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Mall Road

Bus Addey, Maal Rode, Camp, Madal Toun, Ajadpur, Shalimaar...

Don't ban smoking on screen. Don't ban smoking. Ban tobacco

The Union of India's decision to ban on-screen smoking is ridiculous; the order to blur smoking scenes in past films even more so.

For one, no public debate preceded the ban. It was merely a minister's gimmick.

Secondly, people, especially when they are young, tend to be attracted more by the forbidden than the available. So this blurring business in very counter-productive.

Thirdly, this ban speaks of the government's hypocrisy: the same government which earns huge tax revenues from the sale of tobacco wants cinema not to 'promote' cigarette.

I would say ban tobacco. Don't give me the freedom theory. I am allergic to passive smoking, I start coughing like mad. Despite the Supreme Court's ban on smoking in public places, people continue to smoke out in the open. It's too difficult to impose the ban. On Saturday I was in a group meeting of researchers and the Sunday before that in a poetry meet. So many were smoking it seemed impolite to point out that it hurts me. People take out a cigarette with such panache that makes amply clear that if you object, you've got to be a moron who doesn't respect individual rights. My polite request to a gentlemen once resulted in threats of violence.

So dear minister, don't ban on-screen smoking. Don't ban smoking either. Ban the production and sale of tobacco altogether! That also reduces the burden on the country's meagre health infrastructure.







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