In a lot of ways, India is regressing. You can debate it all you like, but that’s a fact. Words like ‘boobs’ are censored on the TV, there’s riots over movies like Padmavati being released, and films that are celebrated the world over are banned in festivals here. With the call for banning Padmavati getting ever more caustic, here’s a few other things we can probably no longer make movies over.
Considering some major right wing groups and their spawn openly and avidly celebrate Nathuram Godse as a hero, a movie about Gandhi today would probably lead to a few dead bodies.
The right wing loves to wax eloquent about the atrocities of the Mughal invasion, so a movie on the first Mughal emperor would no doubt ruffle a few feathers.
3. Women’s Sexuality
If the reaction to films like Sexy Durga and Lipstick Under My Burkha are anything to go by, there’s no space for the depiction of women as sexual beings in Indian cinema.
4. Shah Jahan
A worryingly large number of fundamentalists seem to believe that the Taj Mahal was a Hindu temple, despite staggering evidence to the contrary. And you can forget ever making a movie about a ‘Hindu temple’ in India, that’s just asking for trouble from the troubled.
People getting thrashed for transporting cows, families being killed over rumours of them eating beef – that’s the country we live in. Considering the very real and present threat of cow vigilantes, you have to think twice before even mentioning the word cow, forget making a whole movie about the gentle bovines.
6. Free Speech
The only way you can actually enjoy free speech in India is in the privacy of your bathroom. The JNU row, arrests over Whatsapp forwards, taking people into custody for making memes about our shitty leaders, all of these things point to one thing – an autocratic regime. And you can’t very well make a movie about free speech in a pseudo dictatorship now, can you?
In today’s day and age, it’s easy to imagine the masses getting their chaddis in a huff over terming the Mahabharata a mythology. The tale is an epic, but it’s also a story, at the end of the day.