India’s tobacco control regulations and laws are regarded as leading globally with many  initiative methods of tobacco control. With the growing evidence of harmful and hazardous effects of tobacco, the Government of India enacted various legislations and comprehensive tobacco control measures.

The Government enacted the Cigarettes Act (Regulation of Production, Supply and Distribution) in 1975. The statutory warning “cigarette smoking is injurious to health” was mandatorily displayed on all cigarette packages, cartons and advertisements of cigarettes. Some states like Maharashtra and Karnataka restricted smoking in public places. In the case of Maharashtra, specification of the size of boards in English and Marathi were prescribed, declaring certain premises as smokefree. Tobacco smoking was prohibited in all health care establishments, educational institutions, domestic flights, air-conditioned coaches in trains, suburban trains and air-conditioned buses, through a Memorandum issued by the Cabinet Secretariat in 1990. Since these were mainly Government or administrative orders, they lacked the power of a legal instrument. Without clear enforcement guidelines and awareness of the citizens to their right to smoke-free air, the implementation of this directive remained largely ineffective.


Youth led anti tobacco campaign. (The Gradian, 2011)

Under the Chairmanship of Shri Amal Datta, the Committee on Subordinate Legislation in November 1995 recommended to the Ministry of Health to enact legislation to protect non-smokers from second hand smoke. In addition, the committee recommended stronger warnings for tobacco users, stricter regulation of the electronic media and creating mass awareness programmes to warn people about the harms of tobacco. In a way, this Committee’s recommendation laid the foundation of developing the existing tobacco control legislation in the country.


Map depicting the different amounts of smokers per state. (The Indian Government, 2010)

Between 1997 and 2001, several litigations were filed for individual’s right to smoke-free air and five states responding with smoke-free and tobacco control legislations, clearly gave the signal for the Government of India to propose a comprehensive law for tobacco control. The Government enacted the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act (COTPA), in 2003. The provisions under the act included prohibition of smoking in public places, prohibition of advertisements of tobacco products, prohibition on sale of tobacco products to and by minors (persons below 18 years), ban on sale of tobacco products within 100 yards of all educational institutions and mandatory display of pictorial health warnings on tobacco products packages. The law also mandates testing all tobacco products for their tar and nicotine content. Although the Rules pertaining to various provisions under the law were notified during 2004 to 2006, there were many legal challenges which the Government had to face in view of the tobacco industry countering most of these Rules in the court of law.


(The Indian government campaign, 2012)

India has often been credited for their targeted tobacco control at youth. When smoking is seen on either television or a movie screen, the law states that an anti tobacco slogan must be displayed at the bottom of the screen. It reads: ‘ smoking causes cancer and can lead to death. No actor on this screen supports or endorses smoking.’ This is only the tip of the iceberg of what the tobacco control is trying to achieve in tagging youth. Programs are run mandatory in schools, educating children in the risks of smoking. This method of having text to discourage the ‘cool’ fracture of smoking is a system that is focused on the youth and is successfully informing the society in a widely accessible and consumed medium – film and television. This anti-smoking control methods for a developing country, is seeing India at the forefront of control in Asia and globally recognisable for their initiative methods, especially at their youth focus targeting.



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Screenshot 2017-12-31 04.15.10Indonesia is a country with a long history and a rich and vibrant culture. In more recent times, it has seen the country gaining independence from a colonial past. This has seen a new cultural identity emerging, negotiating between a traditional old heritage and a developing global country.

However, this rapidly changing country is not without its battles, facing challenges such has corruption, poverty and natural disasters.

In 2010, Taring Padi, a political art collective from Yogyakarta, Central Java joined the people of Sidoarjo fora four-day collaborative project. Known as “Reflection in the Mud,” this project focused on reviving the collective memory of the Sidoarjo community. In 2006, a large-scale mudflow eruption was caused by a technical error during an oil exploration in the Sidoarjo District of the East Java province of Indonesia. The mudflow spread widely, encompassing 12 villages and forcing around 40,000 people to relocate. The mudflow is still spreading, and will continue to do so for the next 30 years.

sidoarjo-mud-flow-6[2](Taring Padi Collective, 2011)

figure 1 taring padi lapindo

(Taring Padi Collective, 2010)

Angry at the displacement and destruction of their homes and lives, the inherent corruption and  lack of government support, Taring Padi invited participants to communicate their feelings about the loss and sorrow caused by the Lapindo disaster while encouraging individuals not to dwell on their pain but rather to continue the fight for their rights. With the growth of a collective memory, Taring Padi hoped that cultural ties would be reinforced, breaking down tension that had grown amongst victims. The development of a collective memory was intended to not only reinforce solidarity between victims but also to serve as a statement to the public that similar incidents cannot happen again.

Carrying the puppets, banners, and masks over the mud, these objects were intended to symbolise the oppressors who had robbed residents of their livelihoods, voices, and histories. This parade ended with a carnival and concert where citizens and artists alike sang together, expressing their discontent and continued concerns for the future of those affected by disaster and corruption.


(Shari, 2011)

The style that the posters used gave rise to a new type of art that referenced comic style. They like comic books where allegorical, telling the story of the Sidoarjo community.


(Sinaga, 2010)


(Sinaga, 2010)

Taring Padi’s work with the community of Sidoarjo is exemplary of this group’s engagement with local communities in Indonesia and abroad. Artist Dolorosa Sinaga describes the emergence of Taring Padi in December 1998, shortly after the fall of Suharto’s oppressive 32-year New Order regime stating,

“Through art, they began building an understanding amongst the people to fight against injustice, helping to forge a community aware of environmental, social, political and cultural issues, inviting the community to be active and courageous in voicing their real life experiences and their opinions on the performance of government.”(Sinaga, 2012)

With a desire to continue the fight of the student movement, which had played a key part in the demise of the New Order, the founders of Taring Padi set forth with a goal: to create art that would both help to educate and give voice to marginalised communities. Work created by Taring Padi never holds the signature of a single artist but rather is the product of the collective and the communities they work with. While the production of art is a significant aspect of their work, the process of communication and collaboration is held superior to the production of objects. This type of art practice can, in part, be seen as a type of “social practice” or “socially engaged” art.

This is a subcultural movement motivated against corruption and injustice. This collective has through their art has brought attention to flighting injustice that the country locally, nationally and humanity globally.

This collective has continued make art that bring awareness to social issues that face Indonesia.


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Bishop, C .2006. “The Social Turn: Collaboration and its Discontents.” Artforum 176-83.

Kester, G. 2004.Conversation Pieces: Community and Communication in Modern Art. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Kuss, A. 2000. “Proximity and Distance – The Field of Tension Between Individual and Society. In AWAS!: Recent Art from Indonesia, edited by Alexandra Kuss, Damon Moon, Mella Jaarsma, Midori Hirota, and Nele Wasmuth, 25-40. Yogyakarta; The Cemeti Art Foundation.

McMichael, H. 2009. “The Lapindo Mudflow Disaster: Environmental, Infrastructure and Economic Impact.” Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies 45: 73-83.