Misha: Good Afternoon Jeetu Bhai Doshi, Dhananjay Galani Ji & Shyam Bhimsaria Ji & welcome to India’s most trusted online news channel on Politics, Sports & Entertainment.
Jeetu Bhai Doshi: Good Afternoon.
Dhananjay Galani: Good Afternoon.
Shyam Bhimsaria: Thank you & very Good Afternoon.
Misha: So Shyamji, you are in the news again.
Shyam Bhimsaria: Yes… By god’s grace, you see!
Misha: 2016 surely has given you what it has not given Shahrukh, Hrithik & Aamir. 3 Releases in a year. How do you feel about it?
Dhananjay Galani: You missed Salman Khan.
Shyam Bhimsaria: Jokes apart. Besides obviously feeling good, I also feel a bit nervous. 3 movies in a year mean 3 times responsibility. Not that I am not prepared, but it means fraternity trusts you & I now have to live up to their expectations.
Misha: Okay, so tell us, in “Tere jism Se Jaan Tak” you played a bad man, then you played a drunkard in “Foxstar & Murugadoss” film “AKIRA”. Again in “Chal Akela Re” you seem to be playing a comic villain. Why do only such anti-good-society roles come your way?
Shyam Bhimsaria: Ha ha ha…. then comes one role in “Bole India Jai Bhim” to clear all my sins.
Misha: Hmmm! Playing a role of villain in one, Comedian in other & now a hard-core serious stuff as Baba Saheb Ambedkar. Your versatility is a sure thing.
Shyam Bhimsaria: Thank you.
Misha: You have had a success run in the theaters with so many successful shows & then 2014’s best director’s award. Have you put your theaters on a hold?
Shyam Bhimsaria: No… They just have been pushed a bit. But our target of doing 6 shows a year is well within reach. Besides Sairam Film’s CHAL AKELA RE, I am also directing 3 short films for the famous novelist Neil D’Silva & Varun Prabhu.
Misha: We guess, that must be taking away all your energies.
Shyam Bhimsaria: Yes! energies drain out, but the more you work. More energetic you feel.
Jeetu Bhai Doshi: Ah, you should see Shyamji’s energies while on sets. I have seen him rehearsing like crazy before going for a take. He would rehearse in the mornings, nights, in the washroom, on the dining table, and even in the hall when 40-50 people were around him. Someone dare to disturb him with their words. And then you see the output. Class apart.
Shyam Bhimsaria: Thank you Jeetu Bhai. Even here at Nagpur, we actors & all the technicians would literally collapse working 15-18 hours a day. But Gayatri Films & 5 Finger’s team was so caring & so respectful that anybody would go to any extent to give his/her best. God bless them all.
Misha: Starting the year with a release on 1st January 2016 must be an eventful year for you.
Shyam Bhimsaria: Yes, through this movie’s set that I met Captain of our ship, Subodhji our director. He asked me to audition for this prestigious role. I remember him telling me then that “Think we got our Baba Saheb”.
Misha: All the best Shyam Ji for all your projects.
Shyam Bhimsaria: Thank you.
Misha: Mr.Jeetu, please tell us about your 1st experience on filmmaking.
Jeetu Bhai Doshi: First & foremost, without Galaniji’s support I could not have imagined kick-starting the project. Subodhji – our director sir, when brought the subject up to me, I felt that I have much to give in return to the society. I immediately decided that I would do it. And trust me, I just decided and the rest of the things along with good people started connecting with the project by God’s grace.
Misha: Were you not scared of the touchy Sensitive subject?
Jeetu Bhai Doshi: Scared??? Intentions were right so we had the guts & the right team to overcome them.
Misha: Okay, since now the movie is in Marathi. Are you planning to have it in other languages too?
Jeetu Bhai Doshi: Yes, in months to come we plan to dub it in Hindi for a Pan India release. If all goes as per the planning, we shall also do it in English for a foreign release too.
Misha: Anything instance which you wish to share about the shooting with NAC?
Jeetu Bhai Doshi: Everyone has worked very hard on this. 49-50 degrees of Nagpur/Kamptee’s heat could not melt the metal of dedication by my technicians & Artists. Inspiration was only that we have to complete the film. Not mentioning the local support that we got, will be an injustice to them.
Misha: If the conditions were so adverse, was it not sensible to wait for winters?
Dhananjay Galani: Conditions were adverse, but we were all prepared & well equipped. We wanted it to be ready this year, as this year marks the 125th Birth Anniversary of Shri Baba Saheb Ambedkar & the week of release also marks Dhamma Chakra Pravartan Din – the Memorial Day when Baba Saheb Ambedkar who accepted Buddhism as his religion.
Misha: That’s so noble. Okay, so you have recently launched the Music of the film. What do you have to say about it?
Dhananjay Galani: Yes, it has 4 soulful songs (Music by Dinesh Arjuna). Zee, liked the music so much that they took the rights from us & released them under their banner of ZEE MUSIC.
Misha: That’s music to our ears. Galaniji say something about your cameo in the movie.
Dhananjay Galani: Ha ha ha….not just me, Jeetu Bhai also appears on the screen.
Shyam Bhimsaria: You watch the film Misha, Galaniji has looked an adorable Munim Ji. I wish I was the writer. Would have certainly added a few more lines for him.
Jeetu Bhai Doshi: (Handing over Rs 100 note to Galani) Galani, I sign you for my next project as an actor.
Shyam Bhimsaria: Not fair Galaniji, snatching away our livelihood?
Misha: Going by the talks in the industry, this movie deserves quite a lot major awards. Any light on that?
Dhananjay Galani: Frankly I have no idea. Awards are just a token of appreciation for all the hard work that everyone has put in. Yes, we will be more than happy if we get some. Shyamji has already given a sterling performance. Besides gaining some weight for this role he has also worked very hard on his dialogues, his accent, his body language, his overall persona as Baba Saheb Ambedkar. I will not be surprised if he receives an award.
Misha: Very pleased to have had this conversation with you all today. We wish you & your entire team all the best & heartiest congratulations for this brave & classic movie Bole India Jai Bhim.
Jeetu Bhai Doshi: Jai Bhim
Dhananjay Galani: Bal Bhim
Shyam Bhimsaria: Jai Bhim Bal Bhim
Bole India Jai Bhim
Written & Directed by
Executive Producer: Neeta Doshi
Music: Dinesh Arjuna
Lyrics : Subodh Nagdeve
DOP: Nadeem Ansari
Editor: Saagar & Rakesh
Art Director: Piyush Meshram
Associate Director: Saurav Tatpuje
Production Asst: 5 Fingers (Nagpur)
Costumes: Kailash Brahamankar
Makeup: Jatin Patil
*ing: Shyam Bhimsaria, Amol Chiwhane, Sukanya Kulkarni, Nataliya Kozhenova, Vijay Gite, Nikhil Rathod, Akanksha, Vrisha, Aamir Khan & others
Exposure to Tobacco Imagery Contributes to Smoking Habits Among Young Indians
Be it for the adrenaline-inducing endeavours of James Bond or the sharp-mindedness of Beena Tripathi from Mirzapur, much of cinema would be banal without its fair share of iconic characters. It’s no secret that the characters portrayed on screen and the actors playing them greatly influence box office revenues.
In South Indian cinema, the likes of Mohanlal, Ram Charan, Prabhas, among others, have long enjoyed success in the industry owing to their loyal fan-base. Bollywood, too, possesses its share of fan favourites in Nawazuddin Siddique, Pankaj Tripathi, and Vijay Varma, among others. The coalescence of fan-loyalty, coupled with ‘For the Fan’ content and industry rivalries, has blended a perfect brew for the industry’s survival.
But while producers and film industrialists work on selling their content to enthusiasts and the general audience, opinions surrounding the rebounding impact of characterisation, psychological idiosyncrasies, and moral conduct of characters within visual content across platforms, is unheard off.
A recent article in The Swaddle highlighted the necessity of having ‘Intimacy Co-ordinators’ on film sets to assist the actor and director in navigating the shooting of intimate scenes. Recent studies have also analysed dialogues, colourism, and gender inclusivity in Bollywood films and have found positive trends.
Despite this, questionable elements within visual content and controversial characters still seem to wield a significant influence on the general audience. One of the most contentious amongst them recognising the influence of smoking imagery in films and, more recently, Over-the-top (OTT) content on the audience.
Tobacco Imagery Compounds Smoking Habits Among Young Indians
Over the years, Bollywood movies and, more recently, OTT content has received scorn for embellishing smoking habits and encouraging them through compartmentalising genders. In recent years, mainstream content across various platforms has fixed a cigarette between the fingers of female and LGBTQIA+ characters as a marker for independence and strength – a change from the ’70s and ’80s where female characters smoking cigarettes were portrayed as ‘Vamps’ and ‘Degenerates’. While one could argue about the potential of this change ending up as another trope, tobacco consumption is still portrayed as a token of masculinity across mainstream content amongst male characters.
More recently, Kabir Singh, a Bollywood film starring actor Shahid Kapoor as the protagonist, received scrutiny as an embodiment of toxic masculinity. The film’s teaser poster displayed a silhouette picture of the central character holding two cigarettes between his lips, with a stethoscope around his neck. It is not a long shot to assume that many of these depictions eventually influence society sections.
Studies have concluded that tobacco imagery in visual content has resulted in increased tobacco consumption among young adults. A 2019 study, published in the BMJ Journal, found that popular content streamed across OTT platforms did not comply with Section 5 of India’s Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), 2003 – amended in 2012. It noted. “None of the episodes in any season of these seven series, including the ones which featured historical characters (The Crown and Narcos), had anti-tobacco static warning messages, anti-tobacco health spots or displayed an audio-visual disclaimer about the ill effects of tobacco use” – 3 of the ten series analysed did not have any instance of tobacco usage.
The study analysed 188 episodes across ten series – selected after discussions with participants (15-24) in New Delhi – on Netflix and Amazon Prime for instances of tobacco use and brand appearances. It found that out of the 188 episodes analysed, 108 of them had at least an instance of tobacco use. Additionally, it noted that US-produced shows accounted for more tobacco usage instances than Indian shows like ‘Mirzapur’ and ‘Sacred Games’.
Addressing the portrayal of smoking imagery in visual content and its impact within social circles, an opinionated survey conducted by the author of this article rendered mixed views. The survey conducted through the medium of an online form garnered participants’ views (19-23). Out of 25 respondents, a majority of the participants (13) were of 20 years of age.
The survey recorded that 11 out of the 22 respondents felt that Smoking Imagery in visual content impacted their social circles, while ten did not witness any manifestation of its influence. One respondent did not provide an articulate answer.
Further, it also found that nine respondents believed that tobacco imagery across film and OTT platforms requires dilution, while 13 opined for a need to educate young viewers about film characterisation.
Besides, 56% of 25 respondents held that the personification and characterisation of smoking across film and T.V content contributed to smoking habits among Indian Youth. 68% believed that smoking scenes in films and OTT content affected Indian youth. 84% of the 25 respondents felt that drug/alcohol consumption disclaimers were not adequate to discourage viewers.
While research material concludes that tobacco imagery can prompt a viewer to take up smoking, the responsibility of integrating tobacco use in visual content and its rebounding impact on the viewers needs to be shouldered not only by content producers but also by viewers and cigarette brands.
Do Cigarette Candies Encourage Smoking Habits?
Candies provide nostalgia like no other. Be it for a tangy-sweet rock or flavourful dust candy that pops in your mouth, the thought of consuming candy will have undoubtedly left you with an insatiable appetite for sweetness. In recent years, however, the uptake in consumption of candies has thrown light upon the ill-effects of its consumption. Scientific research over the years has detailed the use of unhealthy amounts of sugar and preservatives in candy bars, with research also focusing on the fallout of candy consumption. Yet, candy consumption shows no signs of slowing down.
More recently, there has been a heated debate surrounding how cigarette candies inadvertently normalise smoking’s harmful effects. The growing consumption of mint candy cigarettes amongst children has left many concerned about its potential impact on their future. Many believe that cigarette candies’ production blurs the lines between the consumption of nicotine cigarettes and candy cigarettes amongst children.
Past research has concluded that cigarette candies’ desensitised’ children about the harmful repercussions of smoking. A 2007 study conducted among 25,887 US adults found that, at the time, 22% of the smokers had a history of consuming candy cigarettes while only 14% had little to no familiarity with cigarette candies.
Further, the packaging and ingredients of cigarette candies have been before met with furore. In the past, cigarette candy manufacturing companies have received criticism for hiding powdered sugar in the wrappers, creating the illusion of ‘real smoking’. Moreover, cigarette candies do not comprise healthy ingredients either. ‘Phantom Cigarettes’, a famous candy cigarette brand in India, composes 75-80% sugar while the rest 20% comprises glucose and gelatin – excessive consumption of which can produce long-term health problems.
The amalgamation of these repercussions has led to the ban of cigarette candies in many countries across the globe. In India, cigarette candies are still sold at local shops and even online.
Research over the years has pointed out that Tobacco imagery influences smoking habits. The absence of strict action against the violators of tobacco laws within visual content and the general disregard concerning passive smoking and the production of candy cigarettes may result in a ‘Health epidemic’ WHO estimates that smoking causes 7 million deaths per year, with low and middle-income countries accounting for 80% of these deaths. Hence, smoking prevention is a global health priority, and it is indispensable, now more than ever, to discourage smoking and move towards a healthier lifestyle.
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Bombay high court slams BMC for illegal demolition of Kangana Ranaut’s Property
Bombay High Court has granted relief to Kananga Ranaut in a plea filed against Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for demolishing her Bandra office property. High Court condemned BMC by quoting that the officials had acted with malice in destroying the part of Ranaut’s bungalow.
The court also noted that Ms Ranaut would also be compensated for the damage caused by the demolition by appointing a valuer who would determine orders regarding compensation value.
On September 9th the BMC had smashed a part of Ms Ranaut’s office in a bungalow at Pali Hill, Bandra .The actor alleged the development happened after her remarks of feeling unsafe in Mumbai and comparing it with Pakistan occupied Kashmir.
Following, we see an exchange of derogatory verbal fights between the Maharashtra state government members and Kangana Ranaut. The opposition, including BJP criticised the state government’s use of police power against any criticism. The BJP led centre government also provided Ms Ranaut with Y-plus category of CRPF personnel for her safe return in Mumbai
In petition, Ms Ranaut argued for illegal demolition of her property by BMC who according to her, is controlled and influenced by the ruling state government.
A division bench of Justices SJ Kathawalla and RI Chagla said “MCGM (Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai) has proceeded on wrongful grounds, against the rights of the citizens. It is nothing but malice in law“. The court also commented “it does not approve of authorities using “muscle power” against any citizen.”
High court further allowed Ms Ranaut to take measure for making her property habitable again, given that it is compliance with the approved plan. An application must be made to BMC for approval which will be decided in weeks. BMC cannot regularise any action until the application disposed of the appointed valuer.
Kangana Ranaut’s and opposition reaction:
Ms Ranaut, who is publicly critical of the state government applauded High Court’s decision by calling it not only a victory of an individual but of democracy.
However, High Court observed that “Kangana Ranaut should show restraint in airing her opinions on the government” and further added irresponsible statement made by a citizen in an individual capacity, however distasteful or wrong they may be, are best ignored.
Following the decision, Devandra Fadavis, former Chief Minister of Maharashtra, said “they should realise now that not every voice against the government can be crushed this way.”
He further asked “Will the government call the SC and HC desh drohi (anti-national)?”. He took a dig at Uddhav Thackerey and said “If you speak against the government on social media, you are put under arrest. Such is the condition in Maharashtra. I have never seen a CM who keeps threatening people.”
Given the political conflict and loose statements from Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, the high court said: “Such conduct certainly does not befit a leader like Shri Raut who is also a Parliamentarian.”
Mr Raut, also the spokesperson of Shiv Sena adhering to High court decision, said “I still respect the court’s decision. The law should be equal for all.”
In another case against Kangana Ranaut and her sister Rangoli, High court questions the use of sedition charges 124A of Indian penal code in FIR filed by Mumbai.
Expressing concerts, Justice Shinde asked Mumbai Police’s representative “If anybody doesn’t not fall in line within the government, will that be sedition?”. Justice further emphasised by repeating “Are you treating citizens of the country like this? 124A?”
Justice Shinde further asked why police is invoking such a section in such cases concerning several inadequate matters.
“You conduct proper workshops for officers as to which sections should be invoked,” Justice Shinde told the advocate.
What is sedition in 124A?
Sedition, a British imperial code, acts as a non-bailable offence against any person by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the government established by law in India.
The code is heavily criticised for its misuse and curbing of freedom of speech. Mahatma Gandhi himself called it “the prince among the political sections of the IPC designed to suppress the liberty of the citizen.”
The supreme court and High courts have repeatedly observed that sedition can be only be invoked to penalise criticism of actions of the government when it encourages people to resort violence or have the motivation of creating public disorder.
Mumbai Mayor’s comment:
The elected chief of the BMC Kishori Pednekar of Shiv Sena gives critical remarks by saying “Everyone is surprised that an actor comes to Mumbai, from Himachal Pradesh, and calls it PoK. Then there are complaints against her. Do takke ke log (insignificant people) want to turn the court into a political chaos. This is wrong.”
#WATCH: Everyone is surprised that an actress who lives in Himachal, comes here & calls our Mumbai PoK… such 'do takke ke log' want to make Courts arena for political rivalry, it's wrong: Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar on Bombay HC setting aside BMC notices to Kangana Ranaut https://t.co/DZi7GVeFI2 pic.twitter.com/UPlLvygIxI
— ANI (@ANI) November 27, 2020
Ms Pednekar further accepted to adhere court’s ruling with all respect.
In reply to Mayor’s remark, Kangana Ranaut tweeted:
In a big of win of legal proceeding, Ranaut and opposition welcomes High Court orders whereas the ruling party seems to accept the same. Presently, it is unclear if BMC will approach supreme court challenging High Court’s ruling.
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