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Should Bollywood movies be allowed smoking scenes?

This topic has again come up in news as National Government has raised objection against decision of Delhi High-court, which is in favor of allowing Smoking scenes in Bollywood Movies and Indian Television Programs. Delhi High-court had dismissed the ban on Smoking scenes in Bollywood movies and television programs. Now National Government has taken this issue in Supreme Court.

Due to efforts of Anbumani Ramadoss – Health Minister in 2006, smoking scenes in bollywood movies and television programs were banned. Ramadoss’ argument was that Indian audience get inspired by popular actress, and if they see them smoking, they would imitate them, which is dangerous for health.

But now an application is submitted by National Government which contains 63 reasons.

As per their argument, they say that the decision of Delhi High Court where it says that banning smoking scenes is downward leap on actors’ speech and expression freedom, is a mistake.

It is interesting to note that, on 23 January when Delhi High Court dismissed prohibition on smoking scenes, it said that Smoking is a true fact of life, and such types of bans are a swoop on creativity of actors.

Bollywood actors like Ajay Devgan, Shahrukh Khan and Saif Ali Khan have smoking addiction. Of course, Saif Ali Khan is said to have quit it due to health issues. And moreover, even those actors do not smoke, need to smoke if the script of the movie says so. Like, Ajay Devgan in movie Company smokes a lot. And it suits him, as he plays character of a gangster there. Now, if such a character is not allowed to smoke, it might make a difference in movie. I’m not favoring smoking here, but just trying to visualize ‘smoking ban’ issue from bollywood point of view.

And it is also true that, fan following of such famous actors get easily imitated by characters that their favorite actors play in a movie. So if they watch them, smoking, drinking, fighting (like in Ghajini), a new kind of hair-style (like Aamir Khan has in Ghajini and Dil Chahta Hai), there are chances of having that expression of actor being imitated.

But at the same time, there are independent smokers too who smoke even after reading caution written on every cigarette packet.

I wonder, whether banning is the real solution for no-smoking. Yes, it’s a good point that smoking addition might not increase if smoking scenes are banned in bollywood movies.

At least, some portion of the population can be saved from smoking.

What is your point of view? Should smoking scenes be banned in Bollywoo movies and Indian television programs?


Devang Vibhakar is the Founder and Editor of www.SpeakBindas.com. He has interviewed more than 350 people. His effort was recognized by Limca Book of Records, twice. He has been to Scotland as well as Germany as part of vocational & cultural exchange programs and has compiled five books so far. He's passionate about bringing forth interesting stories & interviews of entrepreneurs to avid readers of SpeakBindas. He can be reached here.

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