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HindustanTimes Thu,25 Dec 2014

BAN GAME: films that braved 'death sentence'

Hindustantimes.com  New Delhi, January 24, 2013
First Published: 19:48 IST(24/1/2013) | Last Updated: 11:34 IST(25/1/2013)

As Kamal Haasan's mega-budget Vishwaroopam faces a two-week ban in Tamil Nadu one is forced to look back. A trend emerges which shows that India has been witness to touchy sentiments and disastrous rejoinders. Read on for 10 more ban wagons.



Son of Sardaar
Ajay Devgn starrer Son of Sardaar faced communal allegations. The Sikh community objected some of the dialogues in the movie which were showing the religious sect in a bad light.

A complaint had been filed in a court against actor-producer Ajay Devgn for allegedly maligning and defaming Sikhs in his upcoming film Son of Sardar.

The complaint, filed by one Ravinder Singh who claimed to be a member of a Sikh organisation Sikhi Sidak, took action against Devgn and the film's director Ashwini Dhir for hurting religious sentiments of the Sikh community and defaming it.

Singh told the court that the trailers of the movie show the main character of a turbaned Sikh, played by Devgn, to be having a tattoo of Lord Shiva on his chest.

"Since Sikhs are forbidden by their gurus from worshipping idols and deities, the projection of a Sikh being worshipper of Lord Shiva has deeply hurt the religious feelings of the complainant and the Sikh community," his counsel argued.

The complainant also said: "in the official trailer of the film, Sikhs have been maligned and defamed by the dialogues spoken by Ajay Devgn.

Later, Ajay Devgn edited those dialogues as he promised the community insuring them that he had nothing against them.

My Name Is Khan
Shah Rukh Khan's My Name Is Khan also faced communal controversy. Hindu religious group Shiv Sena had demanded the superstar to apologise for his remarks favouring inclusion of Pakistani players in IPL. And also threatened to ban his then released film.

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Shah Rukh Khan later apologised for the controversy over the release of his film but also made it clear that he didn't mean it for Shiv Sena.

The party threatened to stall the release of My Name Is Khan in Mumbai but failed to do so as theatre owners went ahead with the screening with tight security.

Jodhaa Akbar
Ashutosh Gowariker's epic saga Jodha Akbar also created a stir. The period film faced protests from the Rajput community over misdepiction of the history of the warrior class.

As a result, the Aishwarya Rai and Hrithik Roshan starrer was banned in states like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttarakhand. But a month after the movie was released the ban was lifted by the Supreme Court.

Jo Bole So Nihaal
Sunny Deol starrer Jo Bole So Nihaal also faced flak from the Sikh community. They asked the filmmakers to remove the few scenes where projection of the community was badly done.

Even after editing those particularly offensive scenes, the religious groups didn't let the movie screen in Punjab.

Parzania
Parzania, a film by Rahul Dholakia, was about the Godhra riots in Gujarat in 2002. The film revolves around a Parsi boy who went missing after the riots and how his family keeps looking for him.

The film was flaked by the Hindu religious groups saying that it is in favour of the Muslims and that it only highlighted the Hindu attacks.



Though Parzania was made in 2005, it was only released on January 26, 2007.

Fanaa
There was a virtual ban on the screening of the film in Gujarat. The BJP said that Aamir had gone against the people of Gujarat by commenting on the Narmada dam issue. Aamir had demanded rehabilitation for the dam oustees.

Fanaa was finally screened in the Jamnagar theatre because of political initiative of Vikram Madam, a Congress Lok Sabha member.

Fire
The movie Fire, by Mira Nair is loosely based on Ismat Chugtai's 1941 novel Lihaf. This movie was one of the first few mainstream movies to portray homosexual relations.

The movie was objected by the Right Winged parties who claimed that the movies maligned the Indian woman and the Indian culture.



The activists opposed and said that lesbianism did not exist in Hindu families and it was an attempt to slander the Hindu culture.

Water
Post Fire controversy; the day before filming of Water was due to begin, the crew was informed that there were complications with their location permits for filming. The following day, they learned that 2,000 protesters had stormed the ghats, destroying and burning the main film set and throwing the remnants into the Ganges in protest of what ultimately were revealed to be false accusations regarding the subject matter of the film.[11] Activist Arun Pathak also organized a suicide protest to stop the film production.

The resulting tensions and economic setbacks led to several years of struggle as Mehta was eventually forced to film Water in Sri Lanka, rather than in India. Finally Mehta was able to make the film, but with a new cast and under a false title (River Moon) in 2003.

The Da Vinci Code
The Da Vinci Code is a 2006 American mystery film produced by John Calley and starring Tom Hanks.

There have been protesters at several movie theaters across the United States on opening weekend protesting the themes of the film, citing it as blasphemy and claiming that it shames both the Catholic Church, and Jesus Christ himself.

More than 200 protesters also turned out in Athens, Greece to protest the film's release shortly before opening day. In Manila the movie was banned from all theaters and the set by the local MTRCB as an R18 movie for the Philippines.

In Pittsburgh, protesters also showed up at a special screening of the film the day before its widespread release. Protests also occurred at the filming sites, but only a monk and a nun stood in a quiet protest at the Cannes premiere. In Chennai, India, the film was banned for a two-month period to appease local Christian and Muslim groups.

Black Friday
The Anurag Kashyap movie is based on the book Black Friday - The True Story of the Bombay Bomb Blasts by S Hussain Zaidi. The court in 2004 said that the movie would only be released after the trials in the 93 Bomb Blasts case was over.


The movie showed the events that happened during the bomb blast and the chaos and emotional turmoil that followed the incident. The movie was well appreciated abroad and it also went on to win the Grand Jury Prize at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles.

Overt sexuality, misplaced politics, uncomplimentary portrayal of city or community are some reasons that can get a movie booed, not by the audience, but by self-appointed judges of morality and good sense.



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