Anbumani Ramadoss. Does the name not sound familiar? Ofcourse, it will. After all, he is there almost daily in the newspaper headlines. Well, there is nothing great about it if you think a bit deeper. In fact, most of our politicians make it to the headlines. Let me brief you about who exactly he is. He is the Cabinet Minister in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. He does not need to be part of any anti-drug organization as most of the times he is in news for his resistance to smoking and drinking.
He does not like Bollywood celebrities filling their lungs with smoke onscreen. He doesn’t like Shahrukh Khan smoking during a cricket match. He doesn’t even like Big B for the same reason. So what he exactly likes is raising his voice against movies that project smoking scenes and according to him, statistics reveal that 52 per cent of movies involve smoking scenes. He believes that these celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan and other Bollywood personalities influence people to smoke because everyone wants to look as trendy as the actors do. In short, he thinks public likes to do it for tashan . On questioning King Khan for smoking onscreen, he replied, “I do not endorse smoking and I do not like anyone telling me personally what to do and what not to do”. Well, according to me and a few people I talked to, King Khan is nowhere wrong in his reply.
We have warnings on cigarette packets that caution people against smoking and still the general public smokes. Then, what is the need to question any person smoking onscreen? Movies don’t act as agent provocative. If they did, then Rang De Basanti would have proved to be inspirational enough to curb corruption. The movie involved protests against the system through violence, but we still see the reservation protests moving on peacefully.
Really, I feel Dr. Ramadoss has just completely lost it. If he really feels strongly about smoking, he must focus his attention towards anti-smoking drugs in the country rather than teaching people their business on and off screen.
And since he could not be successful with his policy on drugs and smoking, he thought it would be better to shift his spotlight onto liquor to cover his obvious failure. But his success rate is no better even there. He feels that he can avert people from drinking by mounting the taxes on liquor. Does he not realize that at the moment the country is buckling under inflation? Perhaps his intention is good but he cannot achieve it through increasing taxes. He needs to realize that being a Minister, he is expected to do something on a large-scale but that does not mean he takes the road that has been used a thousand times with little success.
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