“Should the Health Minister have gone ahead and made the statement that ‘Ok, go ahead and drink, it is good for health’”, questions Gul Panag in a mocking tone. Reason? She is amused by the news floating around the town regarding a proposed ban on on-screen drinking by the Health Minister.
“Has he floated a press release stating that Health Ministry is seriously contemplating an action in this direction? So often words are quoted out of context. I am sure these remarks too were made in a different context and they were probably in response to a cleverly worded question. It’s all hilarious because I sincerely believe that they are being quoted out of context to create controversy.”
While majority of industry is coming forward and reacting to Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss’ supposed proposal, Gul refuses to bite the bait.
“But it’s all so hypothetical”, defends Gul, “You are in a public gathering and some reporter asks you a question on what he thinks about stars drinking on screen. Of course as a Health Minister, you can’t turn away from a question like this and are required to talk about its ill effects.”
“If tomorrow someone asks me a question around Sanjay Dutt and Maanyata marriage, even I would say that they should abide by law. It’s a different matter that my quote may appear in a different context altogether”, reasons Gul who would soon be seen in Summer of 2007, “I don’t see Ramadoss or for that matter any other democratic MP at his position making a blanket statement in a public gathering without any rhyme or reason.”
Does this mean that she confident that it is an out of context controversy which is being created? “I am 100% confident about it. I don’t think he has time to take on Shah Rukh Khan. Everyone is busy in their lives and I know for sure that no one wants unpleasantness. This is why I refuse to give credence to such statements.”
In any case what is her take on drinking? What does she personally feel about drinking?
“Come on, we are all grown ups”, says Gul, “People can do what they want and in a democratic country like ours, I don’t see someone stopping me from doing what I want. As long as I am drinking in my close circle and neither endangering public property nor driving on the road and killing people, it is all fine.”