The ongoing Udta Punjab fiasco may have finally ended, after a debacle of about a week. And while all's well that ends well, and Udta Punjab has now been passed with just a single cut, it does raise a lot of important questions about the way our Censor Board functions.
But while Udta Punjab has managed to escape unscathed from the Censor Board's wrath, that's not been the case with certain other films in the past. There are some amazing movie out there which are still banned in India. They are on sensitive issues which need to be raised, some of them are educational, some bring to light certain very important issues, yet the Censor Board refused to pass them. Check out 8 movies you must watch which are still banned in the country.
Directed by Raj Amit Kumar, and starring Victor Banerjee, Adil Hussain, and Preeti Gupta, Unfreedom is based on two parallel plots. While in New York a Muslim fundamentalist kidnaps a liberal Muslim scholar with an intent to kill him, a homosexual girl in Delhi kidnaps her bisexual lover. The film was initially advised cuts by the Censor Board which the director refused, appealed to the Tribunal. Sadly, the authorities then put a complete ban on the film. Quite ironic, considering the title!
2. Mohalla Assi
This one is another recent film which has been banned by the Censor Board. Starring Sakshi Tanwar and Sunny Deol, the film is based on the inhabitants of the famous neighborhood in Varanasi, and it explores the commercialization of the holy city and the foreigner tourists are being fooled there. Initially, the film's uncut trailer was leaked online, following which an FIR was lodged against the makers owing to the abusive language used in the movie. It was eventually banned in April this year. However, we hear that the entire film too was leaked online and it has touched an issue which Bollywood has ignored till date.
Odds are that you might have heard about this brilliant Bengali film which came into the limelight in 2010. The film was basically a rap musical which captures the complicated life of the protagonist who is referred to as 'Gandu' by others. Even though the film received great critical acclaim abroad, including the Berlin International Film Festival and Slamdance Film Festival, it was banned in India. The film courted much controversy owing to certain oral sex scenes and nudity and was eventually not released in the country.
4. The Painted House
The Malayalam film directed by brothers Santosh Babusenan and Satish Babusenan was also banned by the Censor Board. The film is based on the life of a writer, who gets entangled into complicated circumstances and his beliefs about himself are about to be tested. Surprisingly, this film didn't even deal with a 'sensitive subject', at least not according to our sanskars, yet it was banned because there were a few scenes in the film where the female lead was shown in nude. Sigh!
5. The Pink Mirror
This film is probably the only one in recent times which explores the gender issues and transsexuality in detail. Directed by Sridhar Rangayan, the film focuses on two transsexuals and a gay teenager who wants to seduce a man. Of course, the film's plot sounds like a perfect excuse for it to be banned. While the film received an amazing response and critical acclaim, and was screened at more than 70 film festivals, it was banned by the Censor Board in the country.
6. Hava Aney Dey
Directed by Partho Sen-Gupta, the film has parallel plots where on one hand India is facing a war with Pakistan, while a teenage middle-class boy is trying to fix his life in the suburbs of Mumbai. The Censor Board had suggested close to 21 cuts in the film, which the makers refused. Needless to say, the film was banned in India, while it received amazing response and support from outside, winning several awards at the various international film festivals.
7. Chatrak (Mushrooms)
The Bengali film starring Paoli Dam and Anubrata Basu courted quite a lot of controversy. The film's major focus is on the issue wherein people are taken away for construction projects. But it never released a theatrical release in India owing to its sexual content. There's a scene in the film with frontal nudity and a cunnilingus scene between the lead pair, which even got leaked online. While it was banned in India, it garnered much appreciation in various international film festivals.
Here's another Anurag Kashyap film which was banned by the Censor Board in India. The Censor Board had issues with the film's sexual content, and it also said that it glorified drugs and violence and hence the film received a ban from the Censor Board. Even though it was later cleared with a few cuts, the producers could never release it after the initial halt. The film captures the lives of members of a rock band who are involved in drugs, due to which they get entangled into a robbery and murder case.