Bubblegums for Heroes

Going forward we will only have movies which are rehashes of Thiruvilayaadal or Thirunilaakandar and Veera Pandiya Kattaboman. No Mughal movies as they have scenes where the Sultans smoke Hooka. Why ?

Smoking to be banned in movies, television serials. All our movie heroes will chew bubblegums from today, on-screen.

Let them even ban making movies in India but in the name of censor or such explicit laws, I hope these wouldn’t happen to the growing media industry. Why wouldn’t they ban making movies in India ? Why won’t they ban cigarettes itself from entering the country rather than resorting to such bans ? Both these might not happen because both fetch money like nobody’s business.

Let’s not fool ourselves that media reflects society or viceversa anymore.

64 thoughts on “Bubblegums for Heroes

  1. These things should be banned first.

    1) Village teachers behaving like prostitutes,.
    2) Brahmin mamis “Jollufying” the hero, for no reason.
    3) Anybody commiting suicide.. this should never be shown..

    I personally hate these and many more sequences appearing in any movies.

    there are many scenes, a so called masala movie would loose, if soical implications are analyzed on it.

    I guess we could draft a list, and give it to some publish media, and tell them – this is clearly what the so called Youth Community doesnt want. We are a part of the Youth group, for which the director thinks he is making movies,. When questioned about the clumsy naval dance, the director would say “Im doing it because the youth likes it…” – Duh !

  2. keerthi,

    the clumsy navel dance is not for the youth as you think. it is for the front benchers alone! i’m with you on the first two ones STRONGLY. the third, i don’t agree. it is like saying no one should cry at all in movies, and only dance around happily!

    i do believe the smoking bit is valid, because most star struck fans are extremely impressionable. i know so many who started smoking in order to ape their thalaivar. likewise, so many raghu jaitley caps were floating around during that season too. thank god, my fave actor only sang sorgam madhuvile ๐Ÿ˜‰

    katz

  3. I think there shouldn’t be any stopping anything in movies. No Censors. Just Ratings. Let people restrict coming to theatres after seeing the Ratings.

    Tighten security at Theatres. Instead if you keep tightening what people should see then we are going back. No forward steps.

    Keerthi, I don’t agree with any of those. And I tell you never you can come to a complete list of what youth needs or not. That is not an adviced move.

    Katz, When you agree the first two points, you should agree to third too. For you it seems the first two are OK. For someone it may not be.

    And hence I say there cannot be censors with a bunch of people to watch a movie and ask directors to cut scenes or not. Just rate a movie. I am sure if they make this, they will rate all movies as ‘R’ where there are smoking scenes. Yet another problem to deal with ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. Film like Gautam Menon have reacted for this. But ‘Letters to the editor’ of The Hindu carries a letter from AVM Saravanan where he praises the ban and goes on to say that he has always forced his directors to remove smoking scenes from the films he produces..he also insists a blanket ban on
    ‘Tobacco in any form’
    ‘Alcohol’
    ‘Suicide scenes’

    When film producers themselves are so stupid what to do?…God save film industry

  5. Muthuvel, I may not call them stupid because each one may have their view points but the idea is that if we keep making films with bans like these, only Vikraman can make films.

    He only makes such clean positive movies.

  6. lazy,

    when you have a forum of people who swear by every move you make, sometimes you need to evaluate if you have any responsibility towards that forum or owe those people anything. there is no denying that impressionable fans of movie stars ape them, so it is for you to decide whether you believe you have any responsibility towards not further leading them the wrong way. why did rajini not smoke in chandramukhi? why did the movie stars make pleas for tsunami aid on the tv if not for the fact that they and the people at large realize they can influence certain sections of people to some extent?

    besides this is something that hollywood is also trying to impose. whether we are regressing or whether we are trying to creatively educate the viewers only time will tell. and freedom of speech doesn’t mean you will be free of all responsibilities. freedom of speech is still constrained by the responsibilities you have as a son/daughter; husband/wife; father/mother; citizen etc.

    guru, it is ironic that in a post arguing for freedom to make movies the way ppl want to, you are denying me and keerthi the freedom to express our personal likes/dislikes, agreement/disagreement. “I SHOULD AGREE TO THE THIRD”???? let the government make a law requiring me to agree to the third and i will comply as a law abiding citizen. till then, i don’t agree to the third! ๐Ÿ˜‰ and you mis-read my statement, THE FIRST TWO ARE NOT OKAY FOR ME! the third is okay!

    when you can have a bunch of ppl to govern over you and make decisions on your behalf, why cannot you have a bunch of ppl who can decide what scenes are appropriate for the general public or not?

    muthuvel,

    why call avm saravanan stupid because of his personal choice over banning alcohol, tobacco, suicide scenes etc. from a movie that he is producing with his money? besides i don’t understand why people are so upset with banning smoking from movies??? what is so critical about a smoking scene in a movie that we should be allowed to see?? is it the flare of light when a cigarette is lit? or is it the smoke rings the person blows? or is it how the cigarette is held? or is it the dull ember of fire that burns at the tip? most often than not, it wouldn’t make a difference to the end product. it like vivek says in minnale, “is the lorry gonna run on this lemon alone when there are X number of spare-parts that make the whole vehicle?”

    the only difference it would make is for simbhu, because if you take out smoking, then he has only his hand gestures and jalsafying with the heroines to make his movie run!!!!

    katz

  7. Since movies influence ppl, my recommendations for indian govt to implement,
    Reduce terrorism by not showing terrorists in the movies.Reduce corruption by not showing corrupt politicians/politicians.Reduce population growth by not showing any love making scenes.
    ippadiye ellam implement pannuna padathula rende rendu type characters thaan irupanga, onnu nallavanga inonru romba nallavanga like vikraman films.

    if the govt is so concerned about smoking let them ban ciggarates completely. why they are not doing that.

    will the same rules applied to english movies releasing in india?

  8. Lazy, Its not my point that movies should be devoid of something. Its my verdict, that if movies were banned from showing smoking on screens, then the first things to be stopped are these (the 3 or more points mentioned).

    I feel, the director is saying a story of his thought, thats his brain-child and no one can govern his thought. And producer likes it and finances it.

    Who is Censor bpard to decide that a movie is unsuitable for audience. Censor board is not someone whom we elect or nominate.

    Director is free to show anything he like, or needs. But if the Government by lame laws put some Constrains, then smoking is not what i would give priority to.

    Katz, Im not saying the movie should be all joyous. But i would request the directors, not to make Suicide scenes very impressive. People are watchin man… Those are deadly. Of late, directors want to be very creative, but do not know where to show their creativity. Not – suicide scenes. You are demonstrating a death act.

  9. saravanan,

    unga outlook-ah konjum maati paarunga, evalvo better-ah irrukkum!!

    a) instead of reducing terrorism by not showing terrorist, show terrorism being combated effectively and how terrorism is nothing more than an off-shoot of selfish leaders and their blind misguided followers

    b) instead of simply removing corrupt politicians, show how corruption can be stopped if be started to take responsibility for the 50 rupees we slip the traffic constable or pay 200 rupees to buy tickets in black or grease the jargandi ppl some money to pray for moments longer.

    c) instead of not showing love making scenes, showing them use a condom and promote sex education!!

    amaam, neenga sonnadhu correct!! oru cigarette edutha, oru character padama aayidum. yena cigarette illai endraal, kadhai enge?? they talk abt removing a cigarette and immediately we are talking abt regression of the free world etc and how movie making will be so badly affected!!! if that cigarette is holding the movie making process hostage, long live our indian cinema!!!

    i am positive that it will apply to english movies too. why aren’t you ppl opposing ban on smoking in public places btw?? isn’t it against your freedom to destroy your health by smoking?

    keerthi,

    when a suicide/death scene is shot effectively, it can really hit home how:

    a) selfish the person was to take such a decision without even contemplating how it would affect the people he leaves behind

    b) difficult life must have been for them to even do something like this.

    either ways, a director who knows his craft will expose only those two to the audience that is viewing it, cowardice or selfishness. it is like the rape scene in hey ram. for people who were titillated by another scene in insaaf ka tarazu, this will be an eye opener, for now you realize how brutal and gruesome it can be.

    katz

  10. Lazy, on second thoughts.. why would you have installed a software on this commenting system to stop the entry of Unparliamentary words.

    You govern this blog, and try to avoid embarrassing comments. Thats probably what the Indian government is aiming at… (just flowing the thoughts… no harm meant)

  11. why would you have installed a software on this commenting system to stop the entry of Unparliamentary words

    Keerthi, I owe you an explanation for this. I am not trying to censor any words here. It is just trying to stop spamming for me. If there is more bad spam in the site, the dB size increases making a crash. I already had one and then went for the blacklist. Moreover it isn’t me blocking the words its the function of blacklist to decide which is an unparlimentary or not.

    I am for free speech and hence there are more flame wars here. I take all comments as view points and i oppose or submit for a view point and am not against the person.

    Even here, I am opposing the rule that was made and not against the government. Like the Simbhu issue where people wanted to ban the Vallavan poster, who am I interuppt on one’s karma. I am just voicing my opinion. And Katz does is graciously.

    BTW Katz for your comment –

    guru, it is ironic that in a post arguing for freedom to make movies the way ppl want to, you are denying me and keerthi the freedom to express our personal likes/dislikes, agreement/disagreement. “I SHOULD AGREE TO THE THIRD”????

    you didn’t get the inside joke man. I was just saying it as a joke after looking at your ferocious comment. Now I would expect to re-iterate the wah taj boliye!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ on me.

  12. guru,

    sorry no wah taj boliye for u, because u failed to use the winky smiling thingy to indicate the inside joke. i got the joke and that is why i said let the government ban it and i will comply, without forgetting the critical ๐Ÿ˜‰

    btw, you did remove a post describing someone’s love for nayanthara’s posterior or something only on the grounds that it bordered on being obscene. wat say to that?? the blacklist thingy let that post be published and you played censor board chief with the help of some eager help by another commentator!! watz the scoop on that?? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    katz

  13. IMHO – Everything can’t be policed. Banning them from TV serials and films IMHO is stupid. Rather than that put in place a good rating system and let the audience decide.

  14. Well…calling him stupid was a bit too much.. i take back my words in that..am not condemning his personal choice of whether to have or not a smoking scene in his film.I respect his opinion and his personal decision ,but am only against his call for slapping the ban on all the films … it looks so ridiculous..if we are to encourage his list of bans..then even bans on showing murders,robberies,rape scenes,usage of abusive language and all such stuff may seem to make sense… eventually our tinsel town guys won’t have anything to make as a film then and we’ll end up with 1st grade or 2nd grade moral science books being made into scripts.

  15. I am a first timer here. Good Job guys….Of late the discussions have really picked up…and here comes my few cents..

    I am neither for, nor against the censor board’s decision. But what really bothers me is there are much more irritating stuff going on movies which are worth being banned…so if the censor board decided to ban them it has to be all those cheap vulgar stuff shown in most of the movies….and those voyeuristic scenes…its become a trend of late..

  16. If the intent is to banish smoking, I think this is really not the right approach.

    Sometime back, somking was bannded in public places. I ended up paying 100 bucks for smoking outside Satyam Cinemas… This saturday I saw a whole bunch of kids smoking in the same area. Absolutely no consistency in having these orders executed.

    When was the last time we saw a Cigarette ad ? Has it done anything to ppl wanting to kick this habit off ? SO, how does banning it in Movies help ?

    Look at what S’pore govt did… Quarter of the cigarette pack should have a gross picture of someone suffering coz of this habit. Now, that makes sense. Hardly we notice the statutory warning…

    Just coz Rajini flipped a boomer into his mouth, is it going to increase its sales ? Stars do not contribute much to influencing youth. They get influenced more by their peers…

  17. List all the evils shown in movies and ban them all

    1. Eve teasing
    2. Rape
    3. Alcoholism
    4. Communal Violence
    5. Extra Marital Affairs
    6. Corruption
    7. Fill up with whatever you don’t like in movies

    And don’t say it is all for the good of the people. Remember 1984, “That the Party did not seek power for its own ends, but only for the good of the majority.”

    Censorship like this never works. If you accept this, then you will have to accept censoring print media, internet media, your blogs and what not. Doesn’t a man have the rights to decide what is good for him and what is not?

  18. How about foreign films dubbed in regional languages – will smoking be banned in them as well? If not, what is the point?

  19. hemm…they can ban the cigs but then they have to still protect the tobacco cultivators, so they try to make a new rule saying that the minimum box should be 20’s, then the Tobacco companies doesnt like it, and then again the sports big wigs namely F1, etc threaten to ban races in countries that doesnt do smoking ads, and the the problem continues…is this a very long sentence?

  20. guru,
    i dont support this ban.. if the fans follow their idol smoking why dont they follow the good deeds performed by their idol…. if smoking on the screen has such an effect on the fans, then surely all the acts done by the actor should have an effect on the fans. so the fans will behave the same way thier “thalaivar” does in the films. the fans will smoke irrespective of the ones shown on the screen.

  21. Shankar!
    Nice sarcastic point there!!

    It put me into some good thinking on inherent noir stuff in every human mind… ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. shankar,

    there are no good deeds done by the thalaivars in the movie that can be followed in real life. besides, when people don’t follow any good deeds done by great men in real life, why would they follow exaggerated versions of good deed done by fictional characters on the screen? the psychology of the fans has always been to ape their stars in terms of personality characteristics. are you denying that no one started to smoke wanting to try and ape rajinikanth??? doesn’t simbhu just do that?? let us not try to make it look like there is absolutely no effect caused by movie stars amongst fans.

    somu,

    why are celebrities paid so much to hawk products if they have no effect in boosting sales?? peer pressure is a key factor no doubt, but influencing of teenagers (13-18) invariably is something they have seen on the screen to some extent. those are the critical section i believe they are trying to target, the most impressionable age.

    well in addition to this ban, it would be interesting to see if they would impose a statutory age limit and prevent cigarettes from being sold at potti kadais etc, where one cannot enforce the same.

    katz

  23. Katz, I am not sure whether you are in India. If you are here, you would have seen notices in Pottikadais prohibiting sale of tobacco products to people below 18.

    Going by your logic, if people emulate Rajinikanth in smoking because he is a hero, why not Government ask only villains to smoke. Isn’t negative motivation good to stop smoking. And if movies propagate so much evil, why not ban them altogether, we can go to temple and watch kathakalatchebam.

    But wait, how can we hear about Ramayana, isn’t that the story where Ravana kidnaps Sita. It will give our youth ideas, so lets ban it. Mahabaratha is even worse, how can our youth hear about the evil of Kauravas. so ban that also.

    Why not go for a simple solution, ban cigartte manufacturing and import in India. No we will not do that because cigarettes are major revenue earners for the govt. Do you know that the Commerce Ministry has a Indian Tobacco Board whose purpose is to encourage promotion of tobacco Industry.

    This is just a publicity stunt by the ministry. How are we going to ban smoking scenes in channels beamed into India from outside. We have to ban the channels fully. Do you think that is going to work?

  24. For sure Rajini has influenced many youngsters to smoking. Kamal has also done that in 80s movies, but he stopped that after learning about the bad effects it had on the fans. Thats a good decision from his part. Certain people learn by themselves, others learn the hard way with the likes of PMK.

    But should smoking be banned in films? No. If one needs to make movie about a cancer caused by smoking, he has show him smoking. Let them figure out a rating system for such movies.

    How are they going to show old movies on TV with smoking scenes?!

  25. Chenthil…

    >….How are we going to ban smoking scenes in >channels beamed into India from outside…..

    They will mask/blur that portion of the screen. Imagine it……LOL

  26. I just posted this in a reply to a blog elsewhere. Repasting it here:

    Banning smoking in films is BS. Next what? Banning all lip-to-lip kiss scenes? How about banning item numbers altogether?
    This is just (unwanted) interference on an artiste’s license. Instead, they can make it difficult to buy cigarettes or drink by imposing heavier taxes. Would they consider that? If a director wants to make a genuine film say on the evils of drugs or smoking, how is he going to do that without showing someone smoke?

    How about banning all fight scenes, as it may incite violence?

    Lets just make mythological and devotional movies

    And secondly, why is smoking bad apart from health issues? Atleast how is it worse than say, prostitution? We have several films depicting brothels and club dances. And why not ban cigarettes altogether instead of banning scenes in films that supposedly promote smoking? this is just hippocrisy. In the long run, eating fast food might end up being as harmful as smoking . So why not ban all scenes where the characters are shown eating fast food? I understand smoking in public might be bad, you are causing some kind of harm even to non-smokers and there is already a ban on that. But what’s wrong if a guy chooses to smoke in the privacy of his room? Its his choice. If he smokes knowing all the perils of smoking then he is aware of the risk he is undertaking. I find the whole thing exaggerated and hippocratic.

  27. Thanks Chenthil. You came to my rescue. This Ramayana and Mahabharatha are the same examples I gave Katz when were were discussing on the Vallavan poster issue and Katz wasn’t for equating Shankar and Valmiki on same lines.

    I knew this issue isn’t coming from the people of India and hence I wrote a quick post without taking too much bandwidth to say, Ban movies and cigarettes. You can atleast cut costs by paying those censor dudes. They can’t , they won’t. Practically impossible.

    Katz, Now read the first line of the blogpost again. You know what we will get at the end.

  28. Lets just make mythological and devotional movies

    Vijay, Atha thaan naanum sonnen ๐Ÿ˜‰ only thiru neela kandar and thiruvilayadal. for a change we can have veera paandiya kattaboman but with english prabhu’s not smoking. even the barrels in war scene shouldn’t smoke after firing. the lamps in devotional movies should emit no-smoke. hows that !!

  29. Lazy, your thoughts have been echoed by this blogger too
    http://bbthots.blogspot.com/

    I posted my original comments there.

    This is definitely a regressive step.

    I find iyengarkatz’s points way off the mark, in my opinion.

    “whether we are regressing or whether we are trying to creatively educate the viewers only time will tell.”

    How are you “creatively” educating the audience by not showing smoking scenes in films? Will a smoker be suddenly aware of the perils of smoking if he sees a film where Rajni doesnt smoke? On the other hand he might get the urge to bash up a few of his colleagues at office at the slightest provocation, after seeing his “thalaivar” do so on screen. So, lets ban fight scenes as well while we are at it.

    and as an aside, AVM saravanan, who has endorsed this ban, is the same fool who produced films like sakalakalavallavan that contributed a whole lot to midnight masala with its mukkal munagal songs. In a way his films have probably promoted AIDS and sex-related offense in TN, if I may argue.

    “there is no denying that impressionable fans of movie stars ape them, so it is for you to decide whether you believe you have any responsibility towards not further leading them the wrong way.”

    everyone, even the impressionable fan is responsible for himself. India will never be a “free” country if we start banning everything and interfering with everyone’s personal rights.
    Instead if the govt. wants to discourage smoking it can impose heavier taxes, ban public smoking(I believe its already there but probably not being enforced) or ban cigarettes altogether(although thats equivalent to interference with someone’s right to smoke in the privacy of his room).
    Enforce ratings and execute them.

    As for smoking-leave it to the individual. The govt. may be well served to concetrate on all the industrial pollution and other things before it starts making rules on smoking.

    I guess people who endore this ban have fundamentally different views on how a society should be, what is moral/immoral and how far should an individual’s rights be “governed”.

  30. And, is there any statistics as to what percentage of the audience actually took to smoking after seeing their heros do it? Did they actually start smoking after seeing their heros do it on screen? I believe it would be in the minority. If the govt. starts making rules, governing policies, in order to safeguard a few immature fools, the rest are in trouble.

  31. Katz,

    Am coming from my own experience. I have grown up watching Rajini throw his cigarettes, flip it into his mouth, bite it, swallow it and what not. I enjoyed it for the sheer pleasure of watching him do all those gimmicks. If I did not take to smoking coz of that, I would not give up smoking coz of a ban in movies either. That is my point.

    And even if you assume someone was influenced. Think it is easy to walk out of an addiction? Believe it from a smoker, ain;t that easy dude.

    While what is shown can have an effect, what is not shown would have absolutely no effect. Why are we talking much about Rajiniย’s no smoke in CM ? coz thatย’s his trademarkย… But if a vikram or a vijay were to do that, would ppl even realize they are doing something for the society ? On screen nalla pillai will always remain off screen thilaalangadi.. and ppl know that. From that perspective, the ban still does not help.

    Endorsing a product is totally different where the brand ambassador encourages his audience to go for the kill. Thatย’s not the case with movies. Smoking, drinking and everything else to a large extent is introduced to suit the character and the situation.

    The government is really not focusing on the root cause. They are just going by the general opinion that movies make and mar the society. Thanks to the likes of Ramdoss. And since movies have the widest range of audience, such trivial bans help them gain a couple of more votes. Smokers know smoking results in cancer. But they also know there are smokers smoking for 60 years. The challenge is in them to create awareness amongst the youth through a campaign thatย’s much stronger. Smoking is a habit and the government should look at how they can help someone give up his addiction. It takes a lot of effot.

    And the petti kadai I normally buy my packs from, there is a board that says, NOT TO BE SOLD FOR BELOW 18ย”. So, the statutory age limit exists, but definitely not enforced. I have never shown him my age proof certificate.

    LG : Sorry if that nearly crashed your server.

    Somu (Someone who wants to smoke this habit off)

  32. Guys, Lately the whole world is trying to be politically correct on one side and it is also accepting other extremes on the other side. For example, we might ban something in movies and we will be doing it or watching it on tv on the other side. Like the kids cannot be disciplined in school like 20 years back because it is too violent and on the other side, blame the kids later for not behaving.

    I agree with Lazy, creaters can create what they want. People must have the right to choose. If they choose bad stuff just because it is cheap then let them suffer for their actions. There are p*** stores all over, and is cheap too, if someone want to choose the stuff, let them. But it must be regulated and there must be rules for age, etc. Not banning the whole deal.

    People need outlet. They will find it one way or another. They will find it in a positive way once they run out of all the negatives. One’s negative path will not be the same as other’s. Let them decide. Even the great Kannadasan needs many years to find that.

  33. Woow lots of inputs!

    Lazy,
    I beg to differ…banning smoking in movies is just a measure to make sure the society doesnt influence the young minds. It will not affect movie making, their technology or prevent them from continuing. If a movie mirrors a society, so is the opposite, at least one of them should be responsible! I feel this first step will go along way! In the US you do not see a cigarette ad in television because the Broadcast commission does not allow that. Beer ads come after 8 in the evening. I feel more regulations must be imposed to curb those huge billboards on Mouth Road advertising a cigarrette.
    Y? about 4 million children in India smoke. There are no regulations in India that bans vendors from selling cigarettes to people less than 21. In the US in most States you have to provide a photo ID to buy a cigarette. Since children are not protected by the constitution with such laws in Inda, measures by the censor board will be a stepping stone.
    What will we miss if we dont see a hero smoke? Nothing! What are we gaining? a less influenced mind!

    Somu: “Stars do not contribute much to influencing youth. They get influenced more by their peers… ”

    I differ! The influence of movie stars is much greater than law. It was Rajini and Manoroma’s advertisement in the late 80’s that spread the awareness about Polio. If not for health people turned up with their children because of Rajini to get their children vaccinated. Having worked with Rotary on polio I understand the impact it created in Tamil Nadu. I feel there are two influencers, television and social circle. At least we can create an environment of minimum influence!

    If time permits watch the documentary India Inhales. You might think again.

  34. Hi Ashwini, Am completely on your side when you say that. I guess I should have placed the key words within codes..

    Stars do not contribute “much” to influencing youth. They get influenced “more” by their peers.

    Have you seen rajini in any movie say, “Go and smoke, go and drink”… He just smokes and he just drinks. That’s why the percentage of ppl who get influenced is much less. But in case of a polio campaign, they explicitly say “GO AND DO IT”… And so the effect is obvious. In that sense, a movie and a campaign are two different elements.

    My only point is these bans do not help an avid smoker. And anything banned always has a curiosity factor attached to it. Why do we watch porn movies in secret. All dads would freak out. Why do we drink in closed groups. All moms would chuck us out. We always tend to try out something that we are not allowed to do. So, I even wonder if this ban would have a flip side to it… :o)

  35. Here are my 86 paise (ie 2 cents).
    I am for the ban because:

    If only censor can they tell the script writers : “Just like any other unhealthy deed or habit, going forward, in your story, make sure ONLY villains smoke NOT heroes”.

    In Indian movies smoking is identified with heroes. When it comes to smoking its considered as a “cool” thing to do. Can anyone deny the fact that actors have become stars, if not, super stars, not based on their acting skills but based on their style ? And “smoking cigaratte” still stands out as a vital aspect of that style.

    Not all India’s youth are as sophisticated or as educated as we are. They simply get carried away by the non-verbal visual messages conveyed thru this medium. There are guys who wanted to move the cigaratte from one corner of the lip to the other, just like their THALAIVAR. They did not attempt a rape or eve teasing but did try smoking because they thought thats what heroes do.

    Except for smoking, other bad things (rape, womanizing, eve teasing, bullying etc.,)are already identified with villain. So we should try and bracket smoking too with villain.

    Think about it, in Ramayana and Mahabharata too only villains kidnap, gamble, rape and NOT the heroes.

  36. Ashwini, We have the system of age identificatuion in place at india for the sale of cigarette. Only that it isn’t implemented as desired.

    Vakil,

    I am also saying a universal solution. if you are thinking of taking away creativity from the director, lets ban movies itself. no one wants to see 225 ramayanas and mahabharathas every year. We have avevrage of 225 movies releasing few years back .

    offshoot note – cigarette smoking is physical habit and not a mental one. i am sure all of you are puncing on me saying it has to do with blood and nicotine and what not. but i am just trying to say cigarette smoking doesn’t make a man bad. BTW, I don’t smoke and that doesn’t mean i am good or a hero. and if i smoke i am not a villain and a bad guy. i think we all got it wrong. the issue is on the curb about what they can shoot and what people can see not on cigarettes alone.

    Again, I am saying ban cigarettes/ban movies. Why ban sales for minors or majors. If everyone think what I saying is utopian, it isn’t. there is money involved in each of them. I keep repeating this but all what I said in my blogpost in those 4 lines have a solution with them.

    Prabhu V, Oh yeah will make the comments box bigger but if you click on the permalink all the comments appear in the same full page of the post. try that for now. Thanks for the suggestion.

  37. “Think about it, in Ramayana and Mahabharata too only villains kidnap, gamble, rape and NOT the heroes.”

    Nope, gambling was one of the main weaknesses of Yudhishtra :-))

    No one here has addressed the issue of where the line should be drawn. Once we start banning things in film based on the effect it has on the minority there is no end to the list of things that should be banned.

  38. “BTW, I don’t smoke and that doesn’t mean i am good or a hero. and if i smoke i am not a villain and a bad guy. i think we all got it wrong. the issue is on the curb about what they can shoot and what people can see not on cigarettes alone.”
    That exactly summarises my view too. You know what…the biggest BS is Rajini welcomed this move. I think Rajini will do anything to get the love of Anbumani and Ramadoss. The whole move by Central Govt is idiotic!

    Regards,Arun Vaidyanathan.

  39. i take off for 12 hours and 48 comments pile up.

    to the gentleman who asked if i was in india or not: no it has been close to 6 years since i have been in india and was not aware of this requirement. but you also said that enforcement is lax. so i ask whose job is it to enforce the law? the government who have to conduct spot checks or the owner of the stall who has put up the sign? or should we simply say why should we come in the way of his “karma” to make money by selling cigarettes to underage kids?? shouldn’t that individual comply with the law??

    for the person who said i was way off mark:

    avm saravanan was not the fool because of whom we have midnight masala. THAT FOOL is someone called maran patronized by his senile uncle who started something called midnight masala. until the advent of sun tv, there was nothing called midnight masala. doordarshan did not have anything like that and late in the night most often they showcased good movies like godfather, goopy gyne bagha byne etc or had nothing at all.

    to the person who asked me about addiction:

    i know that quitting an addiction is a hard thing, but i also know people who have gone cold turkey. those were probably stronger willed people. likewise i agree not all people will be influenced into smoking, BUT there are also weaker willed star struck people who are capable of doing it. they are the targets. they may be in the minority, but that doesn’t mean that they should not be targeted? when educated people knowing the ills of smoking ignore the warning tag and smoke, you think there won’t uneducated people who will try to imitate trying to flick a cigarette into their mouths?

    to the person who pointed out the same ban in usa:

    thanks for them. valid points.

    to the person who talked about how we hide and see porn:

    that is not the fault of the porn, that is your fault. people hide and see porn because somewhere within them they feel ashamed of what they are doing and more importantly of how people will judge them on finding out. simple! it is not because it is banned. debonair was freely available when i was growing up too!! if you are not ashamed of your actions, nor care about what the people around you think about you, you can even make those same movies too! it is a personal issue, not a public one.

    to the person bemoaning the curbing of creativity:

    if showing a person smoking is your idea of creativity, then long live good cinema!!!! the bottom-line is that it is insignificant a scene for the movie maker, but could be significant to a weaker soul who may pick that characteristics himself/herself.

    to the person who said let us fast food:

    why stop at that? start nit-picking and you can come up with even more banal things to ban! how about clipping nails? because it could poke someone if it fell on the floor??

    to the person who said rajini does not encourage his fans not to smoke:

    rajini did not discourage either. when you spend a whole minute to showcase how rajini smokes his cigarette, is that an encouragement or a discouragement? likewise, when you focus on cleavage, it is just a “creative” shot or is it titillation??

    to the person who said why don’t they show villains smoking to discourage people:

    because villains don’t matter, heroes only do. they showed villains being corrupt and paying the price. did corruption stop? negative advertising is only a hook to catch attention, it does not sell products! likewise, when the hero is smoking too, what difference does it make if the villain smokes or not?

    to the person who talked about ravana kidnapping sita of being able to misguide youth:

    i don’t know how the ramayana was recited to you, but when told to me by my elders, they made sure that to emphasize what ravana did was bad, and made sure to point out about the epitome of goodness, which was rama in that story. those stories were great because they truly were the best introduction to what is generally good and evil to children and even to adults if they forget!

    to guru who asked why ban for majors/minors as opposed to banning it altogether:

    because you would assume that a major with some education, wisdom and maturity will make a better decision as opposed to an immature, less educated and less wise minor. that is why ban is for minors!

    finally, this thread seems to have people who believe that this ban is a personal affront to freedom and creativity. why? because you don’t show smoking on the screen, creativity is restricted? where do people think of that? because smoking a cigarette is as injurious to health as seeing a cabaret dancer?? why is it people get never compare subjects on an even keel? kamal had to remove yelai song from mumbai xpress because it was too racy for a U certificate. no one loses anything by this ban in their personal lives, but maybe someone could win with this ban. that is what we have to hope for!

    lastly, this i have to say i am tired of hearing people pull up this analogy for supporting their opinions (guru, you included): calling shankar another valmiki and comparing body-appa to ramayana. let us not go there. instead, let me suggest a new analogy, which will be more apt:

    gangaiyileyum azhukku irrukku, sakkadaiyileyum azhukku irrukku. adhu naale, kaasu-panam selvu panni haridwar pogaradhu vittu thambigala, koovathule poyi punniyam thedungal! appadiyaadhu koovathukku nalla paeru varattum!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    katz

  40. Katz, Most of them who don’t support ban mean to say this, that banning cigarette isn’t a big deal but it wouldn’t stop there. It will go and curb creativity. so they are voicing their opinions here. Mutrupulli[not our friend mutrupulli but full stop]

    Gotcha !!

  41. guru,

    no gotchas here ma!! the people are not saying that the ban won’t end here. they are making this ban to be the end of creativity! it is akin to comparing normal curiosity and worries to how some change could affect life tomorrow to dooms day prediction of how life will end tomorrow!

    my point is this: one small ban on something of no critical value to any filmmaker does not sound the knell of death for creativity. if you go by that outlook, creativity should have died with the creation of the censor board! it is not about what may happen tomorrow or what other bans may be enforced, it is only about this ban and whether it can be accepted and worked with or not accepted for some valid reason! and so far i have not seen any valid reason on why the ban shouldn’t be accepted. i have only seen extreme analogies and big brother scenarios!

    katz

  42. “that is not the fault of the porn, that is your fault. people hide and see porn because somewhere within them they feel ashamed of what they are doing and more importantly of how people will judge them on finding out. simple! it is not because it is banned.it is a personal issue, not a public one.”

    You are right, it is a personal issue just like smoking. It is not the fault of the cigarette, but that of the smoker. As long as he smokes in the privacy of his room, its his own fate. Why punish art and cinema for what a few people decide to do on their own? smoking in public is different.Likewise selling cigarettes to kids is different. But if an adult decides to imitate his hero on screen and smokes in his own private space, then its his own fault. If a guy decides to kill himself after seeing Punnagai Mannan’s opening scene then its his own fault. You can’t ban all suicide scenes in films. Now if certain scenes in films are capable of provoking crimes or offenses against society then they can be addressed. But what an individual does to himself, is his own responsibility. We cannot make general laws to prevent what a few individuals do to themselves. Laws are made to protect members of the society from each other, not from themselves.

    Secondly, there is no systematic statistical study to find out how much cinema influeneces cigarette smoking and I bet there wont be any survey or study 2 or 3 years from now to determine how much banning of cigarettes in films helped reduce smoking. Its all just based on heresy.

    “avm saravanan was not the fool because of whom we have midnight masala. THAT FOOL is someone called maran”

    I didnt say AVM saravanan started midnight masala. But his movies ended up being fodder for such stuff. Even if midnight masala wasnt started his movies had already corrupted several young “impressionable minds”. There are a lot more things that should have been banned in AVM saravanan’s films before smoking is to be banned in tamil films.

  43. vijay,

    there is a difference between smoking in the confines of your bedroom as opposed to smoking on a giant screen on 100 or so theatres for 4 shows a day. the porn you create within the confines of your bedroom is a personal issue, but doing the same on a stage is not! like i said, this is probably not targeted at the “adults” who ignore the warnings but at impressionable teenagers who may not know better. if i glorify suicide as the best method to put to end all my personal suffering and thereby influence someone else’ thought process to follow suit, i am also responsible to some extent as a contributor to that death. if only people are capable of taking responsibility for all of their actions, we would be in utopia! sadly that is not the case.

    the laws are not only from protecting you from others, but also to protect you from yourself. i would think committing suicide is an offence under the legal system (fact check anyone)(on second thoughts i think it is, for kamal said in an interview that his inspiration for punnagai mannan was an inmate in bangalore jail who was jailed after a failed attempt after seeing ek duje ke liye and he survived and his lover died). if what you say is true, they could just ignore you killing yourself for that is one number reduced in our population. that is not how it works.

    avm saravanan’s movies provided fodder???? only his movies?? people were corrupted by his movies long before midnight masala? yes maybe, but then you saw the movie probably twice in the theatre and had to wait for another 3-4 years before it came to video tape or doordarshan to get a glimpse of it. but i believe more “impressionable minds” were corrupted when midnight masala became a daily fixture featuring songs for only one purpose. titillation! just because avm saravanan supports the ban you oppose, does not mean he is the cause of the vulgar songs! so many others have contributed to its cause. the point is then it was not midnight masala, it was once in a while masala. so the midnight masala focus or feature is all maran’s fault.

    besides, i don’t get the point of that analogy. by watching a nethu raathiri yemma, are you saying that people will be tempted to put on the same get-up and dance in their garden, a la kamal and silk smitha? i would think it is easier to smoke a cigarette than to go searching for someone willing to dance with you in the same manner. and if you use your logic, kalashnikov is the root of all terrorism!!

    katz

  44. Katz,

    If you can’t accept the opinion, that banning something now will lead to a bigger issue, I probably have to stick to my own arguments without listening to yours.

    I would still say banning ciggies from movies is a dumb move and will result only in curbing creativity of a director. Just give yourself a minute a think yourself as a director. If you were to shoot a scene you should have an advocate with you standing by your side saying which is acceptable and which is not. You will end up directing what they want and not what you want.

    If one is controlled of ‘anything’ what one wants think/read/see/write, I think we aren’t progressing. We are just been made brain dead. My arguments are bigger than the issue of cigarettes.

  45. i was wondering how come no one posted that article from rediff yet. extreme reaction for something so simple!!!

    besides according to the ban, any older movies that have smoking scenes have to show a health warning before being played. so you can still see winston churchill and feluda etc. but i am surprised how hurt the writer of the piece feels on not being able to see holmes with his pipe. holmes was famous for his hat and pipe, no doubt, but what made holmes legendary were not these props, it was his analytical mind!

    it is like saying the rayban worn by kamal in kurudhi punal is so critical that without it the movie or character is totally of no consequence!

    but then to each his/her own musings.

    katz

  46. “besides, i don’t get the point of that analogy. by watching a nethu raathiri yemma, are you saying that people will be tempted to put on the same get-up and dance in their garden, a la kamal and silk smitha?”

    If you dont get the point, then watching blue films in theatre is probably OK with you.
    If the scenes and songs are titillating like “nila kaayudhu” with all its moans and shrieks and the way it was picturized( its more vulgar than a blue film) it can definitely be a cause for rise in sexual offenses or eve-teasing just like how you feel a character smoking on screen is bound to affect impressionable minds. And the movie was a blockbuster too.

    “there is a difference between smoking in the confines of your bedroom as opposed to smoking on a giant screen on 100 or so theatres for 4 shows a day”
    By smoking on the silver screen the actor isnt affecting your health. Neither is he endorsing the product. Thats what I meant. By smoking in a bus-stand you are causing harm on unsuspecting non-smokers. Hence its logical to ban that.

    Its like saying “Pulp fiction” should be banned because it glamourizes mafia life.

    “the laws are not only from protecting you from others, but also to protect you from yourself. i would think committing suicide is an offence under the legal system”

    under the legal system it might be. But not in my books. In fact on the internet there are many open debates as to whether suicide/euthanasia/prostitution etc. should be legalized or not. This is a gray area and not a clear-cut offense. In any case smoking cigarettes isnt as extreme as smoking, you would agree.

    “just because avm saravanan supports the ban you oppose, does not mean he is the cause of the vulgar songs! ”

    how did you conclude like this?!! :-)) I was pointing out his hippocrisy, of course him making movies like sakalavallavan has nothing to do with his endorsement of the ban

    “extreme reaction for something so simple!!!’

    its not simple, its the start of something ugly.

    ” i am surprised how hurt the writer of the piece feels on not being able to see holmes with his pipe. holmes was famous for his hat and pipe, no doubt, but what made holmes legendary were not these props, it was his analytical mind!

    it is like saying the rayban worn by kamal in kurudhi punal is so critical that without it the movie or character is totally of no consequence!”

    rayban worn might not have been critical but Kamal giving the paan to NizhalgaL ravi and him chewing it, turning away from Kamal( a scene that was discussed recently as one of the great ones in the movie) in Nayagan might be a significant scene. If we impose these dumb rules such scenes might not be possible.

    Churchill might have been famous for his acumen, but him and his cigar were inseparable. Any biopic that portrays him with his cigar blurred will look unrealistic and odd. I can cite many more examples, but I guess you catch the drift. Once again the issue is not just with cigarettes – this is just the start of an ugly trend.

    Tomorrow they can pose a ban on all characters who take “aruvaaL” in their hands as it may lead to violence. Kamal carrying an “aruvaal” in Virumandi or Vijay carrying one in Gilli might look cool to some “impressionable minds” :-))

  47. vijay,

    no use debating this topic because i am looking at what is and you are looking at what if or what could have been! big difference in the two perspectives.

    what is is known and factual to an extent. what if is unknown and if debated can go to asinine lengths of conspiracy! what could have been again is wishful thinking.

    what is existing is the ban to stop showing smoking scenes in movies and television and from my perspective, i can live with that because it is not critical to any areas of creativity that without it, one cannot come up with a good movie, story etc.

    what if are the conspiracy theories and shouts of orwellian analogies. what if aruvaals are banned tomorrow? what if the world ends tomorrow? then wont it make no difference if aruvaals are banned or not?? what if this could be the start of something ugly?? when you can think of so many what ifs that you don’t know whether will come true or not, why not think of WHAT IF THE BAN IS JUST WHAT IT IS SAID TO BE???

    what could have been is your references to 1980’s movies as reasons about sex offenses and eve teasing? why did you not blame it on parthiban for ulle veliye? or someone else in the recent past? you blamed avm saravanan because he supports the ban you oppose. people’s thought process changes with time, and for you to compare his current stance of supporting the ban to something he did 20 years ago is like calling germans hypocrites for talking about world peace because hitler, a german did all he could to destroy the same. that was then, this is now!!!

    lastly, agreed the scene in nayakan was a good one, but in my perspective, if say paan was banned, i wouldn’t bemoan the restriction of my creativity to showcase that scene using paan but instead will utilize my creativity to convey the same sentiments as effectively some other way. creativity is not hampered by insignificant details. if it does, then it is not creativity at all. churchill and cigar may be inseparable, but the cigar did not make the man churchill was. history needs to focus more on what the man did, his characteristic behaviour as opposed to whether he smoked a cuban cigar or had his clothes tailored at saville row. the former is an important part of world history, the latter is mere trivia!

    katz

  48. Katz, I couln’t resist pointing out this from your argument.

    the laws are not only from protecting you from others, but also to protect you from yourself

    This is where the difference of opinion is between you and those who oppose the ban. If you need a law to protect you from yourself, then this debate is pointless.

  49. chenthil,

    i still stand by my statement about the functionality of laws in general. it does not pertain to this issue specifically. and i don’t understand why that is hard to grasp because if you as a thinking individual don’t need a law to protect yourself from any harm or anything, you wouldn’t smoke! you can counter by saying smoking is not illegal, but my point is when people do stuff knowing truly well that it is harmful to them, in that context, don’t you think it makes sense why laws are made not only to protect you from yourself and others?

    katz

  50. katz, you are either not getting my points, are pretending not to. Either way its exasperating for me to keep repeating, so this might be the last time:
    “WHAT IF THE BAN IS JUST WHAT IT IS SAID TO BE???”

    For right now, it is. But if the film industry lets this pass by without a protest there would be more such bans tomorrow. I said it might be the start of an ugly trend. And any bad trend needs to be nipped in the bud. But even assuming if they dont ban anything further, what they did was bad and ridiculous. That’s my stance

    “why did you not blame it on parthiban for ulle veliye? or someone else in the recent past? you blamed avm saravanan because he supports the ban you oppose.”

    I am not blaming just AVM Saravanan. There are w hole host of others. But since he is the first one who has openly endorsed this ban, I am just pointing out the hippocrisy, thats all. If Parthiban supports the ban and calls it a welcome move, then probably I’ll talk about him too.

    “to compare his current stance of supporting the ban to something he did 20 years ago is like calling germans hypocrites for talking about world peace because hitler, a german did all he could to destroy the same. that was then, this is now!!!”

    wrong analogy. Its the same AVM Saravanan who has existed for the last 20 years. However Hitler is long gone. The present day Germans might not relate to any of his beliefs. But Saravanan exists and he is the SAME guy who gave bad films earlier and is now endoring the ban.

    “creativity is not hampered by insignificant details. if it does, then it is not creativity at all. churchill and cigar may be inseparable, but the cigar did not make the man churchill was.’

    again you missed the point by a humongous margin. The fact that Churchill smoked a cigar might not be very important in British history, but when it comes to art, when it comes to the portrayal of the man on screen, any scene showing him without it would look awkward and incomplete. The fact that Gandhi had a stick while walking might sound insignificant(to you) when compared to what he accomplished. But when you portray Gandhi on screen, if you see him walking swinging both his arms and without his stick, how awkward will it be for the viewer who is accustomed to seeing him a different way? You are confusing significance in art with significance in reality. Its these so-called small things that a great director who makes a biopic includes in his films in order to make an impact in the viewer’s mind.

    “but my point is when people do stuff knowing truly well that it is harmful to them, in that context, don’t you think it makes sense why laws are made not only to protect you from yourself and others?”

    If people willingly smoke knowing the perils of smoking, then it is their decision, to forsake health for pleasure and they will live with their decision or learn to live with it. As long as it doesnt affect others its not immoral or illegal.Is there any law that prevents you from sticking your finger in the fire in your kitchen knowing it is going to burn you? Maybe some people dont mind living a shorter life for the pleasure of smoking. In the case the govt. is unnecessarily intruding into their lives and telling them what to do and what not. If a guy decides to sit and watch TV all day, do nothing and ruin his life, then thats his decision. The govt. cant react by banning all TV programmes as it incites laziness.

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