Some Bollywood movies have faced controversies and censorship issues, outright bans in India are relatively rare. However, there have been instances where movies have encountered challenges due to their content, resulting in restrictions or delays in release. Here are insights into 10 Bollywood movies that sparked controversy and faced bans or severe restrictions in India:
1. "Bandit Queen" (1994)
Directed by Shekhar Kapur, "Bandit Queen" is a biographical film based on the life of Phoolan Devi, a notorious Indian outlaw. The film's explicit scenes depicting violence, sexual abuse, and strong language led to its ban in certain regions initially. It faced scrutiny for its portrayal of sensitive subjects and required multiple cuts before eventual release.
2. "Paanch" (Unreleased)
Directed by Anurag Kashyap, "Paanch" faced censorship hurdles due to its depiction of drug abuse, violence, and explicit content. Despite being praised for its storytelling and performances, the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) objected to its content, leading to the film being unreleased.
3. "Black Friday" (2007)
Based on the book by Hussain Zaidi, "Black Friday" recounts the events surrounding the 1993 Bombay bombings. The film's gritty portrayal of the incidents and the controversies surrounding the real events led to its delay in release. Legal issues and concerns about potential communal tensions resulted in its ban for some time.
4. "Firaaq" (2008)
"Firaaq," directed by Nandita Das, examines the aftermath of the 2002 Gujarat riots. The film faced objections from certain groups, leading to delays and restrictions on its release. Its sensitive portrayal of communal tensions led to controversies and hindered its exhibition in certain areas.
5. "Gandu" (2010)
Directed by Qaushiq Mukherjee, "Gandu" attracted attention due to its explicit sexual content and offensive language. Despite its screenings at international film festivals, the film's explicit nature resulted in it being banned in India.
6. "Lipstick Under My Burkha" (2017)
This film, directed by Alankrita Shrivastava, explores the secret lives of four women and their desires. The CBFC initially denied certification, citing its explicit sexual content and women-centric themes. After a prolonged battle and revisions, it was eventually released.
7. "Udta Punjab" (2016)
"Udta Punjab" delves into the drug abuse issue in the state of Punjab. The Central Board of Film Certification demanded numerous cuts due to its depiction of drug abuse and its political references. However, after a legal battle and public outcry, the film was released with minimal changes.
8. "India's Daughter" (2015)
Leslee Udwin's documentary about the 2012 Delhi gang rape controversy led to significant uproar due to its sensitive subject matter. The Indian government banned its broadcast, citing concerns about the impact on public sentiment and the legal proceedings.
9. "MSG: Messenger of God" (2015)
This film featuring Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the controversial leader of the Dera Sacha Sauda sect, faced opposition from Sikh groups. Allegations of blasphemy and the glorification of the sect's leader led to its ban in certain regions.
10. Padmaavat (2018)
Certain groups believed that the movie depicted the legendary Rajput queen, Padmavati (or Padmini), in a manner that was not in line with their cultural sentiments. They claimed that the film might have depicted her in a controversial light, which could hurt the sentiments of the Rajput community.
These movies faced varying degrees of bans, censorship, or delays in their release due to their content, which clashed with societal norms, political sentiments, or religious sensitivities. Bollywood, like any film industry, navigates a fine line between creative expression and cultural sensitivities, often leading to clashes with censorship boards and societal groups.