This morning we work up to the news that Surjeet Singh Rathore, the president of the youth wing of the Karni Sena, has demanded a title change for the Akshay Kumar starrer Prithviraj. While the political organization want the Indian king’s full name to be used, it isn’t the first time a Bollywood film has been asked to change its name.
The reasons for the same range from political and religious group considering the original names derogatory to people disliking them as they have been unjust to a specific section of society because of profession or mental attribute and more.
From Kangana Ranaut and Rajkummar Rao’s Judgementall Hai Kya to Ranveer Singh-Deepika Padukone’s Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela & John Abraham’s Madras Café, here’s a look at 10 Bollywood films that were forced to change their names.
This light-hearted comedy-drama with Irrfan Khan in the lead was initially titled Billu Barber. The filmmakers faced flak when the salon and beauty parlour associations of Bandra raised objections and stated that they found the use of the word ‘barber’ derogatory. Shah Rukh Khan, the film’s producer, eventually removed the word from the movie title and promotions and even invited ‘The Hairdressers’ Association of Mumbai members to the movie’s premiere.
Madras Café (2013)
The thriller starring John Abraham was based on the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, so controversies surrounding it was not shocking. But the makers found themselves in the eye of the storm when they initially named the Bollywood film Jaffna. For those who do not know, Jaffna is a place located in Sri Lanka. The makers were forced to change the title from Jaffna to Madras Cafe following immense pressure from the neighbouring country, as it felt it would show them in a bad light.
Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela (2013)
Sanjay Leela Bhansali faced the wrath of political and religious groups when he named his Ranveer Singh-Deepika Padukone starrer Ram Leela. A petition filed by sections of society cited a change in the title as the name is associated with religion and is pious for many.
This is one movie on the list that had a change not for hurting the sentiments of people but due to copyright issues. The Shahid Kapoor starrer was initially titled Rambo Rajkumar but was made to make it R…Rajkumar as the makers of the Hollywood film series ‘Rambo’ had the copyrights reserved for it. What’s interesting to note is that not only was the film’s title changed but also Shahid Kapoor’s character in it.
When Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat was being shot in Rajasthan, members of the Karni Sena destroyed the film’s sets and costumes. The film was initially titled Padmavati and based on the life of Rani Padmavati, a Rajput queen known for her beauty. While the political party asked for a change in the title, they also faced severe backlash from the same group as they claimed the film has a romantic sequence between Deepika Padukone’s Rani Padmini and Ranveer Singh’s Alauddin Khilji.
The original title of this Aayush Sharma-Warina Hussain was Loveratri. However, the makers were forced to change the same to Loveyatri after a section of society objected to it. The reason behind the title of this Bollywood film hurting the sentiments of people was that it allegedly made fun of the Hindu festival Navratri. In fact, an FIR was also filed against Salman Khan and his team for hurting the religious sentiments of people.
Judgementall Hai Kya (2019)
The name of Kangana Ranaut and Rajkummar Rao’s film was originally titled Mental Hai Kya. But the makers were forced to change the name of this Bollywood film after the Indian Psychiatric Society took objection to it. They claim that the name sounded discriminative and degrading for people who have mental illnesses.
Yeh Saali Aashiqui (2019)
Vardhan Puri’s debut film was originally titled Paagal. But the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) asked the makers to change the title because of the social stigma attached to the word.
A few days before the release of Akshay Kumar’s horror-comedy Laxmmi Bomb, the makers of this Bollywood film got into trouble after several religious groups found the name offensive and derogatory. The Hindu Sena argued that associating the name of Goddess Laxmmi with the word Bomb is derogatory and hurt the sentiments of the community. Post protests against the film and its title, the makers changed the name to Laxmii.
Initially, Rajkummar Rao and Janhvi Kapoor’s film was titled Rooh Afza, but months after the announcement, the makers were forced t change it and adopted the title Roohi. The reason for the same was reported that the beverage brand called ‘Rooh Afza ‘has concerns about the title. Interestingly, the title wasn’t changed to Roohi directly. After its initial title, the film was also named Roohi Afzana.
Do you agree with film’s having to change their title? What are your views on the Karni Sena asking the makers of Prithviraj to modify the title of the Bollywood film? Let us know in the comments.