Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably followed the Udta Punjab – CBFC drama with popcorn to boot. While the Mumbai High Court has now been evoked by the filmmakers to pass a verdict, we take a look at 5 other times the so-called Censor Board has given a tough time to Bollywood movies.
Udta producer Anurag Kashyap is no stranger to controversy and has had issues with the CBFC many times before. The most high-profile case is his second directorial effort Black Friday, based on the 1993 Mumbai blasts, which was delayed for almost three years until the Supreme Court allowed it to be released.
This Deepa Mehta drama about two housewives who develop a homosexual relationship lit quite a flame on its release in India. After multiple violent protests, the film was sent back to the CBFC for re-examination. It led to a huge public debate between Bollywood personalities and the government.
This film also tackled a lesbian relationship in a somewhat different manner. Girlfriend was a more mainstream and salacious film, but it still ran into problems on release. Many protests and incidents later, politicians wanted the film banned and theatre owners were frightened off screening the film.
Based on the true story of bandit turned politician Phoolan Devi, this film was troubled because of its disturbing and graphic scenes. On release it was protested by the real-life Phoolan Devi and others. It was even temporarily banned before being referred back to the Censors.
This Gulzar-directed film was controversial from day one; with its plot bearing similarities to then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s life, and the marketing highlighted the similarities even further. It faced opposition and pressure from the censor and the government, and was banned at one point. Gulzar would face more Censor woes with his later film Maachis.
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