"First of all, we must remember that cinema and society borrow from each other. It must have been the society not the movies that started smoking and drinking first. Cinema and society reflect each other. So both must take the onus. If no nation in the world can 'afford to' ban smoking or drinking, we must accept that we need to learn to co exist with both", argues Anubhav Sinha.
He further questions, "Does the government have the authority, reason or control or courage if I may tell 'the nation' to stop drinking or smoking? Then what gives them the authority to tell Shahrukh Khan to stop smoking or Amitji to not drink in the movies?"
Reflecting on the political scenario in the country, Anubhav goes on to add, "We know our health minister mostly for the digs at the film industry while we know Mr. Lalu Prasad Yadav for the complete and continuous changeover in the Indian Railways. I recommend him to actually contribute to the average and basic health of an average Indian than getting published for mediocre reasons."
So where does he feel that celebrities could come in handy to spread the message? "I might as well request and mobilize celebrities to adopt X number of patients every year and mobilize treatment and education for them. At least it will serve a purpose and generate respectable news", suggests Anubhav.
Going back to Amitabh Bachchan, Anubhav says, "While we over-hype the bad effects of smoking and drinking in the movies, we must remember that the nation is fully aware that Amitabh Bachchan himself quit smoking forty years back. That should be inspiring enough."
How about Shahrukh Khan , "Come on, Shahrukh Khan repeatedly mentions that smoking is a terrible habit and he is trying his best everyday to quit. The audience knows this as much as it knows that he smokes. Let's stop cracking jokes man and get on with work. There are far bigger things to actually worry about."
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