Thursday, April 9, 2009

Smoke Off Screen, Kill On Screen

Indian government and various advocates of smoke/alcohol-free society want to censor out scenes of smoking and drinking in television and cinema on the ground that it glamorizes and encourages smoking/drinking in the society and that being the guardian of the society, it is their duty and right to micro-control the behavior of citizens, supposedly in the best interest of citizens. Advertisements of cigarette and alcohol is already off air and the government want to discourage the evils of smoking/drinking among general public in general and among youth in specific.

This shows how much concerned our government is about a person injuring self with own consent by consuming tobacco or alcohol. Hence, it may be assumed that our government must be as much, if not less, concerned about a person injuring another person, obviously without his/her consent, by means of violence. So, by the analogy of censoring smoking and drinking, depicting violence in movies or television also glamorizes it and hence must also be censored for public viewing. But unfortunately, the government doesn't seem to be interested in uprooting and discouraging other evils of the society, such as violence.

A Bit Of Imagination: Now, imagine what all will be removed if the parliament passes a bill to censor scenes of violence. Umpteen number of movies in which the good guy fights and/or kills the bad guy, movies about alien invasion, movies of war will not be made anymore. Violent parts of Indian independence struggle must go and so, you will never see Bhagat Singh or Bose. In the news, you will not see the scenes of bomb blast or terrorist attack. Mega blockbuster serials based on religious books, such as Mahabharata, Ramayan, Old and New Testament, will be taken off air because of high violence content and the K-series will need to put sex shots instead of slap shots.

Isn't it a better idea to remove violence from the society first and then smoking or drinking? But I do not believe that the utopia of non-violent society can be achieved nor do I specifically wish for it. My intention here is to finger the foolishness and biased treatment towards smoking/drinking and violence. On one side, government advocates smoke/alcohol free society and thus takes steps to promote it. On other side, government advocates nonviolence, but does not take similar steps to promote it. What a partial treatment!
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  1. Govt can't eradicate the evils u mentioned completely but steps like this notification will remind each citizen that it is not right to do so (at least in public).

    In a country where the films and heroes are worshiped, you need to have such (silly u may call it) laws. We the so-called intellectuals can only comment about things that are nearly impossible (non-violence) in a (so-called) civilised world but a small such step will have its own minimal effect on the remote village boy who aspires to be a King Khan (in style and pursuit)!

    Have u ever seen a teen smoking thinking taht it as "grown-up guys" attitude ?

    If you think how to stop those from such activities (teens, where majority of the smokers are born) we wont compare violence & smoking on-screen.

    Smoking & drinking are big money lenders to Govt machinery but without the buyers the givers won't stop selling (u can argue otherway).
    "I remember in a Asterisk series, the demand was created for Manhirs by Ceasor artificially"

    Smoking (& Drinking) is a Manhir to human beings! They can survive without both.


  2. Edited the post to reflect what I meant, this was to indicate govt's differential treatment of 2 evils of the society, personal habits (smoking/drinking) and violence.

  3. I just have one problem understanding the concept of Hero worship in India. Ok, people/specially youngsters get inspiration from online smoking, then they should and could also get inspired by onscreen fighting,but we don't see that many candidates in the hospital bed (compared to the fact that one smoker uses one packon and average day, and the no. of smokers are in millions).
    Why don't people get inspired(in large no.) when Sharukh Khan returns from NASA(in Swadesh)and stayed in a rural village for it's growth.Why not people/student's/youngsters think about going to college/hostel and be the best in play/study(as Hrithik in Kabhi Khusi Kabhi Gam)or be one of the biggest Businessman in the country(Amir Khan in Gazhini)?
    So the endpoint that I want to say is that it all depends upon the people and their individual choices.Onscreen in TV/Films there are bad things (like violence, smoking,........) but there are lots of good things as well.
    So, according to me, solution is not to impose ban on smoking or put ban on these companies(which Govt. will never do, for their own benefits)but to educate people about the harms of smoking/violence/unprotected sex/pornography etc. And by education means starting school level awareness program, going to villages and and doing shows , putting posters in important places like outside hotels/movie theaters/shopping malls etc.
    At the end of the day one will do whatever one wants, it's a personal decision.If someone wants to smoke he can get money from anywhere and buy a pack of cigerette, or if someone wants to watch porn there are so many ways, Govt. CAN NOT restrict these activities until you have a Dictatorship.
    So leave the choice to Aam Janta but before that do give them a chance to understand and know about the details of the problem/what they are doing.

  4. Government will never ever try to eradicate smoking or drinking in india as it is a great source of revenue for both the legal and illegal part of politician is going to even attempt the same on a true scale. Stage shows are one thing, harsh prohibition is another.
    even in countries where even posession of liquor can lead to a death sentence, liquor is available under license from government sources.forget the idealism,
    Money matters, even in purist conditions.

  5. Its true that govt will never eradicate these evils from our society, but our health minister is doing his job, so it is good not to put our point in his job. If we are not facinated by a hero smoking cig or not smoking cig or killing or fighting, etc., then why should be bother about it. Let him do his job.

    In India, Bollywood and cricket are like trips in which people are made fool legally and one who becomes fool will be looking forward for the trip....and our minister is making it more adventurous, so guys just have the fun...


Creative constructive criticism is accepted and expected.