The Kerala Story and 5 other movies which were banned for political reasons

Mohammad Bilal
Mohammad BilalMay 09, 2023 | 14:13

The Kerala Story and 5 other movies which were banned for political reasons

Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Padmavat was initially banned by four states in India while Aamir Khan's Fanaa was banned and never released in Gujarat. Photo: Facebook

Sudipto Sen’s The Kerala Story has kick-started its box office campaign on a high minting Rs 45.75 crore in just four days. But the movie has also found itself involved in lot of controversy.

The West Bengal government on Monday (May 8) announced the decision to ban the movie in the state. CM Mamata Banerjee said the decision was taken to "maintain peace in Bengal” and avoid any incident of hate crime and violence.


The movie centers around alleged religious indoctrination in Kerala and how Hindu and Christian women are being targeted by radical Islamic clerics. The movie claims that these women were converted to Islam and later sent to countries like Afghanistan, Yemen and Syria to fight for the ISIS.

The Tamil Nadu Multiplex Association is not screening the movie citing the potential law and order issue. And now West Bengal has become the first state in India to completely ban the movie in the state. Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan has also criticized the content of the movie.

On the other hand, the BJP-ruled states like Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have made the movie tax-free. We might also see some other BJP-ruled states making the movie tax free.

However, the Kerala Story is not the only movie that has found itself in trouble because of political reasons. In the past too, there have been movies which got banned:

Here are 5 such movies:

1. Padmavat (2018)

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s historical drama based on a poem by Sufi poet Malik Mohammad Jayasi in the 15th century received a lot of flak from the Karni Sena for portrayal of Rani Padmini (Deepika Padukone) in the movie. 


The Karni Sena, an organisation based in Rajasthan, alleged that there is a romantic scene in the movie between Rani Padmini (Deepika Padukone) and Alauddin Khilji (Ranveer Singh), which Director Bhansali said was not there in the movie.

Padmavat starring Deepika Padukone and Ranveer SIngh and Shahid Kapoor was a huge box office success. Photo: Facebook/Padmavat

Padmavat was banned by the government of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh initially as Karni Sena held protests all over the country. Later the ban was overturned by the Supreme Court and the film was released pan India on January 25. Even after its release, protests outside theatres were taking place and several states had given police protection to theatres who were screening Padmavat.

2. Aarakshan (2011)

The socio-political drama based on the caste-based reservations in jobs and educational institutions was banned in Uttar Pradesh by Chief Minister Mayawati in 2011, citing law and order situation. 

Based on caste-based reservation in India, Prakash Jha's Aarakshan had a below average show at the box office. Photo: Facebook/Aarakshan

The movie was banned in the state for 2 months until the Supreme Court lifted the ban and the movie was released. Starring Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan and Prateek Babbar, the movie was even termed by some as 'anti-Dalit and anti-reservation.

3. Fanaa (2006)

Aamir Khan and Kajol starrer Fanaa was banned in Gujarat and was never released in the state. However, the ban had nothing to do with the content of the movie. Instead, the Gujarat government had then taken the decision against Khan’s movie due to his stand on the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA).

Aamir Khan's Fanaa was never released in Gujarat because of the actor's stand on the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA). Photo: Facebook/Fanaa

Khan had spoken against raising the height of Sardar Mansarovar which had irked the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, and they had threatened to ban the film unless Khan issued an apology. Khan did not apologize for his comments and the movie was never released in Gujarat.

4. Parzania (2004)

Directed by Rahul Dholakia, Parzania was another movie that never got releases in Gujarat. Based on a true story of a Parsi boy who had disappeared in the Gulbarg Society massacre during the Gujarat riots of 2002. Radical group Bajrang Dal had threatened the cinema halls not to screen it.

The film was purposefully not released in Gujarat as the cinema theatre owners refused to screen it, fearing backlash.

Rahul Dholakia's Parzania was never released in Gujarat. Photo: Facebook/Parzania

5. Black Friday (2007)

Based on writer Hussain Zaidi’s book Black Friday-The True Story of Mumbai Riots, Anurag Kashyap’s Black Friday movie was delayed for 2 years for the release. Kashyap had said that he went into depression due to the ban on the movie.

The movie is based on the massive drive to catch the perpetrators of 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts. The movie allegedly had objectionable content including names of some Indian political leaders in the movie.

Black Friday was released after 2 years on only 100 screens in India, and soon it was out in the DVD.

Last updated: May 09, 2023 | 14:13
    Please log in
    I agree with DailyO's privacy policy