Bollywood is one of the leading industries in India as Indian people admire Bollywood actors and get inspired by them. All this is possible as the censor board has learned that some of the previously banned movies of Bollywood were based on social issues, and they have now become liberal. The Indian filmmakers also understand their responsibility and have started making inspiring movies on subjects that were initially considered taboos. Movies like Badhai Ho, Article 15, Pink, and Padman have influenced everyone with strong content.
It was not that Bollywood at that time lacked progressive writers, or the filmmakers did not have their opinion on the social scene. But, the right to freedom of expression was not as effective as it is now. The Censor Board was strict as it used to ban movies with strong language, vulgar scenes, political opinion, religious comments, and many more issues that were considered taboo.
Earlier, the filmmakers did not have the freedom to choose such subjects, and if someone gathered the courage to make movies with a strong opinion on politics, religion or gender issues, then they could never release their film. Here is the list of 5 banned movies of Bollywood that were banned by the censor board due to the aggressive or strong content.
Top 5 Banned Movies of Bollywood
We can’t say if the movies were good or bad, because audiences need to watch a film before judging it. Some of them are very good, and people who watched them did acknowledge the powerful script and acting skills. Some of them are available on YouTube, and people do love them and regret why censor board banned them at the start.
The movie FIRE came in 1996 and earned international recognition. Deepa Mehta, who is globally famous for her exceptional works, made this movie, but could not impress Shiv Sena. The group criticized the movie for its subject which was centered on the lesbian relationship in a Hindu family. The members of Shiv Sena threatened Shabana Azmi, Nandita Das, and their director Deepa Mehta for showcasing a sexual relationship between two sisters-in-law.
The Pink Mirror
The idea of masculinity being a superior force is deep-rooted in our culture and history, and Sridhar Rangayan with his movie The Pink Mirror could not challenge it. The movie highlighted the concept of trans-sexuality. It was about two transgender teenagers who wanted to seduce a man. The subject which is not alien to anyone and earned great reviews at many film festivals while the Indian censor board viewed a delicate subject as vulgar. The movie The Pink Mirror is one of the banned movies of Bollywood.
Bandit Queen is a 1994 movie and was banned because of its explicit content. It had everything that the censor board disapproved, be it the offensive language, vulgarity, indecent clothes, nudity, and the sexual scenes. The film portrayed the life of Phoolan Devi and displayed everything she had to face and the circumstances that turned her into a dacoit.
The story of Black Friday was adapted from S Hussain Zaidi’s book with the same name. Anurag Kashyap, who is known for choosing bold subjects was banned because the Bombay Blast case had not ended in the court, and the trial was not over till the release date, and that is the reason this film got banned by the censor board.
It is another movie of Deepa Mehta and was also banned because it presen5ted the life of widows living in Ashrams. The film Water hints also highlighted issues like ostracism and misogyny as widows are not expected to have sexual desires. The film was written by Anurag Kashyap and was banned after facing several attacks of protestors who also destroyed its sets.
The Indian Censor Board has always been very active when it comes to protecting our tradition and culture, even if these traditions have barred our development. There are many other films which got banned due to the abusive language or aggressive views on sexual, political and religious ideas.