List of films banned in India

This is a list of films that have been or are banned in India. This list includes titles that were refused a rating by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) initially or permanently. The list also includes films whose release or production was or are blocked by the central or a state government, or by a legal institution. Also included are films which faced a virtual ban, after theatre owners were compelled to stop screening by non-government groups.

Nationwide

Date Film Notes
1959 Neel Akasher Neechey It was banned for two months for overt political overtones; it showed the troubles faced by an immigrant Chinese wage laborer in 1930s Calcutta.[1]
1963 Gokul Shankar It was banned for depicting the psychological motivations of Nathuram Godse, the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi.[2]
1973 Garam Hawa The release was held up by the censors for 8 months. The film depicted a Muslim family during the partition of India.[3]
1975 Aandhi It was banned during Emergency by Indira Gandhi and subsequently released in 1977 after Janata Party came into power.[4]
1977 Kissa Kursi Ka A political spoof, the film was banned by the Congress government for lampooning the Emergency.[5] The master prints and all copies was lifted from the Censor Board office and burned by Sanjay Gandhi supporters.[6] The movie was later remade with a different cast.
1971 Sikkim The film was banned after Sikkim's merger in India in 1975, as it showed the Chogyal-ruled Sikkim as a sovereign state. The ban was lifted in September 2010.[7]
1984 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom It was banned temporarily for its "negative" depiction of Indians. The ban was later rescinded.[8]
1987 Pati Parmeshwar It was denied a rating by the Censor for depicting a woman in "ignoble servility" of her husband. Later, Bombay High Court allowed its release.[9][10]
1993 Kuttrapathirikai The film was completed in 1993. As it had Rajiv Gandhi's[11] assassination as a backdrop, it was not released until 2007.
1994 Bandit Queen It was banned temporarily by the Delhi High Court after Phoolan Devi, the subject of the film's story, challenged its authenticity.[12]
1996 Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love It was banned due to sexual content. The version released in India had 2 minute cut of nudity.[13][14]
1996 Fire On its opening day in India, some film theatres were attacked by Hindu fundamentalists for depicting a lesbian relationship.[15] The film was withdrawn and sent to back to the Censor Board.[16] But, later it was released uncut.[17]
2001 Paanch It was banned for glorifing drugs, sex and violence, later certified with cuts but went unreleased.[18]
2003 Hawayein The film, set against the backdrop to the 1984 Sikh genocide, is banned in the Indian states of Delhi, J&K, Haryana and Punjab.[19]
2004 The Pink Mirror The film was denied a rating for its homosexual content.[20]
2004 Final Solution The documentary film was banned by the Censor Board for being provocative and under concerns that it may trigger communal violence.[21] It was based on the 2002 Gujarat violence. But, it was cleared after some months.[22]
2004 Hava Aney Dey The movie was not approved by the Censor Board because the director didn't accept the suggested 21 cuts.[23]
2005 Black Friday (2004 film) The movie was based on the 1993 Bombay bombings. The released was blocked until the verdict of the lawsuit by the Bombay High Court on the petition of the under-trials.[24] The film was originally set to be released in India on 28 January 2005.[25] The producers appealed at the Supreme Court but the High Court order was upheld. The movie finally saw its release on 9 February 2007.[26]
2005 Amu (film) The movie was based on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. The film faced problems with the censor board in India, which cleared it only with 6 politically motivated cuts, and with an "A" certificate. Since — according to Indian law — this made the movie ineligible to be telecast on Indian television, the producers later reapplied for a UA censor certificate. This was when a 10 minute cut was suggested by censors, including removal of all verbal references to the riots. Subsequently, the producers decided to forgo the lower certification, and released the movie directly to DVD.
2005 Water The movie faced opposition during its shooting from hardline Hindu organizations in Varanasi. The sets were destroyed.[27] The Uttar Pradesh government decided to stop the shooting on 31 January 2000.[28] The shooting was shifted to Sri Lanka later. The movie was released in India much later in March 2007.
2009 Had Anhad The Central Board of Film Certification refused a certificate to this Shabnam Virmani documentary without cuts. In 2011, Delhi High Court allowed the film to be released uncut and asked the Union of India to pay 10,000 to the petitioner as legal fees.[29]
2011 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo It was banned for its adult scenes of rape and torture. The Central Board of Film Certification demanded that these scenes be cut, which the director David Fincher refused to do.[30]
2014 No Fire Zone The Sri Lankan Civil War documentary was not allowed for public screening by the Censor Board. Director Callum Macrae decided to release the film on the internet to circumvent the ban.[31]

Regional

Provinces of British India

Andhra Pradesh

  • 2006 - The Da Vinci Code: It was banned after religious groups lodge a protest.[35] Later, the ban was lifted by the Andhra Pradesh High Court.[36]
  • 2011 - Aarakshan: It was banned on 11 August 2011 due to concerns that it may hurt weaker sections of the society.[37] On 14 August 2011, the ban was revoked.[38]

Assam

Goa

Gujarat

  • 2005 - Chand Bhuj Gaya: This film which was set with the Godhra train burning as a backdrop was not released in Gujarat.[42]
  • 2006 - Fanaa: It faced an unofficial ban due to the role of Aamir Khan, the lead actor, in the Narmada Bachao Andolan.[43] Supreme Court of India directed that theatres wanting to screen the film should be provided police protection. But, most theatre owners decided not to screen it.[44]
  • 2007 - Parzania: Parzania faced an unofficial ban after Bajrang Dal coaxed theatre owners to stop screening the film. Bajrang Dal activist Babu Bajrangi had the opinion that it may disrupt communal harmony in the state.[45]
  • 2009 - Firaaq: Firaaq was allegedly not released by many theatres due to political pressure because it depicted the 2002 Gujarat riots. But, theatre owners cited a revenue sharing dispute.[46][47]

Madhya Pradesh

Maharashtra

  • 2008 - Deshdrohi: The film was banned in November fearing breakdown of law and order in the state. The film depicted the attacks against North Indians in the state.[50] The ban was lifted in January 2009 by the Bombay High Court.[51]

Nagaland

  • 2006 - The Da Vinci Code: It was banned for portraying Jesus Christ and Christians in an 'objectionable' manner.[52]

Punjab

  • 2006 - The Da Vinci Code: Chief Minister Amarinder Singh banned the film after an appeal by the Punjabi Roman Catholic leaders.[53]
  • 2011 - Aarakshan: On 11 August 2011, the film was banned for hurting the feelings of the weaker sections of the society.[54] But, the ban was lifted on 14 August 2011 after a preview screening.[55]
  • 2013 - Sadda Haq:On 5 April, Punjabi film Sadda Haq was banned in Punjab, Chandigarh, Haryana, Delhi and J&K hours before it was due to open in theatres. The ban was lifted 10 May 2013.
  • 2014 -"Kaum De Heere referred to as "Diamonds for Sikh Community" is based on the lives of Satwant Singh and Beant Singh the assassin bodyguards of Late PM Ms Indira Gandhi is currently banned in Punjab and other Indian states for glorifying the assassins as per Intelligence Bureau

Rajasthan

Tamil Nadu

  • 1987 - Ore Oru Gramathile: It banned for criticizing caste based reservations. The Supreme Court of India later allowed its release.[58]
  • 2006 - The Da Vinci Code: It was banned after concerns that it may hurt religious sentiments.[59] Later, Madras High Court allowed its screening.[60]
  • 2011 - Dam 999: It was banned for allegedly spreading fear among people regarding the Mullaperiyar dam.[61]
  • 2013 - Vishwaroopam: The film was banned after objections were expressed by Muslim groups regarding the portrayal of the Muslim community in a bad light.[62][63] The movie was later released after seven scenes were cut.[64]
  • 2013 - Madras Cafe: The film, which is set in the backdrop of the Sri Lankan Civil War, was not released in the state after several groups protested that the film portrayed the Tamil Tigers in a bad light.[65]
  • 2013 - Thalaivaa: Although film was cleared by the Censor Board, the scheduled release for 9 August was stopped after a bomb threat from an unknown group.[66] The film was later released afterwards on 20 August.[67]

Uttar Pradesh

  • 2007 - Aaja Nachle: The movie was banned because the lyrics of the title song was allegedly humiliating the Dalits. The lyrics were later changed.[68] The ban was lifted later after the producers apologized.[69]
  • 2008 - Jodhaa Akbar: The film was banned fearing breach of peace after protests from a Rajput group.[70][71] The Supreme Court later lifted the ban.[49]
  • 2011 - Aarakshan: It had been banned due to objectionable dialogues.[72] Later, Supreme Court lifted the ban.[73] The film was based on the topic of reservations in jobs and education.

West Bengal

  • 1992 - City of Joy: The shooting was banned in Calcutta for a while due to negative portrayal of the city.[74]
  • 2013 - Kangal Malsat: In February 2013, a revising committee[75] of the CBFC refused to pass the film citing excessive use of abusive language, sexuality and frivolous approach in portraying of social movements.[76] The film was cleared later by the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal after some edits.

See also

References

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