Badhaai Ho released two weeks ago worldwide and has been collecting love and accolades from the audiences and the critics since then. This was Ayushmann Khurrana’s second film this year, after Andhadhun which made him the ‘Star of the Year’. Badhaai Ho has been receiving all sorts of appreciation, be it for the plot, be it for the brilliant writing or be it for the performances and the direction. Where everyone seems to be walking out of the theatres laughing and smiling, the Delhi Government seems quite unimpressed with the movie.
It has been reported that the Delhi Government has issued a legal notice against the promotion of tobacco in the film, Badhaai Ho. S.K. Arora, Additional Director (Public Health) and State Tobacco Control Officer has given an official statement saying that the movie shows a precarious use of tobacco which apparently wrongly affects the young minds who follow the stars and their actions in the film.
This, he said, violated Section 5 of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply, and Distribution) Act, 2003 (COTPA).
Arora, giving a statement to Bollywoodlife said,
“There are repeated scenes of smoking and of a tobacco shop. There are scenes displaying brands of tobacco products. The brand promotion of tobacco products- direct and indirect, are banned under section 5 of COTPA. Our legal notice is based on these things.”
“The legal notice to the director, producers, and actors of Badhaai Ho has been issued because there has been promotion of a tobacco brand as well as surrogate advertisement repeatedly. We demand the immediate removal of these scenes from the film.”
Bollywood stars have been warned earlier about such portrayal as it affects the habits and choices of the youngsters who end up thinking that smoking and drinking is cool and hence, copy their role models irresponsibly. In fact, there was a survey conducted in order to get to the truth, and it said, more than 80% of the youngsters choose this path for they think it makes them cool and Bollywood has always been a great influence, so they need to be a bit responsible regarding such things.
He further added,
“We wrote to Bollywood a number of times regarding this. Bollywood stars and films are role models for youngsters. The youngsters follow their habits and copy it blindly. Bollywood should decide to think on moral grounds and should feel responsible for the people. The script can always be changed for the interest of the public”
There are several times when showing actors smoking or drinking on-screen can be avoided and that act is not adding much to the script and that’s when it should be definitely removed. Actors like Ajay Devgn and Akshay Kumar have received legal notices in the past. On this, Arora said,
“Akshay Kumar, on one hand, advertises for health awareness campaigns and in Gold movie, he was seen smoking repeatedly. These things can be avoided. The script can be changed,”
He further said, “No person shall take part in any advertisement which directly or indirectly suggests or promotes the use or consumption of cigarettes or any other tobacco products.”
Well, for the time being, the Delhi government has asked Badhaai Ho director, producer, and the actors to axe the scenes which project endorsement or consumption of cigarettes or other tobacco products. Badhaai Ho stars Ayushamann Khurrana, Sanya Malhotra, Neena Gupta, and Gajraj Rao among others.