BOLLYWOOD is the largest film industry in the world in terms of a number of movies produced in every year. It has published lots of movies which not only influenced people but also changed the thinking of Indian people to a vast scenario and it will continue this process for many years from now onwards. Yes, Bollywood has been assigned as the number one industry to produce good, inspirational and motivating movies for the Indian cinema, however apart from all the hits, flops and the average, there exists another brand of Indian cinema which is deliberately kept out of our reach. Films that indulge in strong (bold) languages, scenes and national issues such as movies related to Kashmir issues, religions which are way ahead of its time. Here’s a list of movies which the Censor Board banned, but not the hearts of Indian people did!
Bandit Queen was a film which contains the following varieties such as ‘offensive’, ‘vulgar’, ‘indecent’ and almost laughed at the cinematic conservatism of the Indian censor board. The subject was simple and it all based on the life of Phoolan Devi, which contains a graphic depiction of violence and rape against low-caste women in rural areas, this film is based on a biography by the London-based Indian journalist Mala Sen, who befriended Devi during her 11 years in prison. This film depicts harrowing scenes of gang rape and violence by upper-caste men. So in a result censor board did not accept this movie which was made by Shekhar Kapurand it got banned due its explicit sexual content, nudity and abusive language.
We all know the famous director Deepa Mehta whose work is recognized for its global content and appeal. The famous director “Deepa Mehta” has directed one such movie which was ‘Fire’ which garnered a lot of critical acclaims worldwide but failed to impress Hindu groups in India due to its subject, which dealt with the lesbian relationship between two sisters-in-laws in a Hindu family. It is a film which has India as a background, and is made in English, deals with the development of a loving sexual relationship between two women but soon the controversy ended with the leading actors, Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das along with their director Deepa Mehta receiving death threats and Censor Board finally banning the movie in the country.
KAMA SUTRA – A TALE OF LOVE:
In a rather hypocritical move, Kama Sutra – A Tale Of Love too faced the wrath of Censor Board which termed it ‘explicit’, ‘unethical’ and ‘immoral’ for the audiences of the nation which came up with the concept of Kama Sutra! This Mira Nair movie, which depicted the lives of four lovers in the 16th century in India, was a hit with the critics but a major flop with the Censor Board and ultimately got banned. This movie neatly depicts the social, religious and sexual turmoil prevalent in today’s society. In this movie, the four main characters go beyond their absolute limits to defend their conflicting views on faith, family, freedom, and love giving a strong message that it is impossible for us to find a common definition for all these.
Another movie to run into trouble with the Censor Board was Pankaj Advani’s Urf Professor starring Manoj Pahwa, Antara Mali, and Sharman Joshi. The movie traces the journey of the protagonist after a hit-man’s car and a winning lottery ticket goes missing and the chaos that follows. However, what irked the Censor Board were the ‘vulgar scenes’ and ‘bold language’ used in this black comedy, which ultimately led to a ban on the movie.In this movie, though it was a comedy movie the words used for conversations were vulgar and double meaning standard so censor board took the decision of banning this movie.
THE PINK MIRROR:
While experimental movies became the norm, gender issues were still a touchy topic to explore. The Pink Mirror by Sridhar Rangayan is one such movie which brought the concept of trans-sexuality to the forefront. The story dealt with the quest of two transsexuals and a gay teenager to seduce a straight man. No prizes for guessing that the Censor board got offended by the ‘vulgarity’ in the movie and banned it even after the film garnered rave reviews at film festivals around the world.
Paanch, an Anurag Kashyap movie, faced a lot of heat from the Censor Board. Said to be based on the Joshi-Abhyankar serial murders in 1997, the movie was a thriller with high octane violence, crass language, and drug abuse. No wonder, the Censor Board decided to ban the film and people awaiting the release of the movie had to make-do with the pirated version of the film.
The most recent one to join this long list of banned movies in India, Unfreedom is a modern-day thriller which talks about a lesbian love story entangled within an Islamic terrorism-related angle. Bringing together two ‘taboos’ in one package, the Censor Board could not digest the nudity and the lovemaking scenes between the two protagonists. Reports also suggest that the movie was accused of “igniting unnatural passions” and hence was denied release in India, except for a few states.
Inshallah, Football is a documentary about a Kashmiri boy who aspires to travel abroad and become a famous footballer someday. However, the boy is denied traveling outside the country because his father is charged with militancy. This film was intended to bring out the problems civilians face due to the insurgencies and militancy in the Kashmir Valley, but the purpose was defeated as it was denied the necessary censor certificate because of its sensitive subject.
Another film to deal with the Gujarat riots, Firaaq was reportedly based on true incidents which happened in the riot-torn Gujarat. Nandita Das was widely criticized for hurting the sentiments of Hindus and Muslims and ultimately the movie got banned. But what came as a major achievement was the fact that the movie finally saw a release date and upon its release, garnered rave reviews from critics and audiences alike.
Water is another Deepa Mehta movie which courted a lot of controversy because of its dark insights on the life of the Indian widow. Set in a certain Ashram of Varanasi, the script of the movie was written by none other than Anurag Kashyap and took up controversial issues like ostracism and misogyny which were alien to the Indian Censor Board back then. No wonder, the movie was widely attacked by protesters and around 2000 fanatics even destroyed the sets of the film.