To release a movie offically in India, the film makers require a clearnace certificate from the Censor Board. During the screening process the board members check if there is any scenes or dialogs in the movie which is ‘inappropriate’ for public viewing. If they find any such scenes or dialogs, the film makers need to remove that from the movie to get the certification. But for some movies the board refused to give clearnace because of the content of movie which resulted in the movie not seeing the light of day in theaters. Here is the list of such movies which got banned by the Indian Censor Board.
Unfreedom, a thriller that involves a terror plot and a lesbian relationship directed by Raj Amit Kumar with Victor Banerjee, Adil Hussain, Bhanu Uday and Preeti Gupta in lead roles. The film was refused certification by the Committee due to the strong sexual content.
Fire, a romantic drama film written and directed by Deepa Mehta with Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das in lead roles. The movie was well appreciated all over the world but the movie faced a lot of controversies in India as it was the first Indian mainstream film with a homosexual relationship plot. The movie bagged several international awards and screened at various international film festivals.
3. Bandit Queen
Bandit Queen was straight up ‘offensive’, ‘vulgar’, ‘indecent’ and almost laughed at the cinematic conservatism of the Indian censor board. The subject was such. Based on the life of Phoolan Devi, this Shekhar Kapur movie was banned due its explicit sexual content, nudity and abusive language, which the Censor Board could not (obviously) digest.
4. Kama Sutra – A Tale Of Love
In a rather hypocritical move, Kama Sutra – A Tale Of Love too faced the wrath of Censor Board which termed it ‘explicit’, ‘unethical’ and ‘immoral’ for the audiences of the nation which came up with the concept of Kama Sutra! This Mira Nair movie, which depicted the lives of four lovers in the 16th century in India, was a hit with the critics but a major flop with the Censor Board and ultimately got banned. We did see it coming.
Parzania cut open the wounds of Gujarat’s scarred past, and received backlash and appreciation in equal amounts. The film was based on a superb plot which revolved around a boy called Azhar who goes missing during the Gujarat riots in the year 2002. Even though the film won a National Award, its cinematic excellence was not considered enough for political parties to let it screen in Gujarat, where it was fiercely banned.
Sins is an erotic journey of a Kerala priest who falls for the charms of a woman and gets sexually involved with her. Filled with obsession, lust and his struggles with the norms of the society he lived in, Sins did not go down well with with the Catholics. They thought the film projected Catholicism in a very immoral light. The Censor Board too, had issues with the nude scenes in the film and hence the movie did not see the light of the day.
If you expected anything else from a movie named ‘Gandu’, you’d definitely be disappointed. The Bengali movie was a rap musical which created a lot of buzz for its oral sex scenes and nudity. Shot in white and black format, the movie was banned because it ‘defied Indian sensibilities’.