Now, to the relevance to Bollywood today. I did not know (shame on the South Asian institutions I attended for not having added any book by Gandhiji to the curricula) that Gandhiji's opinion of alcohol consumption was unfavorable, to say the least. To quote Gandhi:
"I shall work for an India...in which there shall be no high class and low class of people, an India in which all communities shall live in perfect harmony. There can be no room in such an India for the curse of untouchability or the curse of intoxicating drinks and drugs."
A curse and intoxicating drinks used in the same sentence. So that got me thinking, right. About a year ago, Bollywood banned all displays of cigarette smoking in its movies. Don (2006) was criticized for it showed Shah Rukh Khan smoking after the ban was established.
So if smoking in movies sets a bad example for members of the Indian society who watch the films, what about alcohol? Is alcohol consumption not worse than cigarette smoking? For the body, the mind, the society, everyone and everything?
Okay, so before you start thinking that I am against displays of alcohol consumption in Indian movies, let me just say that that is not my point. I agree that cinema mirrors real life (and the inverse holds true too). What I am only trying to figure out is why showing cigarettes is banned and showing alcohol consumption is not. Surely, alcohol has got to be equally bad if not worse an addiction/habit?
Maybe it is just the lobby of spirit companies at work. Hmmm...cigarette smoking is disallowed in Bollywood and alcohol consumption in strip clubs is perfectly acceptable in the *same* movies. Go figure...