Monday, July 18, 2005

Is the ban on smoking in bollywood films justified?

For a change, I was watching TV today. I don't generally like watching Tv coz I believe Televisions are for appearing on, not looking at. Nevertheless, there is this unending and colossal debate going on of whether to ban smoking onscreen or not and unfortunately, the health ministry has ruled out in its favour, thus, opening the pandora's box.

I call this unfortunate for a very simple reason that one can't be taught of what is right and what is wrong, can only be advised. A very simple question would come to one's mind that people here in India are highly influenced and inspired by the protagonists, which further mitigates and proliferates the reason for the ban. Even I am motivated by watching films but one needs to understand and differentiate the right from the wrong. I was highly motivated by "The Godfather" and it seemed like an easy money and a win-win situation to be an antagonist in real life. But, that will not motivate me to be a hit-man in real life!!

A verbalizer in the debate made a very stong point which I strongly believe and that is, open sex is considered bad in our society and thus, the censor board of films never promotes or rather, allows directors to show onscreen sex, no matter how important it is to depict such scenes for the strength of the character,"Look at our POPULATION"!!

Another point one should be deliberate upon is, if smoking is that bad a substitute, why not ban it altogether from the films, public places, cities, towns or the country. We can't do that, I guess 'coz our government earns a lot of incentives from Tobacco firms and it would hinder the growth of our economy.
To put it straight, it seems absolutely unnecessary and obnoxious to ban onscreen smoking. I hope the health ministry is listening.

Anant Arora