Aarakshan: Courting controversy

Updated: August 09, 2011 17:00 IST

Prakash Jha's upcoming political thriller Aarakshan may boast of a star-studded cast, but has been embroiled in controversy from day 1 of production.

Aarakshan: Courting controversy
Prakash Jha's political thriller Aarakshan was embroiled in controversy from day 1 of its production. Accused of creating an anti-reservation and anti-Dalit film, this Big B, Saif Ali Khan starrer was banned in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh for the fear of anti-Dalit comments in it. However, the ban was lifted from Punjab and Andhra Pradesh a day after its worldwide release, Aug 12. In Uttar Pradesh, the ban was lifted Aug 19.

Coming up: Other B'town films that put the C in Controversy
C For Controversy in Bollywood
Bollywood beauty Bipasha Basu dismissed the allegations of child labour against her. The actress had posted a picture of her feet with two young girls bending over to tie her shoelaces. "I'm not embarrassed about the picture at all, as it was funny to me and still is," Bipasha tweeted on the controversy.

Under fire, Bips hastily deleted the tweet but forgot to erase the picture. It was only later that the photo went missing from her micro-blogging site.

She earlier tweeted saying: "Well the people helping me in the picture are my friend and my sister, Who I help often with the same! So am sorry if it hurt anyone's sentiments!"
C For Controversy in Bollywood
Dunno Y...Na Jaane Kyon had been feeling the heat for it's overtly risqué storyline. Not only does it delve into the taboo subject of homosexuality, it also features the first gay kiss in Indian Cinema.
It is the story of Ashley, a married gay man, who embarks upon an affair with a male prostitute. Meanwhile his unfulfilled wife, played by Rituparno Sengupta, is contemplating an affair with his brother and his mother, played by Zeenat Aman, is sleeping with rich men to make ends meet.
C For Controversy in Bollywood
Ram Gopal Varma loves himself some gossip, even more so if it involves him and his projects. Rakta Charitra has sailed close to the wind even before release when RGV posted a movie still on Twitter, showing Vivek Oberoi having another actor's head tonsured. The sequence replicates a real-life incident where Paritala Ravi, whom Vivek Oberoi plays, kidnapped Chiranjeevi's brother Pawan Kalyan.
C For Controversy in Bollywood
There was further furor, when Varma decided to hold the premiere of this film in the political hotbed of Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh, home of Ravi, despite hostile opposition and threats. Once the film released, the Telugu Desam Party workers blocked the screening of Rakta Charitra protesting misrepresentation of facts related to party founder-president NT Rama Rao, in the film.
C For Controversy in Bollywood
Koena Mitra has been prepping herself for her Hollywood debut titled Story of Naomi, where she plays the central character, who is bisexual.
Though Koena didn't divulge much on the film, she did say this. "I can't really talk much about the storyline. But I don't mind dating any one on screen as long as they are good-looking."
C For Controversy in Bollywood
Bollywood's attempt to grow up is often hijacked by the Censor Board. Madhur Bhandarkar's Fashion had to cut scenes of a gay relationship and even the use of the word 'condom'.
C For Controversy in Bollywood
Practically every scene of Mira Nair's Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love outraged the Indian Censor Board's sensibilities. It had extreme nudity and eroticism of both the heterosexual and homosexual sort. While shooting the film's working title was Maya and Tara and scenes with mild content were staged for government officials doing the rounds. The authorities got a rude shock at the pre-screening!
C For Controversy in Bollywood
Dostana had to battle some naysayers who thought the movie made fun of the gay community.
C For Controversy in Bollywood
Ek Chotisi Love Story is the story of a 15 year old boy and his voyeuristic love of his nameless neighbor, played by Manisha Koirala. As the film featured a bathroom masturbation scenes, never before seen in Bollywood, there was no happy ending for it. The courts ordered a stay on the release, as Koirala refused to delete some objectionable scenes.
C For Controversy in Bollywood
The Film Censor Board of India had a field day with Love, Sex aur Dhoka! It had scenes slashed left, right and center, including a seven minute long bare back love making scene that was shortened and blurred.

Hilariously censored, a song titled Tu nangi achi lagti hai was changed to Tu gandi achi lagti hai - and we think the latter literally sounds dirtier!
C For Controversy in Bollywood
Aamir Khan's critically acclaimed Ghajini was laid low by claims of copyright infringement by the Tamil producers and even received a stay order.
C For Controversy in Bollywood
The 2001 film Chori Chori Chupke Chupke, starring Salman Khan, Rani Mukherjee and Preity Zinta, created controversy post release. Later that year, the CBI seized prints of the film after it was discovered it had been funded by the Mumbai underworld, and was soon popularly known as the Bharat Shah Case.
C For Controversy in Bollywood
The mother of all controversies in 2008 was the claim that Ram Gopal Varma's Contract showed such intricate details of terrorist-activity that it was liable to inspire terrorists.
C For Controversy in Bollywood
3 Idiots is a film that needs no introduction, though the author of the book apparently did!

Based on Chetan Bhagat's book Five Point Someone, Rajkumar Hirani's 3 Idiots did not give the author the opening credits that he was angling for.
C For Controversy in Bollywood
Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi fell victim to plagiarism rumours and there were a tense few days before its release with claims of the song Haule Haule being copied.
C For Controversy in Bollywood
Bollywood has had a love-hate relationship with history. There is almost no historical film that has escaped attacks by historians of divided allegiances. Ashutosh Gowarikar had a tough time proving that Jodhaa, a Hindu Rajput, was in fact married to Emperor Akbar in Jodhaa Akbar.
C For Controversy in Bollywood
Director Deepa Mehta knows how to push buttons, and at times it lands her in hot 'Water'. All three films of her Elements trilogy - Earth, Fire and Water - have received plenty of flak for their sensitive subjects.

Fire, dealt with arranged marriage and lesbianism, Earth showcased religious strife against the backdrop of Partition, and Water dealt with the harsh reality of suicide, inequality faced by women and the mistreatment of widows.
C For Controversy in Bollywood
The 2004 film Girlfriend, starring Aashish Chaudhary, Amrita Arora and Ishaa Koppikar, dealt with lesbianism. Soon after, the posters of the film were burnt in Orissa and calls were made for it to be banned.
C For Controversy in Bollywood
Dhoom 2's spiciest moment came with the sizzling Hrithik-Aishwarya kiss. Given that the Abhishek-Aishwarya engagement news were doing the rounds, the Bollywood gossip mill went into overdrive with speculation about how it's First Family would deal with their bahu-to-be's less than modest screen image...
C For Controversy in Bollywood
Parzania found itself in the eye of the political storm with it's gut-wrenching tale of the Pithawala family and the loss of their son in the Godhra riots. The film was considered pro-Muslim and was not released in Gujarat because of it's sensitive material.
C For Controversy in Bollywood
The Sunny Deol starrer, Jo Bole So Nihaal, met with outrage from the Sikh community. Adding fuel to fire was the scene in which a Sikh cop is chased down the street by scantily clad women. Two attacks were made on the cinemas showing the film before the film was pulled off the screens
C For Controversy in Bollywood
Religion raised its indignant head when the blockbuster Singh is Kinng hit the screens. Apparently, the Sikh community was unhappy that a man wearing a traditional pagri was also sporting a French beard.
C For Controversy in Bollywood
Superhit sequel Golmaal Returns also had to contend with copycat claims.
C For Controversy in Bollywood
Chitrangada Singh's comeback film Sorry Bhai had a late release because singer Rabbi claimed they had copied one song. The film could only be released once the producers removed the song from the movie.
C For Controversy in Bollywood
The title track of Krazzy 4 was it's only plus point and that became a minus with plagiarism claims.
C For Controversy in Bollywood
Race was yet another film that came under fire for copying a song.
C For Controversy in Bollywood
There's really nothing good to be said about Himesh Reshammiya starrer Karz. The song Hari Om had a plagiarized tune, but that's small potatoes considering the entire movie was copied.

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