Films that courted political controversy

Updated: Aug 23, 2013, 17:35
  • Bollywood films often become victims of the ire of a few far-reaching politicos. The latest film to court political controversy is John Abraham starrer 'Madras Cafe', based on the Sri Lankan civil war   in the late ’80s. We look at similiar instances from the past
    'Madras Cafe': The film set against the backdrop of the Sri Lankan civil war and also depicting the 1991 assassination of former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi faced constant protests for allegedly portraying LTTE cadre as terrorists. It was also said that the film took a historical incidence and twisted it in such a way that it portrayed a wrong impression on what was meant on the Tamil Elam
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  • Films that courted political controversy
    'OMG: Oh My God!': This satirical comedy generated a lot of controversy over the depictions of prominent Hindu gods and Indian spiritual traditions. Jalandhar State Mahila Congress vice president Nimisha Mehta lodged a complaint against the lead actors and the producers of the film for hurting religious sentiments of Hindus. The notice asked them to delete objectionable scenes and dialogues. Akshay Kumar was given police protection, after this particular incident
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  • Films that courted political controversy
    'Student Of The Year': The popular 'Radha' song managed to garner outrage due to allegedly derogatory reference to the mythological character. So much so even Sushma Swaraj of BJP lashed its lyrics. While addressing a function, the senior politician apparently mentioned that the references to Lord Krishna’s consort in the dance track was nothing less than an attack on Hindu beliefs. Surprisingly, the controversy fizzled out
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  • Films that courted political controversy
    'Vishwaroopam': Kamal Haasan's Rs 95 crore espionage thriller is hogging the limelight for all the wrong reasons. Its screening was banned in states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh after around 25 Muslim organisations alleged that the sections of the film portray the community in a bad light. Earlier, Kamal had to face the wrath of theatre owners, who opposed his decision to release it on DTH (direct-to-home) first and then take it to the big screen. Pic/ Santa Banta
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  • Films that courted political controversy
    'Shanghai': A petition was filed against the political thriller in the Delhi High Court for an interim stay on the release of the film until its controversial song 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' was deleted. The court dismissed the plea saying there was nothing insulting in the song and it merely depicted the existing state of affairs in India. Pic/ Santa Banta
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  • Films that courted political controversy
    'The Dirty Picture': Silk Smitha's brother filed a petition in the Andhra Pradesh High Court seeking a ban on the movie objecting to the way his late sister was portrayed in the film. He also claimed that the filmmakers never took the family’s consent to make the film on Silk Smitha. The court dismissed the petition after the filmmakers clarified that the film was not based on the life of the actor. Pic/ Santa Banta
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  • Films that courted political controversy
    'Hate Story': The erotic thriller fell into a host of controversies. The steamy scenes and explicit language used in the uncensored trailer of the Paoli Dam-Nikhil Dwivedi-starrer didn’t go down well with the moral police. Another controversy was added to the list when the posters of the film upset West Bengal board of censorship. Pic/ Santa Banta
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  • Films that courted political controversy
    'Delhi Belly': Aamir Khan's 'Delhi Belly' led to protests and even a court case against its dialogue and content, which critics said was vulgar and offensive. The film got an 'A' certificate, but some criticised India's censor board for even allowing it through uncut. Pic/ Santa Banta
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  • Films that courted political controversy
    'Rockstar': Imitiaz Ali's 'Rockstar' was mired in controversy over showing the Tibetan flag and 'Free Tibet' slogan in the backdrop of its song 'Sadda Haq'. The Censor Board's move to edit out the scene invited the ire of Tibetans across the country. As a mark of protest the activists said that they would be carrying Tibetan flags during the premieres of the movie at various theatres. Pic/ Santa Banta
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  • Films that courted political controversy
    'Raajneeti': The lead character played by Katrina Kaif was said to be inspired by Sonia Gandhi and Rabri Devi. Jha dismissed allegation saying Mahabharata was the only inspiration. References to EVMs, women compromising to get ahead in politics at any cost, crude dialogues about Muslim community and excessive violence were later removed
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  • Films that courted political controversy
    'Kaminey': An FIR was filed by Jagannath Sena Sangathan in Puri against the makers for allegedly denigrating Lord Jagannath. According to them, a scene in which ‘Apna Hath Jagannath’ on a semi-clad model had hurt religious sentiments. Later, a complaint was also made by a caste group backed by a Samajwadi Party MP about the use of the name of a community ‘teli’ — which was later replaced by ‘Dilli’ — in the song 'Dhan te nan'
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  • Films that courted political controversy
    'Billu': Originally titled 'Billu Barber', the film faced repercussions as the salon and beauty parlour associations raised objections. Being the producer of the film, Shah Rukh Khan had to remove the word barber from the title. He even invited the Hairdressers Association of Mumbai members to the premiere of the movie to assuage protests
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  • Films that courted political controversy
    'Paan Singh Tomar': Alleging breach of promise, Balwant Singh, the nephew of dacoit Paan Singh Tomar, lodged an FIR against director Tigmanshu Dhulia, claiming the director had promised him 40 lakh for details of his uncle's transition from an athlete to a dacoit. Also, the production house risked losing Rs 3.5 lakh in cash and put many people’s life in jeopardy by hanging the huge sum of money on a prominent hoarding in Mumbai. Pic/ Santa Banta
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  • Films that courted political controversy
    'Aarakshan': Amitabh Bachchan's film 'Aarakshan' was mired in controversy with protests from caste groups forcing the producers to cut parts of the film, highlighting deep-seated social tensions in the country. Many caste groups complained that the film portrayed them in a negative light because of certain scenes in which characters say untouchables, known as 'Dalits', are dirty and fit to polish the shoes of their social betters. Pic/ Santa Banta
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  • Films that courted political controversy
    'Chakravyuh': The ‘Mehengai’ song in ‘Chakravyuh’ allegedly hurt the sentiments of people by mentioning Tata, Birla and Bata so much that a defamation suit was filed by shoemaker Bata, raising objection to the use of its name in the lyrics. The song was, however, allowed to feature in the film with a disclaimer that the names were being used ‘symbolically’
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  • Films that courted political controversy
    'My Name Is Khan': A comment by Shah Rukh Khan on the exclusion of Pakistani players from the Indian Premier League ignited Shiv Sena’s ire. Posters and banners were brought down, slogans were shouted and effigies were burnt. Shiv Sena sent notices to all theatres threatening them with dire consequences if they exhibited the film. The Maharashtra state government offered full security to exhibitors and the film was released after being postponed for three days. It went on to become one of the biggest hits of 2010 and the top grossing Hindi film in international markets. Pic/ Santa Banta
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  • Films that courted political controversy
    'Jodhaa Akbar': This Ashutosh Gowariker film created one of the biggest controversy just before its release. The protesters objected to the portrayal of Jodhaa as Akbar’s wife. They insisted that Jodhaa was Akbar’s daughter-in-law and not wife. The film was banned in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. However, it went on to become a box office success. Pic/ Santa Banta
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  • Films that courted political controversy
    'Wake Up Sid': In October 2009, Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena protested the use of the word 'Bombay' instead of 'Mumbai' in the movie. The matter was resolved only after filmmaker Karan Johar (the film's producer) agreed to insert an apology at the start of the movie. Pic/ Santa Banta
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  • Films that courted political controversy
    'Kurbaan': The Karan Johar film got mired in controversy with the Shiv Sena objecting to the movie's poster that flaunted actress Kareena Kapoor's bare back. Pic/ Santa Banta
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  • Films that courted political controversy
    'Black Friday': This was Anurag Kashyap's ambitious project based on the 1993 Bombay serial bombings. The film tried to recreate the incident and the intense feelings that followed. The film's screening was banned. It remained in the cans for two years. In 2004, a petition was filed by the people named in the film asking for a stay on its release. The argument was upheld but the film was finally released in 2007
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  • Films that courted political controversy
    'Fanaa': Aamir Khan-starrer ‘Fanaa’ faced a ban in Gujarat following his anti-Narmada Dam project statements. Aamir had demanded proper rehabilitation of the farmers displaced by the construction of the dam. Pic/ Santa Banta
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  • Films that courted political controversy
    'Parzania': Co-written and directed by Rahul Dholakia, it was based on a true story during the Gujarat riots. It tells the story of a 10-year-old Parsi boy, Parzan Pithawala, who disappears after the Gulbarg Society massacre in Ahmedabad. The film was banned in Gujarat following fears of a communal uproar
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  • Films that courted political controversy
    'Fire': Deepa Mehta's 1996 film starring Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das in prominent roles, depicted homosexual relations between two women. The film's release led to a flurry of protests with certain political parties accusing it of maligning Indian culture
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  • Films that courted political controversy
    'Bombay': Mani Ratnam’s classic film based on the Babri Masjid demolition and the subsequent riots in Bombay (now Mumbai) caused severe uproar over the representation of inter-religious relations and riots. The acclaimed director received threats and a bomb was also hurled at his house
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  • Films that courted political controversy
    'Firaaq': Directed by Nandita Das, ‘Firaaq’ was a hard-hitting portrayal of families caught in the vicious aftermath of the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat. It was banned in the state but went on to win two National Film Awards. Pic/ Santa Banta
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  • Films that courted political controversy
    'Hey Ram': Some political parties protested the alleged negative depiction of Mahatma Gandhi in yet another controversial Kamal Haasan film
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  • Films that courted political controversy
    'Girlfriend': Since this Karan Razdan film dealt with lesbianism, there were calls for the movie to be banned. Posters of the film were also burnt in some places
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  • Films that courted political controversy
    'Dam 999': Tamil Nadu banned the screening of 'Dam 999' due to widespread protests against the movie that was seen as taking a pro-Kerala stand in the Mullaperiyar Dam case
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  • Films that courted political controversy
    'Lamhaa': The film’s screening was cancelled in Kashmir even though it was based in that state. Just that it released following a summer that saw 117 boys getting killed by the military in stone-pelting protests. Amid such a tense atmosphere, the makers couldn’t do much but suffer. The Sanjay Dutt-starrer received an inexplicable ban in the Middle East
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  • Films that courted political controversy
    'Udta Punjab' being marred by controversy would be an understatement. From Censor Board asking for 89 cuts, to it getting leaked online, the film has courted trouble right from the start. The film finally got to keep its date with the audience after the makers took the matter to court. In a landmark ruling, the Bombay High Court ordered CBFC to pass 'Udta Punjab' with 'A' certificate and only one cut and three disclaimers. There was also a plea filled by a Punjab-based NGO Human Rights Awareness Association to halt the screening of ‘Udta Punjab' in Supreme Court. The SC on Thursday refused to interfere with a Bombay High Court order allowing the release of the film 'Udta Punjab'
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About The Gallery

Bollywood films often become victims of the ire of a few far-reaching politicos. The latest film to court political controversy is John Abraham starrer 'Madras Cafe', based on the Sri Lankan civil war in the late ’80s. We look at similiar instances from

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