Vijay’s Thuppaki posters did grab headlines for it’s smoking appeal. But things aren’t sitting well with social and anti-tobacco activists who are determined to take Thuppaki director Murugadoss and his team to task. One of the recently released posters, showing Vijay rolling up a Cuban cigar, has kicked up a major controversy.
It can be recalled that Rajinikanth who caught a similar pose in Baasha, came under heavy attack from media and social activists. Rajini smartly solved the problem, befriending a harmless chewing gum. Cheers went his way as he popped the gum in his numero-uno style, for the follow-up release Chandramukhi. The fact that a large percentage of the country’s youth have movie stars as their role models doesn’t help the cause of Thuppaki , which had it’s posters releasing in movie websites and hung up as visible hoardings. Sowmya Anbumani chairperson of the environmental group Pasumai Thayagam and wife of former union Health Minister Anbumani Ramdoss says,“ Thupakki posters have violated section 9(2) of the notification issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, which states that promotional materials and posters of films should not depict any tobacco products or their usages in any form.”
Social activisit V Selva Kumar went ahead and filed a case against the makers saying, “In regard to the above mentioned violation of the Indian Tobacco Act, I have filed a complaint on 04 May 2012 with the Commissioner of Police, requesting to take necessary action against the violators.” Meanwhile political outfit Hindu Makkal Katchi have been devising fresh plans, as their representative Kannan declared, “We will protest in front of Vijay’s house and we promise to send bundles of cigars to his house if the posters aren’t taken down”. Rajini sure was clever with his Baasha tactics; let’s see what Vijay has got up his sleeve.