Kamal Haasan’s Vishwaroopam is the latest Indian movie to be banned

Kamal Haasan’s Vishwaroopam has become one more victim of political censure in India. A look at some of the movies that have been banned over the years
  • Kamal Haasan’s Vishwaroopam ran into a political storm from fringe groups objecting to its portrayal of Islamists. Sadly, the political authority backed the fringe and the actor has been forced to edit parts of it. Photo: Sai Sen
  • Aarakshan, the 2011 Prakash Jha film based on the theme of caste-based reservations faced protests in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab against its screening of the movie.
  • Parzania (2007), co-written and directed by Rahul Dholakia and David N. Donihue, was banned in Gujarat, due to its story line of a Parsi boy who disappeared after the 28 February 2002 Gulbarg Society massacre.
  • Kutrapathirikkai (1991) was banned for 15 years for its portrayal of the events that followed Rajiv Gandhi’s death. It was felt to be a pro-LTTE film. However, in 2007, the film was released with many cuts.
  • The emergency-era Kissa Kursi Ka’s prints were reportedly confiscated in 1978 and the movie banned in India for its satire aimed at the Gandhi family, in particular Sanjay Gandhi.
  • Aandhi (1975) was rumoured to be based on the life of Indira Gandhi, and hence was banned during the emergency. However, in 1977, after the Congress lost the elections, the ruling Janata party cleared the movie and it was shown on television.
  • Sikkim (1971) by Satyajit Ray was banned in India for showing Chogyal-ruled Sikkim as a sovereign state. The ban was lifted in September 2010.
  • Nine Hours to Rama (1963) was banned as it documented the psychological motivations of Nathuram Godse leading to the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • Neel Akasher Neechey (1959), a film that revolves around an immigrant Chinese wage labourer and the problems that he faces in Calcutta in 1930s, was banned for its overtly political message.