August 22, 2006

Gone Up In Smoke ??!!

August 22, 2006 Posted by Vijay 4 comments
The Cola bans are creating a lot of heat across the country.When SRK (i.e. the Bollywood star - Shah Rukh Khan) made a comment, trying to justify his Cola endorsements, saying that even mother's milk is contaminated, there was anger amongst the political brass which was vented out at a theatre screening his latest Bollywood movie, KANK (Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna). Window panes were smashed down and posters were torn apart.

The point is not about the Cola controversy itself. It is not about endorsements either, which really are out of the hand of these cinestars. But such justifications and comments can only instigate more protests. What irks me more is the way SRK had vowed to quit smoking as part of his new year resolution, and gone ahead in DON and stylishly (atleast that's what the intent has been) smoked away to glory !

DON, a remake of the old Amitabh superhit, being directed by Farhan Akhtar of Dil Chahta Hai and Lakshya fame, has SRK puffing away for almost 5 seconds on national television, in slow motion ! Now, what I find absolutely ridiculous is that there were restrictions imposed on smoking on the Television and especially in films. It seems these regulations which if ever existed have been thrown out of the window. And if SRK had any conscience, he would have thought twice before going on air with a 5 second slomo trailer of the biggest star in India smoking away to glory.

When a youth icon and an idol in many ways, smokes away thus, all the new year resolutions that he made on the new year, have been chucked out. Agreed that it is part of his work. But being a star and more so an icon, one should be more responsible, which sadly SRK has failed in this instance. When political parties are fighting away the pesticidal colas, do they realise that smoking is far more injurious to health ? What happened to all the regulations which were in place ? Why not protest against something so blatant ? Why don't the protests be against the smoking ban which doesn't seem to be in place anymore ?

With such levels of ignorance, by the media, the politicians and then the responsible icons themselves, it is hard to think of India wriggling out of this mess. There is no point fighting against pesticides, when cigarette smoking is going great guns ! The looseness of regulations do not impart much confidence. And it is only more than likely that even the pesticide driven protests will die a death which will again pave way for more pesticide infested colas. It is more important that the youth and the youngsters be made aware that smoking is of more serious graver consequences than the colas themselves. Stars like SRK need to realise that they can be more influential on the young generation and acts like the one in the DON promos can be far more worse than drinking colas.


Anonymous said...

I do not understand why you expect a ban on Smoking. Should it not be our personal choice to decide on what is good or bad for us? Every cigarette pack does mention the fact that smoking is injurious to health. Given this information, the decision is on the smoker to decide whether he wants to live or die.
But, I have not come across a single Coke can which says, this Can contains so much of Pesticide in it and this can be injurious to your health.
A ban on Coke and Pepsi also makes sense because we have some laws on the permissible level of Pesticides in these aerated drinks and these norms have supposedly been flaunted by these cola companies.
Also, why should you expect anything from SRK or any of our so called icons? We as a nation have long been followers, it’s about time we started taking our own decisions.

Anonymous said...

Vijay..dont opine like a 50 yr old uncleji!! ( ;) well, why did ya pull srk into the fray?)
but seriously...dont u think is fair to allow ppl decide whats good or bad for them! be it smoking, be it colas..all the govt need to do is make sure ppl have access to correct info!
...and regardin colas, i'm back to drinking diet colas after a 3 week sabbatical whilst i realised that water/fruits and milk have on an ave 30,000 times more pesticides and logically are more threatening to my life!..not to mention the 'carcinogens' i happily inhale at the roads everyday!
..and btw, do ya know that there actually aint ny govt proposed pesticide limits for colas? the govt couldnt come up with one even after 3 yrs..
bravo srk :)

-luv, Sinoi

Vijay said...

I guess a clarification is required, since people have different opinions. It is not that I want a ban on smoking. I never said that. I wanted to say that if there has been a regulation in place of banning smoking scenes in Films it should be followed stringently and followed. What I have been seeing on the DON promos is a blatant violation. The looseness of regulations will never help. Then why on earth the regulation at all ? As for colas, as we have seen again, the governmnent is now backing the COLAS. If this is the amount of dithering, there would be no point in having any regulations whatsoever. My point is, if there needs to be a rule, it should be followed diligently and with purpose.

Anonymous said...

- hey, not to get into details..nonetheless
1) the I&B Min Priyaranjan Dasmunshi's has mentioned "content of a character (in any artistic venture) cannot be dictated or interfered". .so basically what is being banned is product placements and Ads of tobacco companies through the big screen.( that is sensible, i believe.the correct provisions are being invoked)
...Suggesting that a 'Don' should munch on spinach and not a cigar would be funny.
2) the govt/India HAS NOT set purity stds for bottled drinks!..and thus u cant break a standard/regulation,which is not there at the very first place!!

:) do i sound like a MNC company ka chamcha?