A male driver who grew up watching his mother and grand mother smoke ‘bidi’ once said, “Women in villages only smoke when they have stomach problems, city women smoke because they want to be modern.”
Smoking by urban women can be compared to jeans or salwar kurta – the objection is not really to jeans and salwar kurta (which often cover more skin than some traditional clothing) or smoking (more common with rural women), but with what they symbolise.
So an unhealthy choice has been made into a symbol of rebellion, independence, modernity and westernization.
And of course approval from ‘Indian culture’ is a logical explanation for banning or permitting something, specially for Indian women. 🙄
“Indian tradition doesn’t permit a lady to smoke,” Shekhar said, adding that the notification would be brought into effect after the HC refused to grant a stay on UTV’s petition that indirectly sought to pre-empt the government move.
UTV had moved the HC against I&B ministry’s August 2 letter to the Censor Board to advise filmmakers to display anti-smoking messages during the screening of the movie. On the basis of the same letter, the government is issuing a notification, Shekhar told the SC.
Are we really watching a slow talibanization of India?
I hope we are watching a more visible challenging of such attempts.