New Delhi, Jan 30 Kamal Haasan’s lavishly mounted multilingual “Vishwaroopam”, which has yet to reach the theatres, is only the latest in a string of films caught in legal and other wrangles for purportedly hurting the sentiments of various sections of society. A look at some films in the last few years that have faced bans, whether official or social:
“Vishwaroopam” (2013): 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. The actor got some relief when the ban was lifted. 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.
“Chakravyuh” (2012): The “Mehengai” song in “Chakravyuh” 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”.
“Aarakshan” (2011): Some groups feared the movie glorified anti-Dalit comments. They had demanded a special screening for “Aarakshan”. Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab banned its release but subsequently lifted the ban.
“My Name Is Khan” (2010): The Karan Johar film found itself in troubled waters after Shah Rukh Khan, who co-owns Kolkata Knight Riders, criticised the fact that Pakistani cricketers were not bought by the clubs competing in the 2010 Indian Premier League (IPL), following which Shiv Sena activists were up in arms against the actor. There were major protests in Maharashtra and SRK even received threats.
“Firaaq” (2008): 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 and went on to win two National Film Awards.
“Parzania”: (2007): 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.
“Black Friday” (2007): 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.
“Fanaa” (2006): Aamir Khan-starrer “Fanaa” faced a ban in Guajarat following his anti-Narmada Dam project statements. Aamir had demanded proper rehabilitation of the farmers displaced by the construction of the dam.