It’s Controversial: From Black Friday to Kamasutra: A Tale of Love, check out the films that created controversy and got banned during the time of their release in India
There are lots of films that created controversies at the time of their release, even got banned for their content and scenes. It was very recently that OMG 2 became a target for showcasing those topics which create controversies among viewers. A section of the society asked for changes in the film as it agitated them because Akshay Kumar was playing the character of Lord Shiva and the film talks about the importance of Sex Education.
The rage was such that the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) asked the makers of Kumar’s OMG 2 to make alterations to the movie. But finally, the movie is set to release tomorrow with an “A” certificate and with some minor modifications including the character of Akshay Kumar.
Apart from OMG 2, there are many such films that have either been banned or have come to the theatres after facing many legal and vocal difficulties. Let’s look at those films which are included in the list.
Bandit Queen (1996)
Bandit Queen was screened at Cannes Film Festival in 1994.
Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen was labelled “offensive,” “vulgar,” and “indecent.” Due to its graphic language, nudity, and strong sexual material, the movie was prohibited from being released in India. The content was not deemed appropriate by the Indian Censor Board either.
The character Phoolan Devi, who suffered sexual assault at the hands of upper-caste men, turned into a bandit, governed the Chambal valleys, then sought retribution on those individuals and entered politics, is the inspiration for the movie Bandit Queen.
‘Fire’ was the first installment of Deepa Mehta’s trilogy followed by Earth (1998) and Water (2005).
The popularity and content of Deepa Mehta’s work are acknowledged on a global scale. Closer to home, though, that causes disagreement. One such film was “Fire,” which received widespread praise from critics but fell flat with Hindu organisations (like the Shiv Sena) in India due to its focus on a lesbian romance between two sisters-in-law in a Hindu family.
Shabana Azmi, Nandita Das, and director Deepa Mehta all received death threats as a result of the dispute, and the Censor Board ultimately decided to outlaw the movie nationwide. The movie was released in theatres but was pulled after numerous protests. The movie wasn’t edited when it was released in 1999, a few years later.
Kama Sutra-A Tale of Love (1996)
This Indian but Indian language film was produced by British, German, Indian, and Japanese Studios.
Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love by Mira Nair was also scrutinised. The release of the movie was controversial in the nation that gave birth to the Kama Sutra notion itself. The movie, which focused on the lives of four lovers in the sixteenth century, was outlawed for its explicit sexual themes and erotica. This film also stars Rekha who played the character of Rasa Devi (teacher of Kama Sutra).
Black Friday (2004)
‘Black Friday’ won the Grand Jury Prize at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles.
The events leading up to the 1993 Bombay bombings and the ensuing police inquiry are detailed in the book Black Friday: The True Story of the Bombay Bomb Blasts by Hussain Zaidi. Starring Pawan Malhotra, Kay Kay Menon, Aditya Srivastava, Kishor Kadam, and Zakir Hussain, the movie is produced by Arindam Mitra.
Because the 1993 Bombay explosions and how they were orchestrated were described in the movie, the Indian censor board deemed it to be too dark and requested a stay from The Bombay High Court. The movie wasn’t given enough credit when it was released four years after its inception.
‘Technically Paanch’ was the first film that was directed by Anurag Kashyap but is still not released in India.
Anurag Kashyap’s 2003 Indian criminal thriller Paanch, starring Kay Kay Menon, Aditya Srivastava, Vijay Maurya, Joy Fernandes, and Tejaswini Kolhapure, was written and directed by him in his feature film debut. The Joshi-Abhyankar serial killings in Pune in 1976–1977 are “loosely” the basis for the movie. The movie was never released on home video or in theatres.
The Central Board of Film Certification took issue with the movie’s violence, drug usage representation, and foul language. In 2001, the movie was released following some edits. However, the producer was having issues, so it couldn’t be released. Later, torrent websites started to offer it. The movie was then shown at a number of film festivals.
Due to controversies, Water was shot in Sri Lanka, rather than Varanasi.
Another Deepa Mehta film that sparked a lot of debate was Water, which offered gloomy insights into the life of the Indian widow. The film’s script, authored by none other than Anurag Kashyap, was set in a specific Varanasi Ashram and tackled contentious topics like ostracism and misogyny that were foreign to the Indian Censor Board at the time.
It’s understandable why demonstrators attacked the picture on a large scale, and about 2000 zealots even destroyed the movie’s sets. It stars John Abraham and Lisa Ray in the main leads.
‘Firaaq’ stars Naseerudin Shah, Paresh Rawal, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Amruta Subhash, and Tisca Chopra.
Firaaq, another movie on the Gujarat riots, is said to have been based on actual events that took place there. Nandita Das received harsh criticism for offending the religious feelings of Muslims and Hindus, and as a result, the movie was eventually outlawed. But a huge accomplishment was that the film eventually had a release date and received overwhelmingly positive reviews from both reviewers and viewers.