Panaji, May 8 (IANS) Noted actor Arshad Warsi, who played ‘Circuit’ — the eccentric, lovable sidekick in ‘Munnabhai M.B.B.S.’ and its popular sequel ‘Lage Raho Munnabhai’, is at the receiving end of a ‘Gandhigiri’ sermon.
The National Organisation for Tobacco Eradication (NOTE), in a letter to Warsi Friday, censured him for smoking in an educational institute in south Goa during a film shoot along with co-actor Tusshar Kapoor.
‘The photograph showing you signing autographs with a cigarette in hand and surrounded by young girls was given wide publicity by the press in Goa. It shows that many film personalities like you have scant respect for the law prohibiting smoking in public places,’ NOTE general secretary Shekhar Salkar said in his letter.
The NOTE, which has in the past dragged Bollywood stars Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan to court for directly or indirectly promoting smoking, also advised Warsi to quit smoking in order to ‘improve’ his health.
‘You are advised not to smoke because it will improve your health and also it will prevent a number of young people from starting to smoke,’ the letter addressed to Warsi’s residence in Mumbai stated.
‘Purely, from s moral point of view, cine personalities should not smoke in public since your fans are likely to copy your actions and start smoking, which will damage their health,’ it said/
The group asked the actor to honour the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003 (COPTA).
Since Warsi was not available, the principal of Chowgule college in Margao, 35 km from here, had to pay the fine under COPTA for allowing smoking in his institution.