Bollywood’s most controversial films either earn one too many critical acclaims and awards or they tank at the Box Office because of their bad word-of-mouth publicity. Just yesterday 62nd National Film Awards were declared and we saw that Haider absolutely mesmerized the jury. It won FIVE awards hands down. We have been praising about the film in our review and our blogposts; and we believe there might have been a ban imposed on the film, the filmmaker might have shown us only a partial picture of the reality but the film celebrated humanity in a very literato-esque way. And we totally loved it to the moon and back. We congratulate the team of Haider for their win but then we can’t let go of the fact that India is a sorry state.
Ban is the buzz word these days. However, even before it became a most sought after catchphrase, many such films have been banned that ought to have seen the light of the “modern” day! The self-proclaimed moral police and the vigilante are a hindrance in the growth of real cinema in India. And we want to be done away with them. Certification is not an issue, censorship is. If one understands this, one understands Art. Alas! That’s not to be so soon in India for in India, every year at least 3 films face a ban. However, the world of wide web is liberal enough to accommodate all sorts of ideas. And now that Section 66 A of IT act is been scrapped, we the independent netizens of independent India are free to use and abuse the internet as we like. Be that as it may, what we wish for our readers to do is watch some good films that were banned by the moral police!
Here’s a list of the films that faced the wrath of the moral police
A movie by Shekhar Kapur based on the life of a Bandit Phoolan Devi was not only the audience but even real Phoolan Devi tried to revoke the release. The film which stars Seema Biswas in the title character is galore with bold scenes, rape scenes and violence. Although the film won National Film award and also garnered critical acclaim worlwide yet many in India do not approve of it.
Recently re-released, the film Garam Hawa, during its time created quite a stir. Owing to its political drama portraying a Muslim family in partition torn worlds, was stalled from releasing. The film touched upon a sensitive issue and it was put on embargo for 8 long months. Post its release, however, it won the hearts worldwide.
This film’s release was delayed for over half a decade. The film depicted the life of a claimed yet controversial painter Raja Ravi Verma. And because it confronted nudity openly, it was banned. The film released in November 2014 and received rave reviews from the critics.
Homosexuality might have been a part of Indian mythology but portraying it on silver screen in what is touted to be modern zamana is absolutely restricted. Deepa Mehta’s elements trilogy tackled the earthy, fiery and the diluted aspects of human life in her films Earth, Fire and Water. However, owing to its subject (Fire addressed homosexuality) wasn’t released in India.
The problems began for the film ever since its announcement. Just a day before the film was to go on floors, there were protests on Ganga Ghats and activists threatened to commit suicide. Looking at the gravity of the issue, Mehta shot the film in Sri Lanka with a fresh cast and under a pseudo title for the film, River Moon. This film deals with the social evil and traces the journey of a widow into freedom.
Kissa Kursi Ka
Shabana Azmi and Raj Babbar starrer was a satire over the corrupt political system. This Amrit Nahata film which closely resembled the life of Sanjay Gandhi was banned by Indian government. The prints of the film were confiscated and burnt!
This film starred Shiney Ahuja and was pulled down by Catholic community. The film showed how a Catholic priest is involved with a young woman. The film posed off highly erotic content and was termed to be indecent.
Sanjeev Kumar and Suchitra Sen starrer Aandhi was banned by Indira Gandhi government for quite some time. Gandhi believed that the film was inspired by her life and fearing controversies she stalled the release. The film was released post the end of her regime as the PMO. The film was even aired on DD and became an instant hit with the masses.
1993 blasts and riots was one sensitive issue, the wounds of which remain unhealed till date. Black Friday subtlety tackles this subject. However, fearing communal tension Anurag Kashyap film was banned by the government.
This film from the year 2005 is unheard of even by the movie buffs. The film which tackles pandemonium which was a result of the 1984 Punjab riots deals with the life of a young woman Amu whose past is connected with the gruesome riots. The film went through a lot of audio cuts and the filmmakers were even threatened by goons for shooting the riot scenes. Want more shockers? This film has won a National film award.