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While galloping google a few days back, I came across this article about the plans of Rajput outfits to boycott Jodha Akbar. If you read the link, then as per the organisations opposing the movie, Jodha was married not to Akbar(surprise!!!!) but to his son Salim. So, apun ka Bollywood, the prodigal daughter of controversies, has done it again. Or is it the other way round? If you would have followed the news on Bollywood controversies in the last few years, you would easily come to the conclusion that most of the movies which were made to gulp the controversy pill, were forced to do that for the most inane reasons. Its either because we don’t know the D of democracy or we can’t take the medium with a pinch of salt. Hence, its very important that the filmmaker should keep the following points in mind before starting a project :

  • Make sure that there are no jokes/references related to any communities. Always remember what happened to “Jo Bole Sonihaal”, “Khamoshi” and recently to “Aaja Nachle”. I could never understand, what in the name of Beelzebub, was the controversy behind Aaja Nachle? As far as I could remember, if a song used to have some controversial lyrics ( remember “Sexy Sexy” and “Sarkaiyo khatiya” ?), then the lyrics were changed and that decision was taken by the members of the Censor Board. But banning the movie in a state for this reason takes the cake. Are we moving back to the Neanderthal era?
  • If you want your movie to be released peacefully, make sure that you are not making a movie on any historical characters. Such movies have a high probability of running into troubled waters. Jodha Akbar, Mangal Pandey, Subhash Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh rammed into trouble because of depicting lives of History book characters. The filmmaker will always find a set of people who will not agree with his research about the character which would lead to “Aa Bull mujhe maar”.
  • Never ever make fun of Veteran film personalities. If the movie is a hit then no one is going to bother but if its a flop then the filmmaker will have to live with the “kalank” of making fun of matinee idols whom he/she is supposed to worship. Recently Om Shanti Om went through the ordeal because of taking a dig at Manoj Kumar. Thankfully, the movie was a hit and recently Manoj Kumar was seen laughing at the Screen Awards function when the movie was mentioned.
  • Don’t make movies on social issues which are very hush hush. Remember the wars waged on Fire, Water and recently Black Friday. After finally watching Water, I think the kind of “Halla” created for the movie was nothing less than National disgrace. When are we finally going to grow up? Was there anything shown in the movie which we don’t know already? Do our beloved moral policemen consider the Indian audience to be so naive? Anyways, the point is that NO hushy hushy, only mushy mushy. 🙂
  • If a filmmaker has followed the above points religiously and has a bad luck, he/she will still land up in trouble anyways. The best examples in this category are Rang de Basanti(for the horse race scene (hhrumphhh!!!)), Fanaa( because of Aamir’s involvement in the Narmada river controversy in Gujrat) and recently Taare zameen par(for the same reason in Gujrat again!!!!). To evade such conditions the filmmaker should not actively participate in any Social causes, and should choose a cast which has an equally “I-don’t-care” attitude towards social issues and finally should consult an astrologer for the extra “Ks” and “Ms” in the movie title.

So, finally, what are the choices left? Well, love stories set in Alps, Fantasy(apparently, Indian movies are “too bad” in this category), Animation, crude comedies and stories which are different and don’t neglect any of the above points are the ones which would lead to a smooth and non-controversial release. 🙂 A last word for the audience and our self appointed moral policemen : Watching a movie is nothing different than reading a book or buying a painting. If you don’t like the book then don’t read it again, if you don’t like the painting then don’t buy it and if you don’t like the movie then don’t watch it again, but don’t take away the right of another person to form an opinion about it, specially when you are living in a country which is the largest Democracy of the world.

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About the Author:

Amit Sharma is the Author of fiction novel False Ceilings published by Lifi Publications in January 2016. Amit always keeps a book and a portable reading light in his bag (much to the amusement of his fellow travellers). His other hobbies include watching world cinema, travelling, staring at hills, digging into various cuisines, cooking, listening to music, painting, blogging, making his daughter laugh and helping his wife with her unnecessary and prolonged shopping. He is currently working on his Second novel which is a thriller.


  1. sujani February 4, 2008 at 4:11 am - Reply

    well that is the sad story of our indian film industry.. and the same goes with the sport stars as well.. the recent case on sania which made her think of resigning frm the international game and that too when she is just started her career. Hope it changes.

  2. Vijaya Bharat February 4, 2008 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    Every thing is fine but if no one is there to control (properly – this is doubtful in this case), we will surely move back to the rock age. The human brain is the best and worst thing as per my opinion and for most of Indians there is only today. They wont remember the past and they wont think of future. This may look harsh but as per me this is the truth.

  3. Amit February 4, 2008 at 4:14 pm - Reply

    @Sujani : Yes, Its everywhere. I think everyone is entitled to his/her own viewpoint and a civilized world should let it stay that way.
    @Bharat : There should be control, I agree. But can’t it be as simple as the Censor board rating the movie as per the contents and then individuals deciding themselves whether they want to see the movie or not?

  4. Shekhar February 14, 2008 at 4:31 pm - Reply

    Hi there,

    I agree that the audience should be able to take the material with a pinch of salt. However, distoring history should be avoided if possible. I know my Mahabharat from the TV series, and due to that I enjoy reading the Gita. Likewise, if movies like Jodhaa Akbar or Mangal Pandey portray wrong history, the audience, especially those abroad, like me, will consider them to be accurate depiction. We can’t please everyone, but proper research should be done on topics that are attempt to depict history. Besides this, I don’t think just a Censor Board rating will do much in people deciding what they can and cannot watch. Society is highly influenced by movies, more so in India where you see people idolize movie stars and you hear Bollywood beats thumping everywhere. Just look at how vastly Indian culture (at least in metros) has changed over the last 10 years. I think a huge credit goes to Bollywood.

  5. Amit February 14, 2008 at 5:44 pm - Reply

    @Shekhar : I would always like to believe that a film maker would always do an in-depth research before making such a movie. How many times did you cross checked that the Mahabharat which you watched on television was distorted or not? Besides, the point is that there will always exist some group of people who won’t agree with the director’s research. Yes, movies highly influence our society, but we should know where to draw the line.

  6. aryan May 11, 2008 at 11:38 pm - Reply

    you cant free a people that have become mentally slaves

  7. Amit May 12, 2008 at 10:28 am - Reply

    @Aryan : Yes, its hard but not impossible. 🙂

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  10. ladies February 10, 2011 at 10:32 pm - Reply

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