February 21, 2006



Up In Smoke: India Bans Puff Pics

Posted by Amanda Toering
Wednesday June 01st 2005, 8:49 am
Filed under: CensorWorld

The Indian government has banned on-screen images of people smoking, saying depiction of smokers glamorizes tobacco use.

The health ministry said distributors and directors would have to show health warnings on screens in old movies and TV shows, whether Indian or foreign, that showed actors smoking.

“(There would have to be a) mandatory display of a prominent scroll containing a health warning in programmes containing scenes with smoking situations that have been produced before this notification,” a ministry statement said on Wednesday.

The new rules also mean names or logos of tobacco products would have to be cut or masked.

Bollywood directors, constantly at war with India’s censorship board, are steamed once again.

“It is an absurd regulation…to ban smoking on screen is ridiculous. It’s a joke taken too far,” filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt was quoted in The Times of India as saying on Monday.

Another director, Shyam Benegal, told the newspaper the move would interfere with artistic expression.

“The smoking act comes in handy when you want to develop a character. The ban does not make sense,” Benegal said.

“It is an absurd regulation…to ban smoking on screen is ridiculous. It’s a joke taken too far,” filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt was quoted in The Times of India as saying on Monday.

From Reuters.



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