Saturday, October 22, 2005

Huff Puff Cough...

Had my Bull fights today....I teamed up with Shruti and we were up against Unnati and Anish. Now... Bull fights happen to be one of the best literary events in our college. It's one of the most intense debating competitions.....

Our topic was "Smoking in films should be justified" and we were against the topic.... After what turned out to be one of the most balanced debates....I was satisfied with our performance even though...well...we lost by 2 points...( Booooo Hoooooooo !!!!!)

Now here's my real opinion on the subject :

I do believe everything I said about the youth being influenced by their favourite filmstars.... However I also feel that the Government's move to ban smoking in films is a bit extreme. It does hamper creativity.......One may not realise it, but the amount of dramatic appeal that is created by an actor smoking a cigarette is much better than any other prop or add on.

What I'm sad about is that, no popular movie has ever directly shown the harmful health effects of smoking....All they show is a person coughing a little after he has taken a puff....What's that supposed to mean ??? In a way it suggests that by smoking you wont get lung cancer or emphysema or anything....You'll just cough for a while and then you'd look cool for the rest of your life.

Also, I came across these really good examples of how the film makers aren't being responsible enough.....

In the movie "Village of the Damned"....Kirstie Alley who plays a doctor is puffing throughout the movie....And in the movie " Backdraft"....the fireman is shown smoking in all parts of the movie.......Doctors and firemen smoking !??!?!?! What were the filmmakers thinking ?!?!?!?! These are people who should in fact be totally against smoking....What kind of example are they setting in front of their viewers... Young children and teenagers who lack the objectivity to make the right choices may easily be influenced by such images....

Well, I'm glad Shahrukh Khan supports the ban, but gosh, in real life, he's a chimney !!!!! When I was at the MMRDA grounds during the Filmfare Awards this year, I was right in front of his vanity van and I never saw him without his cigarette...I wonder how Gauri tolerates him.

I'm irritated with these tobacco companies who come up with different guerilla ideas to promote their products. Every year these tobacco companies lose 800,000 of their loyal customers in India because all these 800,000 customer die of smoking....And that's exactly why these tobacco companies manipulate their way into movies and advertise their cigarettes just to compensate for the loss of those customers who died...
Also, it doesn't make sense to put the label " Smoking is Injurious to Health" on a cigarette packet.....They should instead put the label " Smoking Kills" because smoking really does kill.....It's a form of slow death, so one never really understands the long term consequences of being a chain smoker...... What frustates me the most is that even educated people who KNOW that cigarettes can kill, still smoke away to glory !!!!

The goverment has double standards ...... On one hand it bans smoking in films and on the other hand, they refuse to ban production of tobacco because of the revenues that they bring...... Why can't those 35,000 crores of rupees instead be used to produce herbs and medicinal plants which have a huge demand in the international market????...If this is done, the government won't even have to spend huge amounts on reducing the number of smokers... I dont think the government is justified in widening their cash coffers while thousands of people suffer.

Also, It's my most humble request to filmmakers to start taking some responsibility....Please stop glamorization and normalization of smoking in films...

We really have to decide what's more imporant... Creative freedom or a healthy community ?!?!?!? And the government needs to ask itself what's more important ??? Huge revenues or a healthy and qualitative population ???

As Shruti earlier mentioned....If the right choices aren't made, the big bad wolf (tobacco) will huff and puff and burn our world down.

3 comments:

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