01 June, 2009

Ban on smoking on screen not practical: Ghulam Nabi Azad

Times of India, 31st May, 2009

Toeing a different line from that of his predecessor on banning smoking and drinking on screen, health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad today said such a restriction was not "practical" and filmmakers should first stop showing "objectionable things" such as murder and arson.

Azad said he did not agree with the view that people get influenced by such scenes on screen and imitate them in real life.

His predecessor Anbumani Ramadoss has earned the ire of filmstars for trying to impose a ban on smoking and drinking on screen.

"It is just entertainment. There are so many objectionable things which are shown on screen like murder, arson and so on...Then such things should be banned first...I think we should try to implement whatever we can," Azad told reporters when asked to comment on the issue.

"They are so many criminal acts shown on films. Film is entertainment which is also related to reality. These things happen in society. So, many of these things are shown in films and then you stop films also," he said.

According to Azad, imposing a ban on such things was "not practical.

"We cannot do anything which is not practical. Such things (banning smoking and drinking on screen) are very difficult. Cinema is part of entertainment and it is just to enjoy," he said.

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