Tuesday, October 21, 2008

India loosens ban on smoking in movies


New Delhi, Oct. 20 — (IANS) India’s multibillion rupee film industry, which has been fuming over a ban on smoking scenes in films, now has reason to smile. The health ministry is ready to allow the depiction of iconic characters with their favourite poison stick.

So British statesman Winston Churchill and fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, who cannot be imagined without their cigars and pipes, can now be shown smoking in new films — though with a warning.

“Characters like Churchill and Sherlock Holmes can smoke on screen. People know about them and their on-screen smoking won’t influence the audience behaviour much,” a senior health ministry official told IANS.

“This will be made public next month,” the official added.

The health ministry had banned smoking in films but director Mahesh Bhatt moved court against the government decision. The case has been pending in the Delhi High Court for the last two years. The Delhi High Court is going to hear the case in the third week of November.

Earlier, the ministry was completely against any smoking scenes in any movie. It had said all old movies with such scenes would have to be accompanied with a note saying the habit is injurious to health, and new films with such depictions could not be made at all.

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At 6:02 AM, Blogger MCLA said...

OTOH, the health minister has banned smoking everywhere except inside one's home. Offices, restaurants, pubs, sidewalks, everywhere. Of course people are now smoking on the sidewalks. The police have other priorities than arresting some harmless smokers. The ban came into effect on 2nd Oct, the birth anniversary of MK Gandhi. The date is kind of apt. Gandhi was against alcohol.


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