Vijay criticised by former union health minister for smoking in Sarkar poster: 'You’ll look more stylish without that cigarette'
The poster for Vijay's next movie, titled Sarkar, was unveiled yesterday (21 June) and it showcases the actor with a cigarette between his lips. The movie's poster was tweeted by Vijay himself. The film has been directed by AR Muragadoss, who is teaming up with the actor after previous hit releases Thuppakki and Kaththi.
— Vijay (@actorvijay) June 21, 2018
Smoking has always been a controversial subject in Indian cinema, and Vijay's latest poster has revived the debate over celebrities smoking on-screen. A number of critics say that impressionable and young fans view on-screen smoking as an actor’s endorsement of the harmful habit.
Former Union Health Minister and second-in-command of Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), Anbumani Ramadoss was one of the first notable people to object to the Sarkar poster. On Twitter, Ramadoss said Vijay would have looked “more stylish” without the cigarette.
He also tweeted, "Shame on Actor Vijay for promoting Smoking in this first look of his next movie."
It was during Ramadoss’ run as the Union Health Minister from 2004-2009 that smoking was banned on-screen. His party has been known for its stiff anti-tobacco stance, having taken on superstar Rajinikanth for smoking a beedi in Baba.
Before this, Vijay's 2017 release Mersal had run into political trouble with the BJP. The party had objected to certain dialogues and scenes perceived as mocking the implementation of GST. Sarkar has been produced by Sun Pictures, which is owned by Kalanidhi Maran, a relative of DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi.
Updated Date: Jun 22, 2018 16:19 PM