People Ban: India Update
Mystery of India’s ‘cigarette smoking’ saint
March 17, 2013
By: Camilla Tominey
Captain Frederick Wale, or Kaptan Shah Baba as he was known to his 1st Sikh Lancers, was killed aged 36 at a battle with nationalists in Lucknow in 1858.
He has been made a deity and believers tend his grave in Musa Bagh cemetery.
One devotee said: “We leave him food and cigarettes as tributes.
“The cigarettes glow like somebody is inhaling them. We know Shah Baba smoked so there can be only one answer…he is smoking the cigarettes.”
The claims have baffled cemetery officials. One said: “It is rare for people to pray to a foreigner, especially someone British from that period in our history, but people know what they see and they believe it…so who is to say it’s wrong?”
Captain Wale took command of the 1st Sikh irregular cavalry and he served in the siege and capture of Lucknow.
His brigadier reported: “Wale showed great zeal in command and led most successfully in pursuit of the enemy until he was shot.
Read and see photos.
Every breath you take…
Kushalrani Gulab, Hindustan Times
Shrugging Off Smoking Ban
Uneven Enforcement, Public Apathy Pose Challenges to India’s Health Initiative
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, October 21, 2008; Page A11
Buddhadeb defies smoking ban
March 19, 2008
Kolkata: Defying the blanket ban on smoking at the State Secretariat, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Tuesday made it clear that he would continue to puff inside his office.
“Do you want to stop me from smoking?” Mr. Bhattacharjee retorted when asked by newsmen whether he had stopped smoking following the ban. When the reporters repeated their query, the Chief Minister said, “I will continue [to smoke].”
At the initiative of the State Pollution Control Board, the PWD had recently issued a notice banning smoking inside the Secretariat. — PTI
Sagarika Roy, 01 March 2008
YEARS BACK, when the finance minister of West Bengal Dr Asim Dasgupta proposed of enacting a ban on smoking in the state administrative headquarter Writers’ Building and other public offices, chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya told his ‘classmate’ and cabinet member, “Do whatever you think best but take exception at least to my chamber.” Simply because Buddhadeb Bhattacharya is a chain smoker.
Now after years when the state government wants to implement the same act, the Power and Works Department (PWD) and the environment department failed to pay full honour to it. The notices, which are put up by the PWD Department on the corridors of Writers’ Building says, “Smoking and spitting on the corridors are strictly prohibited.” Why only on corridors? Why not inside the chambers of the ministers and secretaries?
PWD Minister Kshiti Goswami smiled and replied, “Who has the guts to do that when the chief minister himself smokes in his chamber?” Controversy never stops reeling behind the chief minister. The latest enquiry have focussed that lakhs of public money was spent to fix up smoke detector in each chamber of the Ministers and the senior officers. But those do not work because they were never made active. The PWD minister who was recently in news for opposing the chief minister’s move on acquiring farming land, smiled again and said, “See the smoke detector in my chamber. The green light is on because nobody is smoking and I am a non-smoker. If anybody smokes the light will turn red and an alarm would be triggered. The message will go directly to the control room. Each detector has a code number and the control room will easily find out the chamber or place.”
The minister admitted that while the smoke detector machine in his chamber is on, others might have not it functioning. “Because our chief minister is a smoker and I have no power to stop him from smoking,” he said.
The question, which created furore recently in the opposition lobby is, “Is the chief minister above the law of the land?”
His sympathisers, who want Buddhadeb to continue as chief minister for his realistic approaches towards development, however, put up the same issue by asking, “Does he want to commit suicide?
Doesn’t he know that the World Health Organisation has already cautioned that in the 20th century, smoking killed 100 million people worldwide and in 21st century the number will cross one billion?”
Smoking nowadays is seen as not only a sin but also as an offence because it does not just cause harm to individual smokers. It is more harmful for the passive smokers. This substance abuse has social ramifications.
The effect of nicotine in first time or irregular users is an increase in alertness and memory, and mild euphoria. But it disturbs metabolism and suppresses appetite. This is because nicotine, like other stimulants, increases blood sugar levels. Medical researches have warned that chronic tobacco smoking can lead to lung cancer, emphysema, and cardiovascular disease like heart attack, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma and emphysema. The chances of cancer of the lung, larynx and tongue, are high. According to the Canadian Lung Association, tobacco kills more than the total number of deaths from AIDS, traffic accidents, suicide, murder, fires and accidental poisoning.
It is unbelievable that the chief minister of West Bengal does not know all these. His smoking might inspire others to break the law.
Surprisingly, the chief minister is not alone. The law is being flouted everyday by the state health minister Dr Suryakanta Mishra, who is primarily responsible for the launch of anti-smoking campaign.
The others in the row include power minister Mrinal Banerjee, water resource minister Nandagopal Bhattacharya, several other ministers, a good number of senior level officers and thousands of state government employees. In fact, while the state environment ministry has issued complete ban on selling tobacco products inside the state headquarters’ complex, it is found that individuals are selling those banned item secretly on the corridors and the ordinary staffs and visitors are smoking at their will.
Environment department has requested the PWD ministry to put up ‘No Smoking Zone Boards’ more in numbers in the government offices. Goswami, the PWD minister, said, “We can do that and will do but more important is to develop strong will power amongst the smokers. The chief minister should set an example.
January 31, 2008
NEW DELHI: Smokers beware! In an effort to make Delhi University smoke-free, police together with student volunteers will launch a drive against smoking on the campus and those caught red-handed will be penalised.?
University Vice Chancellor Deepak Pental, who was also present, extended support to the drive and asked the student leaders to also arrange counselling for smokers on the campus.
17 Jan 2008
performance in almost every health indicator.