A beautiful love story or a mind-boggling thriller or in some rare cases, a movie with a strong social message. This is the image of Bollywood in general. Most of the mainstream film personalities always take precaution not to create controversies and keep themselves from adopting controversial subjects for the movies.
Bollywood treats movies as media for entertainment and not for airing opinions or protesting injustice. Still, there were some movies which created a lot of controversies because of its subject. Some of them have been banned in the initial stages but released later. Some have not seen the light so far. Here are some such movies.
Garm Hawa (1973)
Garm Hawa, directed by M. S. Sathyu was a political drama made on the backdrop of India-Pakistan partition. It narrated the story of a Muslim family that had to suffer a lot during partition. As the subject was very sensitive, Authorities feared backlashes and hence tried to delay the release of the movie. It has been kept on pending for more than eight months and when released finally it received many applauses from different corners.
Aandhi, directed by Gulzar created a havoc when its posters released. Poster of the movie, telling the story of a woman political leader ignited the rumor that it is based on the real-life story of then Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi and the authorities banned the movie. However, the ban has been removed as soon the Janata Party government came to power after 1977 elections. It has shown on the state-run TV channel Doordarshan too.
Kissa Kursi Ka (1977)
It was in the darkest days of Indian democracy, the movie Kissa Kursi Ka was made. When the government was ruling with iron hands during Emergency Period, director Amrit Nahata who was also a Member of Parliament came up with a unique subject on the actions of corrupt political parties.As the news spread, filmmaker’s places have been raided and all the prints including the negatives were confiscated and burned out. After the emergency, the filmmakers fought a long legal battle and Sanjay Gandhi, son of Indira Gandhi and V. C. Shukla found guilty in this case and imprisoned.
Bandit Queen (1994)
Without a doubt, Bandit Queen was one of the best films produced in India. It received many positive criticisms in many international film festivals and applauses from different corners. However, it attracted severe criticism from the censor board for including many rude languages and for having sexy contents. The film became more controversial when Phulan Devi, upon whose life story the movie has been made came forward to point out many lapses in it.
Deepa Mehta’s Fire created controversy due to its unique subject. The movie told a story of a same-sex relationship which was quite indigestible for a conservative society. Just after the release of the movie, the controversy reached its peak which made the Censor Board to recall the movie and to re-censor it again. Although the movie exhibited after re-censoring, it remains as one of the most controversial movies of Bollywood.
Paanch was Anurag Kashyap’s debut movie and it was based on a real incident. The story of five band members brutally killing nine people attracted the wrath of the Censor Board for promoting drugs, violence, and sex. Board members have several apprehensions about many scenes and the movie had to undergo several cuts to get it cleared. However, it is not released yet.
Hava Aney De (2004)
An Indo-French co-production film, Hava Aney De was on the backdrop of Indo-Pak war. Censor Board found many issues with the movie and suggested as much as 21 cuts get the movie released in India. The makers rejected the offer and the movie has not been released in India so far though it has released in many other countries.
Black Friday (2005)
Another controversial film from Anurag Kashyap. “Black Friday” was based on the 1992-93 Mumbai riots. Censor Board really afraid a havoc on the release of this movie which tells the darkest days of the financial capital of India and blocked it. However, it has released in 2007 after many cuts and screenings.
Amu. the movie depicting the story of a young woman in the backdrops of 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi too have to face the ax of the censor board. Many audio clippings and some scenes have to be removed before getting certified. However, even after those cuts, it is a movie worth watching.
After “Fire”, Deepa Mehta’s next in her trilogy, “Water” also become a controversial film. This time it was Hindu hardliners stand up against the movie in which topics including Sathi were discussed. The shooting had to stall many times because of the protests.