Udta Punjab Is Not Banned! 22 Movies That Got Banned By The Censor Board

Udta Punjab

May 30th, 2016   |   Updated on September 17th, 2021

Anurag Kashyap has refuted reports that his upcoming production ” Udta Punjab ” has been banned by the censor board.

Kashyap has said the board’s examining committee has forwarded the decision to revising committee and hence film is far from being banned.

The film revolves around the theme of substance abuse in Punjab through a cross-section of characters played by Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Diljit Dosanjh, among others.

The movie is directed by Abhishek Chaubey of Dedh Ishqiya and Ishqiya and is produced by Balaji Telefilms and Anurag Kashyap’s Phantom Productions.


Udta Punjab

Video Source: BalajiMotionPictures

The CBFC has in the past asked for several cuts and deletion in films. Many films are banned based on their sexually explicit content, crude language, substance abuse, or if they have potential to disrupt the harmony of the society.

Close on the heels of report of ban on the release of Udta Punjab,  we explore 22 Indian movies that got banned by the censor board.

1. Bandit Queen

Bandit Queen

Based on the life of Phoolan Devi, this Shekhar Kapur movie was banned due its explicit sexual content, nudity and abusive language, which the Censor Board could not  digest.

2. Fire


Image Source: jeded

‘Fire’, directed by Deepa Mehta, garnered a lot of critical acclaim worldwide but failed to impress Hindu groups  in India due to its subject, which dealt with lesbian relationship between two sisters-in-laws in a Hindu family. Censor Board finally banned the movie in the country after the leading actors, Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das along with their director Deepa Mehta receiving death threats.

3. Kama Sutra – A Tale Of Love

Kama Sutra

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Kama Sutra – A Tale Of Love ran into trouble with the Censor Board, which termed it ‘explicit’, ‘unethical’ and ‘immoral’ for the Indian audience. This Mira Nair movie, which depicted the lives of lovers in the 16th century in India, got banned by the Censor Board.

4. Urf Professor

Urf Professor

Image Source: blogspot

Another movie to run into trouble with the Censor Board was Pankaj Advani’s Urf Professor starring Manoj Pahwa, Antara Mali and Sharman Joshi. The movie traces the journey of the protagonist after a hit-man’s car and a winning lottery ticket goes missing and the chaos that follows.

5. The Pink Mirror

The Pink Mirror

The Pink Mirror was banned because of homosexuality.  The movie also portrayed transsexuals and transgenders, which was clearly too much for the censor board, and it ultimately banned The Pink Mirror.

6. Paanch


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Paanch, the crime-thriller directed by Anurag Kashyap, faced a lot of heat from the Censor Board. Based on the Joshi-Abhyankar serial murders in 1997, this film was banned because it glorified sex, drugs, violence and extremely crude language.

7. Black Friday

Black Friday

Image Source: indiatimes

Adapted from the book Black Friday, telling the story of the Bombay Bomb Blasts by S Hussain Zaidi, Anurag Kashyap’s movie was considered too dark to be released. The censor board banned this movie for almost three years due to its controversial content.

8. Parzania


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Parzania revolved around the true story of Azhar Mody, or Parzan, as he is called in the film, a 13- year-old boy who disappeared during the Gujarat riots in the year 2002. Even though the film won a National Award, it was banned in Gujarat, where theater owners found the movie too controversial to show it.

9. Sins


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Sins is an erotic journey of a Kerala priest who falls for the charms of a woman and gets sexually involved with her. Filled with obsession, lust and his struggles with the norms of the society he lived in, Sins did not go down well with with the Catholics. They thought the film projected Catholicism in a very immoral light.


10. Water


Water is another Deepa Mehta movie which courted a lot of controversy because of its dark insights on the life of the Indian widow. Set in a certain Ashram of Varanasi, the script of the movie was written by none other than Anurag Kashyap and took up controversial issues like ostracism and misogyny which were alien to the Indian Censor Board back then.

11. Firaaq


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Another film to deal with the Gujarat riots, Firaaq was reportedly based on true incidents which happened in the riot-torn Gujarat.  Nandita Das was widely criticised for hurting the sentiments of Hindus and Muslims and ultimately the movie got banned.

12. Gandu


Image Source: blogspot

If you expected anything else from a movie named ‘Gandu’, you’d definitely be disappointed. The Bengali movie was a rap musical which created a lot of buzz for its oral sex scenes and nudity. Shot in white and black format, the movie was banned because it ‘defied Indian sensibilities’.

13. Inshallah, Football

Inshallah, Football

Image Source: ashvinkumar

Inshallah, Football is a documentary about a Kashmiri boy who aspires to travel abroad and become a famous footballer someday. However, the boy is denied travelling outside the country because his father is charged with militancy. This film was intended to bring out the problems civilians face due to the insurgencies and militancy in the Kashmir Valley, but the purpose was defeated as it was denied the necessary censor certificate because of its sensitive subject.

14. Dazed In Doon

Dazed In Doon

Image Source: blogspot

Doon School is one of the most highly respected schools of the country.  The Doon School had problems with the content of Ratna Pathak Shah’s coming-of-age movie Dazed in Doon which depicted the story of a boy who is studying at the prestigious Doon School and the life he leads there.

15. Unfreedom

Video Source: youtube

The most recent one to join this long list of banned movies in India, Unfreedom is a modern-day thriller which talks about a lesbian love story entangled within an Islamic terrorism-related angle. Bringing together two ‘taboos’ in one package, the Censor Board could not digest the nudity and the lovemaking scenes between the two protagonists.

16. Kissa Kursi Ka

Kissa Kursi Ka

Image Source: blogspot

A political spoof movie during the reign of the fourth Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi. The movie was a satire on the Indira Gandhi government. It must have been anticipated that it’ll receive a vehement and extreme response. The supporters of the political party burned and confiscated the film prints. Ultimately, the film was banned.

17. Sikkim


Image Source: exoticindia

The documentary is produced by Satyajit Ray. The film was banned after Sikkim’s merger in India in 1975, as it showed the Chogyal ruled Sikkim as a sovereign state and portrayed how he felt that the sovereignty of Sikkim was under threat.

18. Garm Hawa

Garm Hawa

Image Source: ytimg

The film’s story revolved around a Muslim family during India – Pakistan partition. The film was banned for eight months, as the censor board feared that it might trigger communal riots in the entire country. However, the director was persistent and showed it to different political parties, leaders, government officials etc.

19. Final Solution

Final Solution

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Religion in India has always been and is a sensitive issue in our country. Final Solution is a documentary shot by Rakesh Sharma, based on the 2002 Gujarat communal riots. The censor board feared that it would provoke and trigger the riots and hence banned it.

20. Amu


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Amu is a film based on the massacre of thousands of Sikhs during the assassination of Indira Gandhi. This film too was viewed as a potential threat to the harmony of the country and hence, was banned, in spite of following the censor board’s suggestion of cutting some scenes.

21. India’s Daughter

India’s Daughter

Image Source: mapsofindia

This documentary based on the infamous rape incident of 16th December 2012, was in the spotlight for weeks. The popular news channel NDTV was going to screen the documentary, but it didn’t. The documentary incorporated interviews of the rapists in the Nirbhaya case, the lawyer fighting on behalf of the culprits etc.

22. Mastizaade


Image Source: indiatimes

Mastizaade is a sex-comedy movie and as expected it was banned by the censor board due to its sexual content. However, the movie recently received the certificate on 13th August 2015 from the censor board.

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