Strangest things that are banned in India.


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“BAN!” The new favorite word of the Indian Government. They have banned a bunch of stuff in the past year. We can’t know if it was a good decision or a bad one but nowadays banning has become a fashionable thing. Most of the bans seem ridiculous and unnecessary. Here’s a list of things that are banned in India:

1. Beef Ban

In 2015, the government of Maharashtra, India’s second largest state, imposed a ban on selling and possession of beef with a fine of Rs. 10,000 and up to five years of jail time for those found guilty.

The beef ban is notable because its not a sudden move. Its been mulling for over two decades now. Beef has been illegal for years in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and even Jammu & Kashmir.

Under the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (amendment) Act (MAPA), 1995 , The Maharashtra Government banned the sale and possession of beef in the state. If anyone found guilty of possession will get a 5-year imprisonment.This was a hot topic last year where everyone took to social media to share their thoughts and views.

What one chooses to eat is their personal choice. Moreover, when such preposterous bans are imposed, incidents like the dadri incident where a man was killed over rumors of him eating meat will occur.

2. India’s Daughter

One of the most shocking incidents of rape that shook the entire country was the Delhi gangrape in 2012. A documentary on the Nirbhaya rape case was directed by Leslee Udwin a British filmmaker was made as a part of BBC’s ongoing Storyville series and it was banned in India. NDTV posted a  flickering lamp on a black screen to protest against the ban.

The Government of India had argues that the documentary shows a bad image of India to the world. Later they claimed that the filmmaker did not have the required permissions. Despite the ban here, BBC aired the documentary in UK and other countries and even uploaded the film on Youtube but our government was irked by the same and the documentary was pulled down from Youtube.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh said he was “stunned” as to how permission was granted for the convict’s interview inside the Tihar Jail in the first place.

“Because this whole broadcast and the content of the broadcast violates the programming code of the information and broadcasting ministry, wherein there is derogatory language towards women, it seems to incite violence against women… there is also contempt of court in the context of the interview as the matter is sub-judice,” Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Rajyavardhan Rathore had said.

3. Fifty Shades of Grey

India being called the ‘Land of Kamasutra’ has always had a very orthodox view about sex. Another foreign movie which didn’t make it to the cinema halls due to the same reason was Fifty Shades Of Grey as it was not passed by the Censor Board. Many scenes were removed, including the sex scenes and the nudity, which was infact the plot of the movie. The movie wasn’t banned officially but for getting it released it needed Censor Board’s Certificate which was not issued.

Weirdly enough, many youngsters downloaded and watched the movie, and the general review of the movie was that it SUCKED! All this hype about the movie and it barely managed to get a 4.1 star rating on IMDB. 

4. GMAIL

Although Gmail isn’t banned to the public but it is banned from all government offices as the government wants to monitor all staff activity. This ban is relevant to this list because a BJP MP is considering applying this ban to the entire country.

The government said the measures were part of twin notifications issued by the Narendra Modi government on February 18 by which the use of private e-mail networks like Gmail and Yahoo has now also been officially banned for all government use.

According to BJP MP Tarun Vijay: “If use of these mail services, who park all their data in foreign lands, is not good for government officials, how can it be good for the common citizens?”

5. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie

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Salman Rushdie’s 1988 Novel called The Satanic Verses was banned by the Indian Government. The launch of this book caused an uproar among the Muslims and a fatwa was announced on his head. Salman Rushdie, fled to the UK to seek protection from the Islamic Fundamentalist and has settled there since.

6. Great Soul by Joseph Lelyveld

Even before it’s final release in India, the Gujarat government banned the Pulitzer prize-winning book. The book was Joseph Lelyveld’s attempt at looking into the life of Gandhi.

The reason for the ban was that Lelyveld had mentioned that Gandhi had developed with a Prussian architect whom the Indian playfully boasted as “having received physical training at the hands of [Eugen] Sandow [the father of modern bodybuilding]”. Lelyveld’s inquiry includes quotes from a letter sent by Gandhi to Kallenbach from London in 1909: “Your portrait (the only one) stands on my mantelpiece in the bedroom. The mantelpiece is opposite to the bed… [The purpose of which] is to show to you and me how completely you have taken possession of my body. This is slavery with a vengeance.”. Later, the Indian government bought several personal letters.

He also quotes cultural historian Tridip Suhrud who says Gandhi and Kallenbach “were a couple”.

7. Movies Banned In Gujarat

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Aamir Khan’s 2006 movie ‘Fanaa’ was unofficially banned in Gujarat because of Aamir’s statement against the Narmada River Dam, which today provides large amounts of water and hydroelectricity to Gujarat.

Nandita Das’s award winning film Firaaq (2008) was closely related to the families affected by the aftermath of the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat.

The 2005 film starring Naseeruddin Shah was based on a true story during the Gujarat Riots. It tells the story of a 10-year-old Parsi boy, Parzan Pithawala, who disappears after the Gulbarg Society massacre in Ahmadabad. The film was banned in Gujarat following fears of a communal uproar.

8. Foie Gras

Foie Gras is a luxury food product made of the liver of a duck or goose that has been specially fattened. In July 2014, the government decided to ban the import of foie gras, usually eaten as pate or mousse, after animal rights activists protested against the cruel manner of its manufacture. This popular French delicacy, which featured on gourmet menus in high-end European restaurants, put chefs in a fix.

Countries like Israel, Germany, England and the state of California have already banned the production of foie gras, but India is the first to put an end to its import.

9. Pornography

Indian Government ordered ISPs to ban around 857 porn websites. Some of the websites were found to be hosting jokes, memes and other humorous content without any pornography.

Porn Ban caused quite a raging debate on the social media and other platforms where people accused the government of indulging into internet censorship. Due to the uproar among the people the government made a quick turn to review and lifted the ban.

10. Abuses

Apparently the censor board think that banning cuss words like ‘Saale’ & ‘Kutte’ will improve the country. Below is list of words that was banned by the chief of the Indian Censor Board but it did not happen, thanks to the majority of members who voted against it.

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The Censor Board is back to doing what it does best: censoring. While it still needs to be seen whether there’d be a ban on the 28 swear words that the CBFC had proposed earlier, it definitely has taken offence to words like lesbian, ghanta, haramipana, haram ke pille and haramkhor, replacing these from the film Dum Laga Ke Haisha. What is the Censor Board trying to prove? Don’t we all know what these words mean?

11. Sex Toys

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For those unaware, sex toys are banned in India. A lawyer took Snapdeal.com to court when he found them selling massagers/vibrators & lubricants on their site.

12. Maggi Noodles

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Maggi Instant Noodles, a product of Nestle India was banned by the Central Food Authority, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), after the test on its samples failed. After the test it was found that lead and MSG were beyond the permissible limit. Nestle then recalled its product from the markets and destroyed all of its stock. Nestle reported that it was their first loss in 17 years.

After being out of the market for almost 5 months, Maggie made a huge comeback. There were reports that Snapdeal sold over 60,000 packets of Maggie in 10 minutes flat during its re-launch. Meanwhile, the Consumer Court has asked for more tests on Maggi samples at the behest of the Central Government.

13. The Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code was banned in some states in India. A movie based on Dan Brown’s bestseller was watched and loved across the globe by everyone including Christians. Written and made in a predominantly Christian country, the movie was banned in some states fearing that it may hurt the sentiments of the Indian Christians.

Funny part is that the book wasn’t banned in India. So you can read the book but not watch the movie. Alternatively it means that movies hurt the sentiments but book doesn’t.

14. Al-Jazeera

The International News Channel Al Jazeera was forced to go off air for 5 days in April. The government penalized the channel for repeatedly showing wrong maps of India.

The website also displayed a blank screen with the following message: “As instructed by the ministry of Information and Broadcasting, this channel will not be available from 00.01 hours on 22nd April till 00.01 hours on 27th April 2015.”

15. Messenger of God

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‘MSG: The Messenger of God’, was a movie which featured the controversial chief of Dera Sacha Sauda, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, in lead role.

It was denied certification by the Censor Board after committee members took exception to Ram Rahim Singh depicting himself as god in the film. However, the movie was later cleared by the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal.

Nonetheless, The Punjab Government decided to ban the screening of the movie in apprehension of breach of peace. The movie had the controversial Dera chief — who is facing cases of sexual abuse and murder — in the lead role and portrays him as a swashbuckling hero fighting “social evils” in flashy costumes.

16. The Word ‘Lesbian’

A controversial list of cuss words that was circulated by the Central Board of Film Certification or CBFC after Pahlaj Nihalani took over as its chairperson has been withdrawn after a majority of members voted against it.

But much before that the CBFC had asked the makers of Dum Laga Ke Haisha to mute the word “lesbian” and ensuring that four other words — Ghanta, haramipana, haram ke pille and haramkhor — would also not be heard by the audiences.

17. No Partying With Foreigners

Probably one of the most senseless rule was made by the Karnataka Government. The Karnataka State Governement has recently barred party organizers from inviting people with a foreign nationality to parties, unless granted permission by the government.

If you wish to invite foreigners to a party then you need to provide details of all foreign invitees to the police beforehand and allow the authorities to film them the entire time they are at your party. As strange as it sounds, there have been many proposals to revert the said ban, but the Government just loves killing fun! And we thought Karnataka was one of the most developed states of the nation.

18. AIB Roast

Mumbai Police received several complaints about the usage of abusive language. FIR was then filed by Mumbai Police against the organizers for the show without acquiring any performance license. FIR was filed against 14 persons, including filmmaker Karan Johar and actors Arjun Kapoor and Ranveer Singh in Pune as well. A Mumbai court also directed the police to file FIRs against the organisers and prominent participants mainly citing the violation of the Indian Penal code dealing with conspiracy and obscenity.

With the show containing several religious comments, AIB Team also offered an unconditional apology to the archdiocese and the Christian community for any offence caused to religious sentiments. The apology came after several Christian organisations filling complaints against the use of insulting jokes on Jesus Christ and Catholics.

19. Kissing in Public/PDA:Public Display of Affection

In a country with the 2nd largest population in the world its still kind of illegal to express your love in public. Section 294 of the Indian Penal Code prohibits and lays down punishment for obscenity in public places.

Many couples have been beaten up, even forcefully married when they were found kissing in public or even holding hands. Although crimes against woman like rape and domestic violence are still in dire need of stricter laws, public display of affection remains a taboo in a culture-driven country like India.

Police Arresting Protesters at ‘Kiss Of Love’

In fact, in 2014, this very ban led to a nationwide non-violent protest against moral policing called ‘The Kiss of Love’ following which, thousands of couples came out to kiss on the streets under the threat of being stripped naked if they attempted to violate the laws, by the Right wing opponents. This protest received worldwide attention.

20. Lingerie Mannequins

Mumbai is considered to be one of the most modern cities in India but beleive it or not the local authorities have recently voted to ban the display of models wearing bikinis from store windows.

Their belief is that this would reduce the number of rapes and other cases of sexual assaults that have recently seen a rise through out the country! They believe that mannequins are “Embarrassing” for girls and have been “polluting the minds of men” across the city.

The ban has been passed in lieu of the Provisions of the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986 which regards ‘depiction of the figure of a woman or any of her body part in an indecent manner as a way of depraving, corrupting or injuring the public morality or morals’!

21. Advertising Alcohol

Probably one of the oldest bans in this list. Advertising alcohol is considered illegal since the late 1990s. In fact, many states across the country like Gujrat, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram have taken a step ahead and strictly prohibited the consumption of alcohol all together.

India consumes one-fifth of the total alcohol produced in the world, and being the largest whiskey market in the world, the liquor companies are cleverly trying to dodge the ban by finding loopholes in the laws to advertise their brands. Although some of the surrogate ads have come under fire in the past, the laws are only getting stricter.

22. Dancing in Bars

In India, dance bars are considered to be places of adult entertainment. It is believed that these bars are epicenters of prostitution and this in a measure to curb it the government has passed a bill to cancel the licenses of all dance bars in Maharashtra and the move is slowly shifting to other states as well.

This ban has more to do with women dancing in bars. If you’re a women and are caught dancing ina dance bar in India, you could be fined a minimum of Rs. 1Lac ($100,000) and three years imprisonment.

23. Homosexuality

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Homosexuality rights have been a hot topic around the world, and many countries like France, Brazil, Denmark, Ireland and recently USA, have come forward and showed their support by legalizing it. However, India remains glued to its cultural norms and refuses to recognize homosexuality as a sexual orientation, under Section 377 of the Indian constitution.

India had uplifted this ban in the year 2009, but the Supreme Court recently reinstated it in the year 2013, delivering a cruel blow to the basic rights of thousands of homosexuals throughout the country.

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According to the government, being gay is a ‘disease’ and there has to be someone to put a stop to it. Strong protests were witnessed throughout the country following the ban. Surprisingly, the Hindu and Vedic texts have mentions and descriptions of saints, demigods, and even the Supreme Lord transcending gender norms and manifesting multiple combinations of sex.  .
Even the Kamasutra, the ancient Indian science of love-making, talks about same-sex feelings. But same sex remains a taboo in India despite clear instances of it being mentioned in India’s history and mythology.

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Strangest things that are banned in India.

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