Four Present-Day Bollywood Films Embroiled In Controversy
It seems like the mudslinging of Bollywood is not over yet this year. Bollywood has become a pet punching bag of citizens, including politicians. Now, the newly-released second season of web series Mirzapur has courted political controversy with Mirzapur MP Anupriya Patel demanding strict action against the series for portraying the city as “violent”, and for spreading “ethnic disharmony”.
However, this is no novel attack faced by movies or shows in the Indian film industry. Here are four recent movies that drew the ire of religious, political or other social groups.
- Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl (2020)
Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl released on streaming platform Netflix courted huge controversy for displaying alleged discrimination faced by its titular character Flight Lieutenant Gunjan Saxena, which the movie claimed was the first Indian Air Force (IAF) woman pilot to have flown sorties during the 1999 Kargil conflict. The latter claim was disputed by Saxena’s contemporary Flight Lieutenant Sreevidya Rajan. While IAF objected to certain scenes portrayed in “undue negative light”, reported India Today.
2. Padmaavat (2018)
Padmaavat witnessed controversy since its production days. The movie, based on an epic poem Padmaavat, by 16th-Century poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi, saw protests against its release for several months by Rajput and other right-wing groups. Alleging that there is an intimate dream sequence between Muslim king Alauddin Khilji and Hindu queen Padmavati, even though Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali strongly denied any such scene, mobs indulged in violent protests and issued death threats against Bhansali, actress Deepika Padukone and others.
3. India’s Daughter (2015)
India’s Daughter, a documentary by British filmmaker Leslee Udwin based on 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case, was banned in India. The documentary features interview of Mukesh Singh, one of the four convicted men, whose views on gender rattled the political class, who believed the documentary was a “conspiracy to defame India.”
4. PK (2014)
Aamir Khan-starrer PK was deemed “objectionable” by groups who alleged that the film “defamed” Hindu culture and religious practices. A petition was filed in the Delhi high court seeking a ban on the movie. Joining the hullabaloo surrounding the movie was BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, who as per Zeenews, had said that “a complaint will go soon to initiate action under PMLA on Aamir Khan & co for laundering terrorist finance.” Baba Ramdev had called for a social boycott of the movie as it “denigrated” the Hindu “culture and religion”.