“Why Is Akshay Kumar Selling  Paan Masala On Television?” Asks Pahlaj Nihalani, Questioning Smriti Irani’s Decision To Ban Condom Ads At PrimeTime

 Never short  of words, former CBFC chairperson Pahlaj Nihalani feels I & B minister SmritiIrani  is barking up the wrong tree by banning condom ads.

“It is not condoms  but paan masala that is killing people. Children  seeing condom ads is not  going  to  kill them. But being encouraged to take gutka and paan masala  by Bollywood role models  is definitely damaging to the nation’s health,” says  Nihalani .

 He singles out Akshay  Kumar for special censure. “Akshay has a very clean image. He is seen as a hero of  the masses. Then why is he promoting  a  brand of paan masala? Others like  Govinda and even the actor who played James Bond(Pierce Brosnon) are promoting what is a proven agent for cancer. If this is not  detrimental  to national health, what is? Condoms? Ms Smriti Irani needs to focus better on the dos and don’ts.”

 Shockingly Nihalani reveals that the broadcasting  of alcohol and paan masala ads in illegal and unconstitutional. “Law forbids  the CBFC  from granting certification  to  paan masalaand alcohol ads. Therefore the ads for these products being broadcast  are illegal. Actors who are part  of such ads should know they’re participating in an illegal activity.”

  Nihalani says she  wrote repeatedly  to the  Ministry of Information & Broadcasting about these ‘banned’ ads. “But I  got no response from them. It’s very strange that Smritiji is going after condoms and  not the real enemy. While Nitish Kumar  is  advocating   nationwide prohibition national television is selling paan masala to the nation.”

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