Sanjay Leela Bhansali
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Padmavati banned in Gujarat, UP!

By HT

Even as the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati has been postponed amidst widespread protests across the country, and the Central Board of Film Certification is yet to watch the film and certify it, at least two states (Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh) have announced they will not allow the film’s release even if the CBFC passes it.
 
The film starring Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh has been facing protests for allegedly “distorting history”. The film’s makers have dismissed these claims.
 
Several films have been banned both nation-wide and region wise in the past as well. Here’s a look at movies that were barred from screening by state governments:
 
Parzania (2007)
Based on the 2002 Gujarat riots, the Rahul Dholakia film was initially banned in Gujarat. Later, it had several public screenings.
 
Fanaa (2006)
Starring Aamir Khan and Kajol in lead roles, the film showcased the love story of a terrorist. Though there was no official ban, the film was stopped from screening in various parts of Gujarat after a protester tried to immolate himself outside a theatre screening Fanaa.
 
Sadda Haq (2013)
Based in the 80s and 90s, the film showed the Punjab insurgency and faced a ban in the state over law and order issues. Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief Avtar Singh Makkar also extended his support to the ban after initially opposing it.
 
Vishwaroopam (2013)
 
Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh governments banned the Kamal Haasan’s film citing threats to law and order situation. The film faced flak for allegedly portraying Muslims as terrorists. After the Madras High Court cleared the film, it saw a late release in the state.
 
Aarakshan (2011)
 
Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Punjab banned the Prakash Jha film starring Amitabh Bachchan in the lead. The state government cited controversial dialogues and scenes as the reason for a possible law and order mayhem. Jha agreed to delete the controversial scenes and
 
Jodha Akbar (2008)
Directed by Ashutosh Gowarikar, the film faced an unofficial ban in Rajasthan and an official one in Madhya Pradesh. Activists of the Karni Sena had written letters in blood, against the film’s release and submitted it to theatre owners in Rajasthan.
 
Firaaq (2008)
Directed by Nandita Das, the film faced a ban in Gujarat before it was finally cleared for screening. The film was based on Gujarat riots and received international acclaim before it was even slated for release in India.
 
Santa Banta Pvt Ltd (2016)
Directed by Akash Deep, the film faced a ban in Punjab for allegedly showing Sikhs in a denigrating and defamatory manner.
 
MSG and MSG 2 (2015)
It was the first film by Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the film was banned by the Punjab government after the centre issued an advisory. The authorities claimed intelligence inputs suggested that release of the film may disrupt the law and order in the state.
MSG 2 was banned in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand for hurting the sentiments of Adivasis. Punjab, too, banned the film initially, but it was lifted later.
 
Deshdrohi (2008)
Kamal R Khan’s directorial debut also faced a ban in Maharashtra as incidents in the film were similar to the ongoing tussle between north Indians in the state and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena.
 
Aja Nachle (2007)
First, the Madhuri Dixit-starrer film saw protests for the use of the word ‘sunar’ in a song. Later, Punjab, Haryana and UIttar Pradesh banned the film for the controversial lyrics and the National Commission for Scheduled Castes also issued summons against the filmmakers. It was only after the word was deleted that the film saw the light of the day.
 
Chand Bujh Gaya (2005)
 
Directed by Shiraq Minhaz, the film was the love story of Hindu boy and Muslim girl and highlighted the futility of violence. The film was refused a censor certificate by both the CBFC and Film Certificate Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) for visuals of gory violence and showing communal tension. It was only after a Bombay High Court decision that the film was released in theatres.
 
Several movies have also faced nationwide ban in our country. Here’s a look:
 
Aandhi (1977)
 
Directed by Gulzar, the film was slated for a release in 1975, and was banned by the central government during the Emergency. It was only after the Janta Dal came to power in 1977 that the film saw the light of the day.
 
Black Friday (2004)
 
Anurag Kashyap’s film based on the 1993 Bombay blasts, faced a two-year-long ban before it hit the theatres. The film was based on Hussain Zaidi’s book, Black Friday The True Story of Bombay Blasts.
 
Garam Hawa (1973)
Written by Kaifi Azmi, the film was banned as it was suspected to be an “instigation to communal dissension”. It was based on an unpublished short story by Ismat Chugtai and talked about the post-partition problems of Muslims in India.
 
Kissa Kursi Ka (1978)
 
Starring Shabana Azmi in lead role, the film initially banned for allegedly mocking the Emergency period. The film had spoofed Sanjay’s plans to manufacture automobiles. No wonder, the film was banned during the Emergency. Later, it was reported that Sanjay Gandhi burnt the film’s prints.
 
Unfreedom (2014)
Directed by Raj Amit Kumar, the film has been banned in India for explicit sexual scenes involving homosexual acts.
 
Paanch (2003)
Anurag Kashyap’s first film has not released in theatres till date because the CBFC objected to its portrayal of violence and drug abuse. It has been screened at several film festivals since 2003.
 
India’s Daughter (2015)
A documentary on the 2013 Delhi gang rape case, India’s Daughter was banned across the country. It was feared that statements made by the convict were disrespectful of the rape victim and women, in general.
 
Bandit Queen (1994)
The film that marked Manoj Bajpayee’s arrival in the industry, was banned for graphic sexual violence.
 
Kama Sutra (1996)
Mira Nair’s film starring Rekha was banned in India for explicit sexual scenes.
 
Mohalla Assi (2015)
 
Directed by former CBFC member Chadraprakash Dwivedi, the Sunny Deol-starrer has been canned after struggling for a theatrical release. Based on the popular novel by Kashi Nath Singh, the film had explicit language and in a satire on the commercialisation of the pilgrimage city, and fake gurus who lure the foreign tourists.