List of films banned in India

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This is a list of films that have been or are banned in India. This list includes titles that were refused a rating by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) initially or permanently. The list also includes films whose release or production was or are blocked by the central or a state government, or by a legal institution. Also included are films which faced a virtual ban, after theatre owners were compelled to stop screening by non-government groups.


[citation needed]
Date Film Notes
1959 Neel Akasher Neechey It was banned for two months for overt political overtones; it showed the troubles faced by an immigrant Chinese wage laborer in 1930s Calcutta.[1]
1963 Gokul Shankar It was banned for depicting the psychological motivations of Nathuram Godse, the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi.[2]
1973 Garam Hawa The release was held up by the censors for 8 months. The film depicted a Muslim family during the partition of India.[3]
1975 Aandhi It was banned during Emergency by Indira Gandhi and subsequently released in 1977 after Janata Party came into power.[4]
1977 Kissa Kursi Ka A political spoof, the film was banned by the Congress government for lampooning the Emergency.[5] The master prints and all copies was lifted from the Censor Board office and burned by Sanjay Gandhi supporters.[6] The movie was later remade with a different cast.
1971 Sikkim The film was banned after Sikkim's merger in India in 1975, as it showed the Chogyal-ruled Sikkim as a sovereign state. The ban was lifted in September 2010.[7]
1984 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom It was banned temporarily for its "negative" depiction of Indians because of a scene, set in India, where characters are served monkey brains. Monkeys are seen as sacred animals in Hinduism. The ban was later rescinded.[8]
1987 Pati Parmeshwar It was denied a rating by the Censor for depicting a woman in "ignoble servility" of her husband. Later, Bombay High Court allowed its release.[9][10]
1993 Kuttrapathirikai The film was completed in 1993. As it had Rajiv Gandhi's[11] assassination as a backdrop, it was not released until 2007.
1994 Bandit Queen It was banned temporarily by the Delhi High Court after Phoolan Devi, the subject of the film's story, challenged its authenticity.[12]
1996 Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love It was banned due to sexual content.[13] The version released in India had 2 minute cut of nudity.
1996 Fire On its opening day in India, some film theatres were attacked by Hindu fundamentalists for depicting a lesbian relationship.[14] The film was withdrawn and sent back to the Censor Board.[15] But, later it was released uncut.[16]
2001 Paanch It was banned for glorifying drugs, sex and violence, later certified with cuts but went unreleased.[17]
2003 Hawayein The film, set against the backdrop to the 1984 Sikh genocide, is banned in the Indian states of Delhi, J&K, Haryana and Punjab.[18]
2004 The Pink Mirror The film was denied a rating for its homosexual content.[19]
2004 Final Solution The documentary film was banned by the Censor Board for being provocative and under concerns that it may trigger communal violence.[20] It was based on the 2002 Gujarat violence. But, it was cleared after some months.[21]
2004 Hava Aney Dey The movie was not approved by the Censor Board because the director didn't accept the suggested 21 cuts.[22]
2005 Black Friday (2004 film) The movie was based on the 1993 Bombay bombings. The released was blocked until the verdict of the lawsuit by the Bombay High Court on the petition of the under-trials.[23] The film was originally set to be released in India on 28 January 2005.[24] The producers appealed at the Supreme Court but the High Court order was upheld. The movie finally saw its release on 9 February 2007.[25]
2005 Amu This movie was based on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots initially was denied a rating. The film was later given an adult rating after some audio-cuts.[26][27][28]
2005 Water The movie faced opposition during its shooting from hardline Hindu organizations in Varanasi. The sets were destroyed.[29] The Uttar Pradesh government decided to stop the shooting on 31 January 2000.[30] The shooting was shifted to Sri Lanka later. The movie was released in India much later in March 2007.
2009 Had Anhad The Central Board of Film Certification refused a certificate to this Shabnam Virmani documentary without cuts. In 2011, Delhi High Court allowed the film to be released uncut and asked the Union of India to pay 10,000 to the petitioner as legal fees.[31]
2010 Gandu The film was banned in India due to explicit sexual scenes.[32]
2011 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo It was banned for its adult scenes of rape and torture. The Central Board of Film Certification demanded that these scenes be cut, which the director David Fincher refused to do.[33]
2011 Chatrak The movie wasn't allowed theatrical release due to its sexual content.[34]
2013 Papilio Buddha Initially banned due to its criticism of Mahatma Gandhi. It was allowed release after the anti-Gandhi speeches were muted and/or blurred.[35]
2014 Gurjar Aandolan A Fight for Right (Movie) This film was banned by Rajasthan Government after the Intelligence Bureau (Rajasthan Government) watched this movie in Laxmi Talkies, Jaipur, on the day of its release on 17 October 2014. This film was based on Gurjar Agitation held in Rajasthan by Gurjar cast in 2007, and 2008 by the Gurjar Leader Colonel Kirori Mal Bainsla. All the news papers and media declared this news of banned on this movie on 17 and 18 October 2014.
2014 No Fire Zone The Sri Lankan Civil War documentary was not allowed for public screening by the Censor Board. Director Callum Macrae decided to release the film on the internet to circumvent the ban.[36]
2014 Kaum De Heere The film was banned by the central government after the Intelligence Bureau had warned that the film may cause communal tensions. The film glorified the assassins of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.[37]
2015 50 Shades of Grey The film was not given a rating by the Censor Board, even after voluntary cuts by the distributor.[38]
2015 Main Hoon Rajinikanth Notable south Indian actor Rajinikanth moved the Madras High Court to stop the release of this film stating that it violated his personality rights. A stay was granted, and the makers of the movie were directed not use superstar's name, image or likeness.[39] The director Faisal Saif later said he had shown the film to the actor and his lawyers to assure them. The film's title was later changed to Main Hoon (Part-Time) Killer.[40]
2015 Unfreedom The film was denied a rating by the Censor Board. The film examined same sex relationships and religious fundamentalism in India. The director Raj Amit Kumar was told by the Board that film will cause clashes between Hindus and Muslims, and will provoke "unnatural passions".[41][42] The film later allowed to stream through Netflix in India [43]
2015 India's Daughter This television documentary about the 2012 Delhi gang rape was prevented from being broadcast by a stay order from a court,[44] due to perceived negative public sentiment[45][46] including remarks defending the rape[46][47] which drew public outcry in India when the film was shown.[48] The movie was uploaded to YouTube and the Indian government requested it be removed.[49]
2015 Patta Patta Singhan Da Vairi The movie was initially denied clearance by CBFC, but was later cleared by the Film Certificate Appellate Tribunal (FCAT).[50]
2015 The Mastermind Jinda Sukha The film was cleared by the CBFC but banned by the Minister of Home Affairs. The films is based on the lives of the assassins of General Arun Shridhar Vaidya. The makers of the film decided to release it overseas.[51]
2015 The Painted House The CBFC denied a rating to film for containing nudity. They suggested the scenes should be blurred or deleted.[52]
2016 Mohalla Assi The CBFC denied a rating to the film. The film deals with the commercialisation of the pilgrimage city Varanasi.[53] On December 11, 2017, Delhi High Court allowed the release of the film with one cut and adult certification, setting aside the order of CBFC.



Provinces of British India[edit]

Andhra Pradesh[edit]





  • 2005 - Chand Bhuj Gaya: This film which was set with the Godhra train burning as a backdrop was not released in Gujarat.[70]
  • 2006 - Fanaa: It faced an unofficial ban due to the role of Aamir Khan, the lead actor, in the Narmada Bachao Andolan.[71] Supreme Court of India directed that theatres wanting to screen the film should be provided police protection. But, most theatre owners decided not to screen it.[72]
  • 2007 - Parzania: Parzania faced an unofficial ban after Bajrang Dal coaxed theatre owners to stop screening the film. Bajrang Dal activist Babu Bajrangi, who was later incarcerated for murder, conspiracy and spreading hatred in Naroda Patiya massacre of Gujarat riots, had the opinion that it may disrupt communal harmony in the state.[73]
  • 2009 - Firaaq: Firaaq was allegedly not released by many theatres due to political pressure because it depicted the 2002 Gujarat riots. But, theatre owners cited a revenue sharing dispute.[74][75]
  • 2017 - Padmaavat: Following controversies and threats of violence made by Rajput caste organization Shri Rajput Karni Sena.[76]


  • 2017 - Padmaavat: Following controversies and threats of violence made by Rajput caste organization Shri Rajput Karni Sena.[76]



  • 2012 - Pithavinum Puthranum : The film originally completed in 2012 is awaiting approval from the Censor Board as of January 2015.[78] The film was reported based on a book by Sister Jesme and the Sister Abhaya murder case.[79]
  • 2015 - Chayam Poosiya Veedu : The film was not given a certificate since there was a nude scene in it.[80]

Madhya Pradesh[edit]


  • 2008 - Deshdrohi: The film was banned in November fearing breakdown of law and order in the state. The film depicted the attacks against North Indians in the state.[85] The ban was lifted in January 2009 by the Bombay High Court.[86]


  • 2006 - The Da Vinci Code: It was banned for portraying Jesus Christ and Christians in an 'objectionable' manner.[87]



  • 2008 - Jodhaa Akbar: The film was not released after theatre owners received letters written in blood from Karni Sena.[103][104]
  • 2017 - Padmaavat: Following controversies and threats of violence made by Rajput caste organization Shri Rajput Karni Sena.[76]

Tamil Nadu[edit]

Uttar Pradesh[edit]

  • 2007 - Aaja Nachle : The movie was banned because the lyrics of the title song was allegedly humiliating the Dalits. The lyrics were later changed.[113] The ban was lifted later after the producers apologized.[114]
  • 2008 - Jodhaa Akbar : The film was banned fearing breach of peace after protests from a Rajput group.[115][116] The Supreme Court later lifted the ban.[82]
  • 2011 - Aarakshan : It had been banned due to objectionable dialogues.[117] Later, Supreme Court lifted the ban.[118] The film was based on the topic of reservations in jobs and education.

West Bengal[edit]

  • 1992 - City of Joy : The shooting was banned in Calcutta for a while due to negative portrayal of the city.[119]
  • 2013 - Kangal Malsat : In February 2013, a revising committee of the CBFC refused to pass the film citing excessive use of abusive language, sexuality and frivolous approach in portraying of social movements. The film was cleared later by the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal after some edits.[120][121][122]

See also[edit]


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