Filmmaker demands not to give awards to films having smoking scenes

PTI, PANAJI | 01 December 2010 17:54 IST

An NGO working in the health sector has urged the Centre not to award movies that have smoking scenes.

"Centre should not award movies which promote smoking on screen," member of Voluntary Health Association of Goa (VHAG) and renowned filmmaker Raman Kumar told reporters in Panaji today.

He said if filmmakers want awards from the government, then they should find out some or the other way to avoid showing smoking on screen.

"While showing such scenes, at least they should carry a disclaimer," said Kumar, who has directed films like Saath Saath, Kasam Teri Kasam and Raja Bhaiya.

Kumar said in absence of direct promotion of tobacco products, the filmmakers are being used by the mighty tobacco lobby.

Claiming that justification of 'creativity’ given by the filmmakers to allow smoking is just an excuse, he said KL Sehgal and Dilip Kumar, who played the protagonist in Devdas never smoked on screen.

"But when the same role was played by Shahrukh Khan, he smoked on screen," he said adding Khan smokes in real life also.

Another anti-tobacco NGO, National Organisation for Tobacco Eradication (NOTE), has said 54% of youth start smoking after they watch their filmstars lighting up on screen.

"Of these 54%, 50% of will die of cancer, if they get addicted to Tobacco," NOTE general secretary Shekhar Salkar said.

Quoting the World Health Organisation's survey, Salkar said three out of every four films produced in India show smoking.

"Teenagers who watch Bollywood characters smoke are three times as likely to do so themselves. If young people see one of their idols light up on screen, they are 16 times more likely to think positively about smoking," he added.

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Smoking is bad and causes fatal diseases like cancer! The tobacco products need to be taxed very heavily to discourage smoking.

Similarly addiction to drinking hard liquor also causes damage to the liver -ultimately resulting into untimely death!

Even in remote villages like Loliem there are quite a number of untimely deaths of youngsters- almost from every other house-below 40 years- some bachelors and some married- living behind young widows and young kids!

In GMC alone there are more than 200 death reported every year due to liquor and over 1200 needing hospitalization due to diseased liver !

The loss of lives in road accidents caused due to drunk driving could add another few to the list of fatalities!

The liquor lobby is very strong and spread in nook and corner of the territory! To save the young lives- only a person like Anna Hazare to come and spearhead the anti liquor campaign could be the need of the hour !

- vishwas prabhudesai, loliem | 03 rd December 2010 11:06

 

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