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A post by Suresh Naig


Contrast with the ban on smoking scenes in Indian cinema by the health minister and a host of measures to wean people away from smoking, during a major part of past century, smoking was a fashion statement. Winston Churchill seldom appeared in public without his trade mark cigar. Before the ban on cigarette advertisements many of the brands have associated a healthy sport with the unhealthy habit of smoking. Elite people of the past were proud to display their smoking habit which was considered etiquette.

Only after an avalanche of medical records associating smoking with a spectrum of dreaded diseases, people woke up, but then it was too late. The rot had already set in and cigarette industry has become a strong economic block, and to ban its production would be foolhardy. Instead, all over the world countries spend enormous amount to educate people to desist from smoking. In spite of concerted efforts of banning smoking in public places and public transports, smoking habit has very less sign of decline. After the ban on direct advertisements, many top brands resorted to surrogate advertisements for their brand of cigarettes. Advertisements as we all know are a form of propaganda which highlights its selling points.

Similarly terrorists have resorted to surrogate advertisements; with the result we witness so many popular figures supporting one kind of terrorism, while condemning the other kind. These people are from different fields – they endorse an individual terrorist or a terrorist organization openly, as we have seen in the case of forest brigand Veerappan and glorification of LTTE by many.

The other kinds justify the existence of terrorism of naxals and Maoists to cause and effect theory of social disparity. Other kind of social activists while condemning the terrorists of one kind extol the other kind forgetting the fact that terrorists are terrorists irrespective of the class, creed, religion, ethnicity or the country they belong. Efforts aimed to associate the benign face of a terrorist organization to a social cause are akin to the association of cigarettes to healthy sports as practiced in the previous century. In the present century no eminent person would endorse a brand of cigarette-however tempting it might be financially, due to the fear of all around social condemnations.

How long are we going to wait for the social boycott of persons who support terrorism of any form?  If we do not realize and act now we will be forced to realize “CANCER ALONE EVENTUALLY CURES SMOKING”.