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When Kishore Kumar was banned from All India Radio

Updated: Oct 23

The democracy in India had its own ups and downs in history. The down was when the state of emergency was declared across the country by then Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi a 21-month period from 1975 to 1977. Mrs. Gandhi along with her supporters and officials had taken every step to facilitate support of this decision and enlisted the help of celebrities. Some of them paid for their principled stand in a big way.



Prominent people like M G Ramachandran, Bal Thackeray, Khushwant Singh, Mother Teresa, JRD Tata, etc had supported the emergency, but there were many who opposed it. Mrs Gandhi's aide V C Shukla had reached out to Dev Anand, Manoj Kumar, Shatrugan Sinha, Kishore Kumar, and others to play their part in supporting the Government's movement and also work on the rally organized by the Congress Party across the country.


Kishore Kumar rejected the invitation to perform at a Youth Congress rally in Mumbai, also turned down the VC Shukla’s request also the Information & Broadcasting (I&B) Minister to make and participate in advertisements promoting Sanjay Gandhi’s 20-point Economic Programme launched just after the imposition of Emergency.



This resulted in Shukla banning Kishore Kumar from All India Radio and Doordarshan. The ban included not airing the singer himself and his songs in All India Radio and also his movie not to be showcased in Doordarshan. At that time All India Radio and Doordarshan were the only two mediums apart from print media to connect with the masses. Directed by Gulzar, Aandhi was an Indian political drama that was banned because it was allegedly based on Indira Gandhi.


However, the ban was removed and the movie was officially released in 1977 after a change of government.


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