Indians are known to be proud and protective of their culture, traditions and values. However, who actually set the rules for theses values and constructed the moral fibre was never actually asked by anyone. The biggest repercussions of these fabricated values were faced by the performing arts, particularly cinema.
While, the CBFC was essentially established to certify movies, in recent times, the board has taken upon itself to ‘purify’ industry from explicit content and has transformed itself into a Censor machine rather than just a certification board.
The board is often criticised for its conservative outlook for films that bring forward gender taboos, profanity prevalent in the society and show carnal desires openly. Over the years, there have been numerous issues with innumerable films that the Censor Board cropped, delayed or banned.
Let’s have a look at five such Bollywood movies where the content went against the sanskaars of Censor Board of Film Certification of India:
Bandit Queen (1994)
The most controversial movie that came in the 90s, Bandit Queen had to face the wrath of the censor board. Directed by none other than critically acclaimed Shekhar Kapoor, the movie was based on the life of dacoit-turned-politician Phoolan Devi played by Seema Biswas. Profanity, long rape scenes and nudity were the elements that pinched censor board to ban it. The film was later released with an ‘A’ certificate.
Internationally acclaimed filmmaker Deepa Mehta had to face censor board’s flak for two of her movies viz Fire and Water. The content didn’t impress the various religious group of the society due to its controversial subject which went against the culture of India (as per this group). The hue and cry around the movie were such that the censor board had to ban it in the country.
Unfreedom is a modern-day thriller which took two fireballs together – lesbian love and Islamic terrorism. The censor board couldn’t approve certain love making scenes and nudity. The subject too was contentious which led to the denial of CBFC certificate in India. The movie was later released in North America.
Udta Punjab (2016)
Anurag Kashyap’s production house has a long-running feud with censor board and the latest in the line was Abhishek Chaubey directorial Udta Punjab. The censor board sought a stay on the films’ release citing the theme of the movie that dealt with drugs and vulgarity. This resulted in 89 cuts in the film. However, by the order from Bombay High Court, the film got released with a single cut.
Lipstick Under My Burkha (2016)
Directed by Alankrita Shrivastava, Lipstick Under My Burkha hit the headlines in January this year when the board refused to certify the film for being ‘too lady-oriented’. The movie has got an ‘A’ certificate now and is set to release on July 21st, 2017.