Sarath Kumar supports Vijay's Sarkar
Sarath Kumar has slammed the media for focusing on the smoking scene in Vijay's Sarkar while ignoring serious issues for debating.PR Handout

Tamil actor-turned-politician Sarath Kumar has expressed his ire over the TV channels holding debates on 'smoking scenes in movies'. After the release of the first look of Thalapathy Vijay's Sarkar, PMK founder Anbumani Ramadoss slammed it as the lead actor Vijay posed smoking a cigarette. He said it promoted smoking and a similar stand was taken by the Tamil Nadu People's Forum for Tobacco Control. The Tamil TV channels picked this issue and starting holding debates on smoking scenes in movies and their impact.

Addressing a press meet on Sunday, Sarath Kumar said the media should be responsible and take up serious issues instead of having debates on smoking scenes in movies. The movies are a work of fiction and the media should concentrate on serious issues bothering the people, he added.

Sarath Kumar pointed out that India has been ranked the most dangerous country in the world for women and the media is wasting time debating smoking scenes in films.

When asked if he was endorsing smoking scenes, Sarath Kumar replied, "I am 63 years old. Nobody can keep a cigarette in my mouth nor make me drink."

On a related note, his daughter Varalaxmi Sarathkumar plays one of the female leads in Sarkar.

Earlier, Anbumani Ramadoss took to Twitter and said: "You'll look more stylish without that cigarette. #SmokingKills #SmokingCausesCancer. [sic]"Anbumani Ramadoss tweeted. He further added, "Shame on Actor Vijay for promoting Smoking in this first look of his next movie. #ActResponsibly #DoNotPromoteSmoking. [sic]"

Later, the Tamil Nadu People's Forum for Tobacco Control condemned the scene and an advocate filed a case against Vijay and AR Murugadoss stating that such scenes have a negative impact on the society.

Sarkar will release for Diwali. The Sun Pictures-produced film has Keerthy Suresh romancing Thalapathy on-screen.