8 Indian Movies That Got Banned By Censor Board

A film gets banned, because it deals with something that is a part of your society and the society is quite literally turning a blind eye towards the issue! The Censor Board should rather ban songs which promote sexual objectification and drug abuse! What say?

Some of these films have remained off-the-radar curiosities, more famous for causing controversy than anything else. Some of them have since received souped-up theatrical and DVD releases. But all of them retain a certain amount of shock value that’s still potent even today. Time to stop banning a film, because some films indeed deal with concerns that is a lethal part of the society. Time to stop. Let’s take a look at some of the most critically acclaimed works which were stalled by the Censor Board of India. Checkout such 8 Indian movies that were too deep for the censor board to handle:

Bandit Queen (1994)

“The Bandit Queen” is a powerful and repugnant portrayal of a modern real-life Indian outlaw, Phoolan Devi (“Goddess of Flowers”). The movie opens at the point of time when the 11 year-old Phoolan was sold as a bride to a middle-aged man. The marital rape and abuse that followed drove her away and eventually, she became an outcast, into a life of brigandage. ‘Bandit Queen’ received as many accolades as it faced criticism. The nudity, sex and violence did not go down very well with the Indian censor board, and they banned it. However, the movie was highly acclaimed in international film festivals.

Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love (1996)

It explores not only the themes the Kama Sutra teaches, (the whole thing, not just that one famous chapter) but also the ideas of what power women have, even it times of stifling circumstances. The themes of loyalty, love, and spirituality are riveting. The heroine’s desire to carve her own path is a major theme that resonates throughout many of Mira Nair’s films, and is empowering to watch. This masterpiece by Mira Nair received great critical acclaim all over but sadly, was halted by the Censors due to it being ‘too explicit’ and ‘immoral.’ Ironic, isn’t it? It’s not as if Kamasutra originated IN INDIA?

Fire (1996)

This movie happens to be a rare feminist point of view from an Indian filmmaker. Tradition, rituals, duty, secrets, and the portrayal of strict sex roles make this an engaging and culturally dynamic film viewing experience. All of the married characters lack the “fire” of the marriage bed with their respective spouses. Deepa Mehta’s ‘Fire’ featured a lesbian relationship between two sisters-in-laws! The movie faced the wrath of Censor Board which termed it ‘unethical’ and ‘immoral’ for the audiences of the nation.

The Pink Mirror (2003)

The Pink Mirror by Sridhar Rangayan is one movie which brought the concept of trans-sexuality to the forefront. While experimental movies became the norm, gender issues was still a touchy topic to explore. The story dealt with the quest of two transsexuals and a gay teenager to seduce a straight man. No prizes for guessing that the Censor board got offended by the ‘vulgarity’ in the movie and banned it even after the film garnered rave reviews at film festivals around the world.

Black Friday (2004)

Loosely adapted from the famous book Black Friday – The True Story of the Bombay Bomb Blasts by S Hussain Zaidi, Anurag Kashyap’s movie was considered too dark to be released in India. The movie faced a stay order from The Bombay High Court because the 1993 Bombay blasts case and remained slated-to-release until the trial got over. The accused in the actual bombings, who were named in the movie, sent a petition seeking a stay as the verdict was still pending and the movie might bias public opinion against them. The court agreed, and the movie saw the light of day after two years!

Water (2005)

A film that dared to look into the lives of widows in India; ‘Water’ was banned by the censors simply because it highlighted issues like ostracism and misogyny. The film courted a lot of controversy because of its dark insights on the life of the Indian widow. Set in a certain Ashram of Varanasi, the script of the movie was written by none other than Anurag Kashyap and took up controversial issues like ostracism and misogyny which were alien to the Indian Censor Board back then.

Firaaq (2008)

This was a film which dealt with the Gujarat riots and the Hindu-Muslim communal hatred. Set against the backdrop of the aftermath of the 2002 Gujarat riots between the Hindu and Muslim communities in Gujarat, India, it’s an ensemble film with a myriad of characters in multiple story threads which involves a Muslim family who returns to their home only to find it burnt by rioters, of a mixed marriage couple who has to deal with their fears and decision to leave Gujarat for Delhi, of a woman who gets haunted by the ghosts of the incident and punishes herself for her inaction, of a group of Muslim men all flustered and planning for revenge, of a young orphan wandering the streets, and the list goes on. Despite receiving great reviews, the film got banned.

Unfreedom (2014)

This film too features a lesbian relationship, with an Islamic terrorism angle to it! This mix was simply too much for the Censors and it was allowed to release in only a few of the Indian States. Unfreedom is a modern-day thriller which talks about a lesbian love story entangled within an Islamic terrorism-related angle. Bringing together two ‘taboos’ in one package, the Censor Board could not digest the nudity and the lovemaking scenes between the two protagonists.

That’s all folks!

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