Breathe-free !!

Thursday, October 2, 2008 5:19
Posted in category Events, Mumbai, News

(Photo courtesy Norfolk website)

I hope it works.I hope this does not get away as just another enacted-but-hardly-implemented law.

In an extra-ordinary development, I found the news channels flooding with a real breaking-news (yes, for a change, a real breaking news). I emphasize that bit because a real breaking news comes as a fresh change in a nation full of news channels treating all kind of non-stories as breaking news (in the rarest chance that you do not get what I mean, read about the great INDIA TV here, here and here). Let me stop talking here about the news channels because their stupidity needs another blog post.

I strongly believe that smoking in public places should be banned. While other addictions (drugs, alcohol etc.) do not affect anyone other than the active user, smoking is one thing that affects even the most remotely concerned. At numerous occasions, I have found myself seeking freedom to breathe when I am with friends in a bar/pub.

I started the article with the “I hope” statement for a reason. Today morning, the day when this smoking ban starts, I saw a news reporting that Mumbai government will find it hard to impose the smoking ban/fine due to insufficient manpower. So, although this ban does not bring any bit of relief to Mumbaikars (including me), I am happy for frustrated fellows like me all over the country. Now they (and hopefully after some months, I) can have the freedom to breathe-in fresh air while the smokers smoke it out at their homes.

To be honest, I treat a smoker walking on a street while I am walking around him exactly like a vehicle emitting a bad smoke while I am driving around it. Just like no one would prefer to be around a vehicle emitting repugnant black smoke, I would not prefer to be in few meters radius around a smoker. A driver will try to overtake the offending vehicle asap, and I try to overtake the smoker as soon as possible. In fact at times I find them so similar that I even contemplate pollution check for smokers! (Do comment on this post if you agree with me)

Rightfully recognized by the government, these smokers have no right to destroy the atmosphere in a serene public place with their stupidity. A drunkard becomes destructive only when he is out of his senses and starts hitting and destroying public property for no particular reason. A smoker does not even have to go through the latter bit to become a destroyer.

Come on, why can’t you smokers think of other innocent people in your vicinity who have to go through the torture because of YOUR stupidity ! Pretty simple logic; no rocket science, isn’t it?

I think I have blurted out enough to show my frustration (and a bit of relief, provided the law becomes a success).

Now, the uphill task in front of the government is to think of cool (yes, I mean cool) ways to implement this law. I, on this public space, declare that I am ready to (and will) do my bit in making this law a success.

I think given their reach and influence, this is the issue that the news channels need to be talking about for a day or two. All you “India TV”s out there, wake up and use your most influential hours, for a change, on a story that deserves mention. Use your brains and try to mobilize the masses to take up a task that will help them (and give you your most coveted TRPs). Believe me, this is the time to act and make it a huge success.

If man-power is the only issue, our valuable citizen-power can be used to catch the offenders. I was impressed by the “Shoot at sight” campaign started by The Hindustan Times to clean up Mumbai. In case you do not remember, it had planted banners all around the city urging citizens to click pics of garbage-throwers using their cellphones and send it to the newspaper office. I am sure that this works. The offender will be too embarrassed to see his picture in the next day’s newspaper.

I will update the post with more ideas as they cross my mind. You are free to comment/send your ideas to me at

P.S. : I love my hometown. Chandigarh, the first Indian city to go smoke free.

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3 Responses to “Breathe-free !!”

  1. Jason Elder says:

    October 2nd, 2008 at 05:34

    Excellent Blog. I’ve been reading along and just wanted to say hi. I will be reading more of your posts in the future.

    - Jason.

  2. Amit Shrivastava says:

    October 7th, 2008 at 07:25

    Though Your article is focused on Govt decision for banning smoking in India but it means more to rest of world as well. Everybody should have freedome to do whatever they want in this beautiful world of GOD but nobody is having right to harm God’s most beautiful creation, that is Human Life. I like the spirit in your article. Keep up good writing…Wish u luck…Ek Toota Tara

  3. Chitra says:

    October 8th, 2008 at 00:52

    Hey your webpage has got a new look & feel…Very neat & nicely spaced out… Keep up the gud work!


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