Gandhigiri against rebel
Coming back into the limelight after his last film Mr Perfect in 2011, actor Prabhas has created a stir with his latest flick Rebel. But not the kind he may have hoped for.
A group of 20-odd medical practitioners and students headed by Director of the Apollo Cancer Hospital, Dr Vijay Anand Reddy Palkonda, staged a silent protest outside a cinema complex in the city on Tuesday, against posters of the movie Rebel in which the actor could be seen smoking a cigarette and making a style statement.
Apart from staging a protest in Gandhigiri style on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanthi, the protesting group also addressed letters to the Censor Board, the proprietor of the theatre and actor Prabhas, asking them to desist from such practices. Pointing out that the posters are in direct violation of the Control of Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) which prohibits advertisement of tobacco without even a statutory warning, Dr Reddy argued that with heroes from the industry sporting the flaming torch of cancer in films, the youth would only be motivated to emulate such habits.
“Ours is a hero-driven industry. When films portray the actor striding stylishly, smoking a cigarette, it is going to influence
young minds. Film stars are largely considered as role models.
The protest was to urge them to take social responsibility and not showcase smoking as heroic,” the doctor explained, adding, “you might ask what about the negative characters in the film who do the same. They shouldn’t be doing so too, but they don’t have the same impact on the youth as the hero does.”
Dr Aleem Mohammad of the MediCiti Institute of Medical Sciences and also Vice-President of the Indian Medical Students' Association, was among the group that trooped to the actor’s house also to deliver the letter.
“We were told that Prabhas was unavailable but his uncle, Satyanarayana Raju had spoken to us and assured us that the matter would be taken to his notice,” said Dr Aleem. While the Censor Board is yet to respond, Cinemax theatres apparently promised to take down the posters.
The protest group included four representatives from six medical colleges in the city including Osmania Medical College, Gandhi Hospital and MediCiti Institute of Medical Sciences.