In a country like India, cinema is considered one of the most important parts of lifestyle. People living in India watch movies and TV not only for their entertainment but also to connect to the content they watch. Talking about the Bollywood films, the journey of Indian Bollywood films started back in the 1930s from Bombay city of Maharashtra. There was a time when Bollywood was famous for the romance and action genre films packed with peppy songs. But, within the circle of time, Bollywood has come up with various and bold topics that are still the social taboos in society.
Every year, hundreds of films are made in our country but not all of them get a chance to be released in theatres. In order to have a check on the content that is offered to the public and to give the film certification to the Indian movies, the censor board is made. The censor board of India holds the right to cut certain scenes from the movies if they violate the rules as well as they can hold the films and serials on hold from release on certain criteria. In India, Bollywood has also a huge number of films that were made on unique themes and major social taboos but included certain adult and bold scenes. Some of the films were quite controversial as well.
The Censor Board of India has banned many films in the last decade, and more are being banned due to their objectionable content. The government either puts several films on hold, sends them back for reshoots, or outright bans them. In this blog, you can read about the movies that got banned in Indian theatres but some of them are available on some OTT platforms and YouTube. So, have a look.
List of Films that are Banned in India
Here, the list of the 15 films is given that were banned by the Indian government for political reasons and some for their highly bold & adult content. So, have a read on these movies:
The movie was made in the year 1996 directed by Deepak Mehta. The film was high criticized by some Hindu organizations in India because of its topic which dealt with a lesbian relationship between two sisters-in-law in a Hindu family. After death threats were sent to the leading actors, Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das, as well as their director, Deepa Mehta, the film was banned in India.
The film was made by Shekhar Kapoor in 1994 and it was based on the life of Phoolan Devi, was banned due to its explicit sexual content, nudity, and abusive language, which the Censor Board could not (obviously) stomach. When Phoolan Devi herself challenged the veracity of evidence, the film was censored. The film had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and was also shown at the Edinburgh Film Festival.
It is one of the most controversial films of the year 1996 and it is a Mira Nair film. The Censor Board slammed Kama Sutra – A Tale Of Love, calling it “explicit,” “unethical,” and “immoral” for the viewers of the country that came up with the idea of Kama Sutra! This Mira Nair film, which depicted the lives of four lovers in India during the 16th century, was a critical success but a big flop with the Censor Board and was eventually banned.
The film was directed by Anurag Kashyap in 2004. The film was based on Hussain Zaidi’s book “Black Friday- The True Story of the Bombay Blasts,” which was released in 1993. The censor board voted to ban the film because it was controversial and the verdict of the 1993 bombings was still pending.
It is a 2014 film made by Raj Amit Kumar. The film was released in the USA but got banned in India. Unfreedom was outlawed for a variety of reasons. The most obvious is that it revolves around a lesbian couple and their friendship, as well as having a terrorism theme. For those who enjoy art, we believe it is a good watch.
The film was made in the year 2000 starring various renowned actors like Manoj Pahwa, Sharman Joshi, and Antara Mali. The film follows the protagonist’s journey after a hit-car man and a winning lottery ticket go missing, as well as the turmoil that ensues. The film was declared vulgar and extremely bold to be released in theatres.
Another film of Anurag Kashyap in 2004 was banned by the censor board. The film was a thriller of high octane crime, abusive language, and drug usage and abuse and was based on the Joshi-Abhyankar serial murders in 1997.
The Pink Mirror
The film was made in the year 2003. Sridhar Rangayan’s film is one example of a film that raised awareness about transgender people. The plot revolved around two transsexuals and a gay teenager who were attempting to seduce a straight guy.
The film was released in 2005 but later got banned after the controversies. The film was based on a fantastic story about a young boy named Azhar who goes missing during the Gujarat riots of 2002. Despite winning a National Award, the film’s cinematic excellence was not enough for political parties in Gujarat to allow it to screen, and it was outright censored.
The movie starring Lisa Ray and John Abraham made in 2005 was a love story of a widow. The UP government decided to stop the shoot whereas, Arun Pathak, a human activist, organized a suicide protest to stop the production. The film was later released in 2007.
Kissa Kursi Ka
Shabana Azmi has played various bold and controversial roles in her career. In 1977, the film was described as a political spoof because it was focused on Indian politics. The censor board outlawed the film. Sanjay Gandhi’s supporters set fire to all of the film’s master prints and copies.
Hawa Aane De
The film was to be released in 2004 but got banned. The film was created in response to the rising tensions between India and Pakistan. This movie never got a chance to release in India because the censor board put a ban on it after the director refused to consider the board’s suggested cuts.
Dazed in Doon
In 2010, Dazed in Doon was a film that told the story of a young boy who attends the prestigious Doon School and the life he leads there. The school, to say the least, did not find it funny and felt it tainted the school’s reputation and heritage, so the film was put on hold.
Another film of 2010 got banned as it was a controversial film based on the life of a Kashmiri boy. The aim of this film was to highlight the problems that civilians face as a result of insurgencies and militancy in the Kashmir Valley, but it failed because it was refused the requisite censor certificate due to its sensitive subject.
It was released in 1975 that revolves around a female politician who has an uncanny resemblance to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s look. As a result, the film was accused of being based on her and it later got banned for certain scenes during the emergency.
So, these are some of the films that were not released but got a lot of attention from the audience from the kind of issue that it talks about. However, they ultimately got banned either before release in theatres or some were banned they diffused some controversies and riots in the country.