Amitabh takes on Ramadoss on drinking issue

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Mumbai, May 3 (UNI) Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan today joined Censor Board chairman Sharmila Tagore in criticising Union Health Minister Ambumani Ramadoss' decision to stop drinking scenes in films.

The superstar wrote on his website that onscreen actors fake drinks by actually drinking diluted tea, honeyed water, aerated drink or soda water to match the colour of champagne.

''That's what we are actually drinking on the sets to simulate the whisky. Our intoxication, minister, is in the credibility we bring to a drunken scene without being literally drunk, not to propagate alcoholism,'' Mr Bachchan remarked on his blog.

''Now the Health Minister, Mr Ramadoss, is asking film stars to stop drinking scenes in their films. First the smoking, then the drinking. Hola!! What next?,'' he wondered.

''I shield myself behind the pages of our revered Constitution and law and the Censor Board. Bring in a law to ban such participation and we shall follow it diligently Mr Minister,'' the actor said.

''There are other more refined bodies, some within your own fraternity that are adept at this,'' he observed and said actually liquor companies fill the coffers of the government and the Beedi industry gives the job opportunity to lakhs of people.

''Have mercy on us. Sir, we are but professional actors enacting stories,'' he said.

''You and your merry brethren, I have heard, allegedly enact similar stories when you seek admission every five years into the 'Large O' or to be more precise the 'Large Half O','' he observed.

'The Liquor Lobby', a body of distinguished 'hala ites' that, on the issuance of a license to manufacture liquor, make gracious contribution to government coffers! Official of course ! Of course official !! How could it ever be any other !!!,'' he averred.

''Did I notice a blushed tinge on your 'healthy' facial skin,'' he remarked.

''You have not named me Honored Sir on this factor. It is perhaps the general knowledge amongst most, that I do not consume alcohol, nor smoke, nor eat meat, nor drink tea or coffee, nor Coke or Pepsi, nor paan or paan masala, nor Indian sweets or chocolate, nor cake nor pastry and recently no rice. I am grateful for this mercy,'' the veteran actor said.

''But I have been named on your no smoking campaign, along with my colleague the Great King Shah Rukh Khan. Some of my posters of two of my not too recent films have led you to believe that there has been a grave destruction of the ethics of your campaign,'' Mr Bachchan noted.

''I applaud your concern, Sir, and applaud the choice of your example, in my dear friend and colleague, the other true King of cinema, Rajnikanth, but honoured Sir could we perhaps dare to inquire whether you, being in governance have considered first, to ban this dreaded habit from all government servants in the country,'' he said on his website.

''And more importantly, would you ever, Sir, consider banning the existence of the vast plantations of the 'Beedi' leaves in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, or would that not be such a correct political decision. After all such act would jeopardise the employment of thousands of workers ( oop's voters ! ) in the region and I believe, the business prospects of one of your 'flying' Cabinet colleagues !!,'' Mr Bachchan went on to add with an oblique reference to Minister of State for Civil Aviation Praful Patel, without naming him.

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