Panaji, Aug 7 The shocking image of a Class 6 boy shaking the contents of a gutka (tobacco-laced areca nut pieces) pouch into his mouth was one of the reasons prompted Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar to quit his own gutka-eating habit.
Parrikar made the confession during zero hour Tuesday when he also assured the Goa assembly that the government was looking at legal options to stop the manufacturers of ‘Goa gutka’ a leading gutka manufacturer, to stop using the name of the state on his sachets.
“I used to have gutka. But I was also instrumental for banning it. I banned after I gave up the habit. It was necessary,” Parrikar said, in a candid confession.
“In 2003, I was attending a school function, when I saw a Class 6 boy opening a pouch of gutka right before my eyes and pouring the contents in his mouth. I slapped him. I was shocked and realised that something had to be done about it,” said Parrikar, candidly adding that he too was hooked to the addictive areca nut-tobacco combo.
“One day before I banned gutka later on, I myself decided to quit the habit,” he said, recounting his decision taken, during his first stint as chief minister from 2000 to 2005.
Parrikar also said that the government would consult with the advocate general to come up with legal ways to ensure that gutka brands do not use ‘Goa’ to promote the already banned product.
Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt and Bhojpuri actor Ravi Kishen star in a television commercial featuring ‘Goa gutka’, which is sold across western India.