Ever since the trailer of Ali Abbas Zafar’s Tandav dropped, it was evident that it would find itself in the eye of the storm. Since its debut on Amazon Prime Video, the show has been the subject of a police complaint, a letter being sent to the I&B Ministry asking for a ban on the show and a social media campaign calling for its ban. Security around lead star Saif Ali Khan’s house has been increased and Zafar and team have also issued an apology. This is not the first time that a show or a film has faced calls for a boycott in India. And it may come as a shocker but what Tandav is facing is nothing compared to what other films have faced. Take a look
1. Aandhi (1975)
Aandhi was supposed to be a satirical take on politicians and was actually given the go-ahead by the I&B minister at the time. However, as the film began gaining momentum in theatres, film exhibitors started baiting the audience by intentionally hinting that there was a resemblance between Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Suchitra Sen’s character in the film. Because of this, the film was banned 26 weeks after its release. The film was re-released after Indira Gandhi lost the 1977 general election and it went on to become one of India’s biggest hits.
2. Fire (1996)
Similar to Aandhi, Deepa Mehta’s Fire was given the green light by the CBFC with minor changes. However, once the film hit theatres, it became the source of major ire for Shiv Sainiks who stormed theatres and burned the movie posters. It was only in Kolkata where they remained unsuccessful because the audience and the ushers fought back. Theatres screening the movie in other parts of the country were set on fire and politicians even sided with the goons.
3. Black Friday (2007)
Another critically acclaimed film on the list which was banned due to its controversial matter was Anurag Kashyap’s Black Friday. The film was based on the 1993 bomb blasts that rocked Mumbai. The CBFC insisted that the makers of the film insert a disclaimer that the movie was based on Hussain Zaidi’s book but despite all that, the film wasn’t given a green-light for around two years.
4. Fanaa (2005)
Fanaa is one of those rare films that met with universal critical acclaim when it released but the movie wasn’t so fortunate in Gujarat. During the film promotions in the state, actor Aamir Khan made disparaging remarks about then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi’s handling of the Narmada Dam project and spoke about the rehabilitation of the displaced farmers. An apology was demanded of Khan by the BJP but Khan refused. Following this, an unofficial ban was declared on the film in Gujarat and the one movie theatre that dared to screen Fanaa had to withdraw it after a man set himself on fire in the theatre’s washroom.
5. Jodhaa Akbar (2008)
Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s period drama, Jodhaa Akbar was met with severe protests from members of the Rajput community who felt that the film was misleading and diminished the history of the Rajputs. Following this, the film was banned in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttarakhand but the ban was later lifted by the Supreme Court of India in UP and select towns in Haryana and Uttarakhand.
6. My Name Is Khan (2010)
My Name Is Khan was always going to generate major media coverage due to the fact that Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol were coming together for the 2010 film after last being seen together in 2001’s K3G. In 2009, when SRK arrived in the US to promote the film, he was subjected to a two-hour long security check which snowballed into a diplomatic issue. Then, the film met with controversy again when SRK who also owns the Kolkata Knight Riders stated that he was disappointed that members from the Pakistani cricket team were not hosted by clubs competing in the IPL. The Shiv Sena did not take this lightly and protested against his film.
7. Goliyon Ki Raasleela: Ram-Leela (2013)
This film was the start of the mentor-muse relationship between Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Deepika Padukone but the movie faced major protests around the country due to its title which was changed three times. Bhansali had to agree to certain demands of the Kshatriya community in India and make changes to his movie and Bajrang Dal workers in Indore prevented the theatres from exhibiting the movie. Posters of the movie were also burned.
8. Padmaavat (2018)
Perhaps no other movie on this list has faced as much hate and controversy as Padmaavat. The months leading to the release of this Bhansali movie were a veritable nightmare. The Shri Rajput Karni Sena shot to prominence when they vandalised the film sets and made major threats of violence. People turned up to primetime TV debates with swords in tow. There was a bounty on Deepika Padukone’s head and protestors in Haryana didn’t even shy away from attacking a school bus. The film was banned in four states but the Supreme Court of India overruled the ban. The film also faced heat from leaders of the Muslim community and certain film critics who claimed that the film was anti-Muslim and blatantly right-wing.
9. Oh My God (2012)
Before Akshay Kumar became the poster boy for Indian nationalism, he starred in the controversial movie, Oh My God which faced heat by several outfits who believed that the movie was derogatory to the pantheon of Hindu gods. Screenings for the movie were brought to a halt in multiple places but the lead stars, Akshay Kumar and Paresh Rawal remained unperturbed.
10. Madras Café (2013)
John Abraham’s Madras Cafe stirred up controversy from the get-go when it was evident from the trailer that the film was going to be around the assassination of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Politicians in Tamil Nadu and various Tamil groups claimed that the film was anti-Tamil and even special screenings arranged for the protestors didn’t do much good. In fact, a petition was also filed in the Madras High Court seeking a ban on the movie.
11. Water (2007)
Water is another Deepa Mehta film that faced heat from Hindu nationalists who claimed that the film was an attack on India’s holiest city, Varanasi. Shiv Sena burned DVDs of the movie and mobs even demolished the film’s sets, forcing Mehta to shoot the film in Sri Lanka instead.
12. PK (2014)
PK was in the news because it featured a nude Aamir Khan but members of the Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad claimed that the film hurt religious sentiments. Theatres running PK were vandalised and posters of the movie were burned. The Supreme Court came to the rescue yet again when it refused to ban the movie