Noted filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt has joined the stream of protests by various Bollywood bigwigs against comments by Union Health Minister Ramadoss that asks film stars to refrain from smoking and drinking in films.
"I find his comments juvenile. People do not even have basic health facilities in villages, rural health sector is in such a mess but his concern is limited to film industry," Bhatt says.
Bhatt has followed superstar Amitabh Bachchan in criticising the minister for his "juvenile" comments.
Bachchan had in his blog sharply criticised Ramadoss' suggestions that when popular stars like Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan are seen smoking and drinking on screen it encourages youngsters to follow suit.
It is not for the first time that minister has invited the ire of film fraternity for his comments on smoking scenes.
"How can they talk of censoring people in 21st century? All you can do is to sensitise people about these things, but censor is impossible," the director told PTI in an interview.
Known for his strong stand against censorship, Bhatt is also concerned over increasing interference of politicians in the area of creativity.
He terms the remarks of politicians on cheerleaders and film industry as a publicity tool. "They want to grab some eyeballs. It is like a ping-pong game; they want to attack and be attacked to remain in news."
Bhatt, an outspoken critic of such bans in Hindi films had also filed a PIL in the Delhi High Court in 2005, challenging the legislative amendments to ban smoking and drinking scenes in films and television serials.