Maharashtra Government on Monday said that it wanted alcohol and smoking scenes in movies banned and would request the Centre to amend existing laws to facilitate the same.
Talking to reporters here, Minister of State for Social Justice and De-addiction Activities Sachin Ahir said the state government had taken a serious note of the impact that smoking and alcohol scenes in movies have on the young generation.
"Several rounds of discussions have taken place in the committees headed by the Chief Minister and Social Justice and De-addiction Activities Minister about the need to prevent depiction of smoking and drinking in films. It has been decided to write to the Centre to amend existing censorship laws to ban such scenes. If the film's plot requires such scenes, cigarette and alcohol should be blurred or edited," Ahir said.
According to the minister, filmmakers give only a caution note when smoking scenes are shown. "Censor Board can also enforce smoking ban, but it is unable to do much because it says the government should amend existing laws first," he added.
Ahir said 80 per cent of Marathi films receive grants from the state government. "We are asking the Culture Affairs Ministry, which provides the grants to make it mandatory for the filmmakers seeking finance to ensure that they would not have smoking and drinking scenes in their movies," he said.
The minister said the government's decision to increase the legal age for drinking was right despite criticism. "Actor Imran Khan filed a PIL in the high court but it is yet to be admitted," he said. Meanwhile, the first two-day state level de-addiction literary festival is being organised in Pune from tomorrow, he added.