Sunday, May 11, 2008

To smoke or not to ... !

There has been a debate in India whether the government should allow actors/actresses/celebrities to portray glamorous smoking/consumption of alcohol/drugs etc. As I see it most people agree to the fact that whether or not one says that these are dangerous or not, they do play havoc with the lives is obvious. Now if a senior actor such as Rajnikanth heeds to the advice of the health minister and avoids smoking ON screen then I think all others should follow suit. Now let me go on record saying this that Rajnikanth's "immortal" following in the south of the Vindhyas and elsewhere has something to do with his acting and antics on the giant screen that is always glorified. As a child to date, I have always been amazed by the way Rajni does that ON screen. The way he throws the cigarette into the mouth is nothing short of miracle. To follow that the way he lights it up and burns it for the pleasure of the crowd is "so cool". I am sure people are as amazed as I am and many, may, in fact have tried to follow him considering the charisma that he has. All this has been avoided in his last two blockbusters "Chandramukhi" and "Sivaji" following an advice from Mr. Anbumani Ramadoss, the Indian Health minister.

The point for all this discussion is Shahrukh, the uncrowned ruler of Bollywood, Big B, the shahenshah of Bollywood dismissed Mr. Ramadoss plea to follow Rajni. There are reasons for both the leading actors to acknowledge what Rajni did was right. Firstly, I am sure Big B, Shahrukh or whoever agree that tobacco, alcohol and drugs are extremely dangerous. Secondly, if stopping smoking etc on screen can stop a fraction of the 45 million people who die in the country due to all these nasty habits, then there you guys do not need to think twice about quitting smoking/drinking on screen.
And finally, you guys do not look anywhere near the style of Rajni when he smokes!

I plead the people to force celebrities not to smoke/drink/dope ON/OFF screen. Mr. Ramadoss deserves all the support in this issue. Of course, AIIMS is one matter where I differ with the minister, but thats an altogether different issue.

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