One plot talks about a New York-based Muslim fundamentalist who kidnaps a liberal Muslim scholar to kill him. While on the hand, a homosexual girl kidnaps her bisexual friend. The film has been banned due to its explicit sexual contents and violence. The Censor Board has asked director Raj Amit Kumar to make potential cuts in the movie. But, it seems the director couldn’t allow any scissors on his creativity. Finally, the movie is banned in India. Still, you can find it on YouTube.
- Kama Sutra- A Tale of Love (1996)
A film with this name has to be banned in India, right? Mira Nair made this film on the ancient tale of Kama Sutra which obviously faced the wrath of the Censor Board. This movie was based on the story of the four lovers of 16th Century in India. This movie was critically acclaimed but didn’t cross the bar of Censor Board.
- Mohalla Assi (2015)
It’s quite surprising that a Sunny Deol starrer film got banned by the Censor Board, but this is true. This Sunny Deol and Sakshi Tanwar starrer movie are based on the present day culture of Varanasi where commercialization is taking a toll on the holy city and how the foreigners are being fooled here. As soon as the trailer got released, an FIR was launched against the filmmakers as it showed the use of abusive languages. Finally, it is banned. You can watch the online version of the film to watch certain issues that have never been touched in Bollywood.
- The Pink Mirror (2003)
The movie brought trans-sexuality to the forefront where a gay teenage boy and two transsexuals seduce a straight man. Hopefully, you understand why Censor Board put a ban on the movie. Directed by Sridhar Rangayan, this movie has been applauded in several film festivals. But, that is not enough to impress our Censor Board.
- Black Friday (2004)
The movie was based on the famous book, ‘Black Friday- the True Story of the Bombay Blasts’ by S Hussain Zaidi. The 1993 Bombay Blast is itself a burning issue. When director Anurag Kashyap touched this sensitive string, it has to be a bounce back. The Bombay Supreme Court has put a stay order on the movie until the trial will go on.
- Hava Aney Dey (2004)
This movie was based on two conflicts that run parallel. The film showed while India is facing a war with Pakistan, how a middle-class teenage boy copes up with the problems of his life in the suburbs of Mumbai. Don’t know why Censor Board asked for 21 cuts in this film! The makers preferred this film to be banned than bowing down to the authoritarianism of the Censor Board.
- Parzania (2007)
If you prick a sacred state like Gujarat, you have to face the consequence. That is what happened to this Rahul Dholakia-directed film. This story is based on finding the missing son of a Parsi couple who lost their son during the riot of Gujarat in 2002 after the Godhra Mishap. Though the film got two National Awards, it was banned to appear on the silver screen.
We have talked only a few. Bollywood is a big industry and each year it produces numerous films. While some are banned for a genuine reason, there are lots of creative work which just got trapped for no valid reason at all. Let us know in the comment section about more banned movies in India.