India produces vast numbers of films every year in different languages. In terms of count Bollywood is the largest film industry of the world. Every Friday is the decider of fate for thousands of people. In this whole plethora of show business, glamour of film industry aggrandize with every new releases. Though India is a very progressive nation, censor board of film certification carefully scrutinizes the subject of every movie. Not all the films are allowed to get released. There are exceptions to which censor board has to show their red eye.
Being a country of multitude tribes, factors such as sensitive tension, religious beliefs, vulgarity, Kashmir, terrorism etc. has forced censor board to ban movies over the certain period of time. Still audiences managed to grab the hold of those movies through their own peculiar ways. Some of them are critically acclaimed by film fraternity of other countries.
Here is the list of…
Top 10 Movies Banned in India by Censor Board
Kama Sutra – A Tale of love (1996)
The literature of Kamasutra originates from India. But release of Mira Nair’s this movie was banned due to explicit nude scenes and over-digestive sexual content by censor board. Sage Vatsyayana would have certainly objected over it. Kama Sutra movie is a tale of lovers in 16th century India, inter-twined on the line of epic literature of the same name. Screened at Cannes Film Festival and critically acclaimed by film fraternity, this movie was not allowed to be screened by Censor Board. Later the movie was sanctioned to be released with A certificate with 2 minutes of cut of nudity.
The Pink Mirror (2004)
Transsexualism is still a taboo in India. Produced and directed by Sridhar Rangayan, the story of this movie is about two transsexuals and gay teenager, who want to seduce a straight man. The film has won awards over other parts of the world. Moreover it is critically acclaimed too. But censor board termed this movie as ‘vulgar and offensive’ and put a ban on its release. Yet makers of this movie attempted unsuccessfully with censor board to grant permission to release it. Till today, the ban on The Pink Mirror exists.
Bandit Queen (1994)
Today cuss words have become fashion in Bollywood movies rather than need of the script. Censor board releases such movies with ‘A’ certificate. But back then in 1994, Bandit Queen – a film by Shekhar Kapur – was not allowed to hit screens due to its ‘vulgar’ language and ‘nude’ scenes. Obviously the subject of the movie demanded it unlike today’s movies where such vulgar language is forced to make it hot among young audiences.
Black Friday (2005)
Anurag Kashyap directed Black Friday is 1993 Mumbai attacks movie. The film is incredible to watch even with non-famous faces during that time. Censor board sensed that movie could cause uneasiness in the peace and halted its release until the trial of that case was over. The movie was about to be released on 28 January 2005. Supreme Court upheld the decision of Bombay High Court to halt the release before trail completion. Finally the movie screened on 9 February 2007 in theatres. I personally consider it one of the best movies of Indian Cinema. It is worth watching.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
Believe it or not, this Indiana Jones movie was banned in India. Even though Indiana Jones is one of the world famous movie franchise, there is one scene in the movie where food is served in monkey’s brain to some characters. Monkey is believed to be a sacred Hindu animal as it is linked to Lord Hanumana. The movie was temporarily banned citing the ‘negative’ portrait of Indians.
A Bengali film directed by Qaushiq Mukherjee, Gandu caused controversies due to its explicit language and even more explicit nude scenes. Gandu was an official selection to Berlin International Film Festival. It screened at Slamdance Film Festival too. In India the first screening of Gandu happened at Osian Film Festival. Though some audiences tend to left theatres during the overt nature of sex scenes.
Directed by Deepa Mehta, Fire depicts the lesbian relation between two characters Sita and Radha played by Nandita Das and Shabana Azmi respectively. The censor board initially allowed the release uncut with an Adult certificate. But it created storm among Hindu fundamentalists who protested strongly against the movie due to homosexual relationship shown between sister-in-laws. Fire is the first instalment of Deepa Mehta’s Elements trilogy. The other two are Water and Earth. After ample amount of chaos around this film, it was finally re-released on 12 February 1999 and later on ran in Indian theatres without any incident.
India’s Daughter (2015)
2012 Delhi gang rape case was one of the horrific incidents and certainly condemnable too. Directed by Leslee Udwin, India’s Daughter is a documentary film based on whom we popularly known as Nirbhaya. The film was about to be released on TV channels on March 8 (International Women’s Day), but Indian police brought a stay order on its broadcast. BBC did not release the film in India. Later on the documentary was also blocked from YouTube India due to intervention of Indian government.
Raj Amit Kumar directed Un-Freedom (2015). The subject of movie again touches the age old taboos of Indian society, lesbianism, religious uncertainty and explicit nude scenes. The Examining Committee refused to give any certificate to the film initially. Later on Censor Board suggested some cuts to the movie. But film makers of this movie refused it. The director appealed against the decision to Indian Government’s Information and Broadcasting Appellate Tribunal FCAT. The authorities in turn banned the film completely lest the scenes.
Main Hoon Rajinikanth (2015)
Superstar Rajinikanth is one of the most respected and sought after actors of South Indian film industry. He appealed in Madras High Court against this film stating it to be a violation of his personal rights. Court gave decision in favour of the actor and film has to change its title to Main Hoon (Part-Time) Killer.
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