India is home to one of the biggest film industry in the world and a huge movie-loving population. Every year a number of movies are released. Some of these go on to become blockbusters and win accolades and awards, while others don’t even get noticed. However, some movies attract negative attention and are either banned or witness demonstrations against their release on charges of hurting sentiments or distorting history. Here are five movies that got dragged into a controversy.
The latest movie to attract controversy is the Sanjay Leela Bhansali directed Padmavati. The movie is slated for release on December 1 but has run into rough weather as the Rajput community has demanded its ban on grounds of misrepresentation and distortion of facts. The movie is based on the legendary Rajput queen Padmavati. Karni Sena, a fringe group, has threatened actress Deepika Padukone, who plays the role of Padmavati, with physical harm and have also warned of a Bharat Bandh on December 1. Heena Singh Judeo, the daughter-in-law of the former royal family of Chhattisgarh, is critical of the song Ghoomar. She states that Rajput queens never danced before the people. It is also believed that in a dream scene, the film shows Delhi Sultan Allaudin Khilji is shown romancing the queen. However, Bhansali has stated that in no way does the film distort history.
A historical film, Ashutosh Gowariker directed Jodhaa Akbar, released in 2008. However, prior to its release, the movie witnessed demonstrations and protests on grounds of distortion of history. The film’s plot was based on a love story between Akbar, emperor of the Mughal Empire, and Jodha, a Rajput princes. Jodha later became Akbar’s wife. The movie was opposed by the Rajput Karni Sena who stated that Jodha was not the wife of Akbar. In fact, she was the daughter of Udai Singh of Marwar and was married to Jahangir, the son of Akbar. Nevertheless, the movie was a commercial hit.
Fanaa is a love story between a tourist guide, who is actually a Kashmiri insurgent, and a blind Kashmiri girl. The movie was released in 2006 and starred Aamir Khan and Kajol in the lead roles. The movie did well at the theaters earning 105 crores at the box office. However, the movie attracted controversy and was banned in Gujarat. While promoting the film in the state, Aamir Khan angered BJP by commenting on Narendra Modi’s, the then Chief Minister of Gujarat, handling of the Narmada Dam. BJP demanded the actor’s apology for his comments; however, Aamir Khan refused to do so. Protests took place and being unable to provide security cinema, owners in Gujarat refused to screen the film.
PK was released in 2014 and was directed by Rajkumar Hirani. A satirical science fiction comedy, the movie had an impressive star cast which included Aamir Khan, Anushka Sharma, Sushant Singh Rajput, Boman Irani and more. The plot of a movie is about an alien who lands on earth on a research mission. The alien questions superstitions and religious dogmas prevalent in the country. An FIR was filed against the filmmakers on grounds of hurting religious sentiments. In a scene, a man is shown in Lord Shiva’s attire pulling a rickshaw with two burqa-clad Muslim women seated on it. There were also allegations of nudity as the poster of the movie shows a nude Aamir Khan with only a radio cassette recorder covering his private parts. Nevertheless, the film was a huge success.
Ae Dil Hai Mushkil
A romantic drama, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil was released on Diwali weekend, October 28, 2016. The movie starred Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and the Pakistani actor Fawad Khan. Just a month prior to the release of the film the Uri attack had taken place. Following the attack, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena stated that they would not allow the release of the movie as it has a Pakistani artist. MNS also threatened vandalism against cinema owners screening the film. The Cinema Owners Exhibitors Association of India (COEAI) also stated that films that have Pakistani actors will not be released in cinemas. However, after Karan Johar stated that he would not work with Pakistani actors, the movie was finally released.
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