A lot has been said in the print and TV media about the face off between Amitabh Bachan and the Health minister Anbumani Ramadoss.
Amitabh Bachan apparently lashed out at the minister for asking actors to not act in scenes portraying actors drinking or smoking. 'Ask your goverment servants to stop drinking before you ask us'. he is supposed to have told the minister.
Now let me make it very clear at the outset that I do not have a lot of respect for politicians. However, on this instance, I beg to differ with Mr.Bachan, however sacrilegious the rest of the nation might think it. Alcohol and smoking are bad for everyone, period. It does not matter whether one is a government servant or a matinee idol. However, what one has to take in mind is the effect that a 'star' drinking on the scene will have versus some pot-bellied government servant drinking away in the privacy of his own home.
If the said government servant is a certified alcoholic, will his family suffer? Of course it will. But what happens when millions of impressionable young minds when they see their demi gods drinking on screen and making it look as though its the coolest thing to do and not drinking is only for frumps?
There has been a report that the average drinking age has come down from 29 to 19 in the last decade. And it further hints that it may drop to as young as 15. The idea horrifies me.
Now some people may be wondering why suddenly a harmless mommy blog has morphed into this preachy, issue-discussing kind of place. Well, I will be the first one to admit that mine is a small world. I do not hob-nob with the biggies and the decisions I take impact no further than my front door. However, my concern for this issue started because I read this and wondered if our idols have even an inkling of the kind of impact that they have on people and the responsibility that should come with it.
I wish that I need'nt allow my world to be infringed by film stars but I cannot help it. The hubby and I both enjoy watching movies though we hardly watch television. Kuttan has obviously inherited the love of movies from us. It is very difficult for me to explain to a 3 year old what 'juice' uncle is drinking. My dad smokes and it hardly causes a ripple in my son's mind. However, if Shahrukh does it, it is watched with rapt attention and stored away somewhere in the depths of his young, impressionable mind.
All I ask for is a little social responsibility from the 'superstars'.After all, there are'nt too many movies they can make in a cancer-stricken nation now, can they?