By Chris Emmanuel D''Souza
May 10: The events that unfolded in the last few days have exposed the age old vices tormenting our country – Favoritism and Nepotism. It has been a disgrace and a mockery to the rule of law in India, as the world carefully observed and laughed at the emerging Super Power. One tweet read, "If Hitler had appealed to the Bombay High Court, he would have been a free man, free of all charges".
In a nutshell, Salman Khan’s verdict says it all about the Indian system, the rich and powerful can get away from anything. It’s not just the judiciary unveiling its impotency and its vulnerability to political pressure that has set the mighty egomaniac star free once again; but also the stars deranged fanbase, that jumped, danced and wildly rejoiced in the streets distributing sweets and exploding crackers, once the final verdict was announced. They would eat grass, but wouldn’t ingest their heroes being convicted of wrong.
For those fans and Bollywood celebrities who adore and revere the highly advertised "Being Human" image of the Star, you need to be extremely cautious of the fact, if you dare turn against him, your Idol can ruin your life forever, as he did to constable Ravindra Patil, the prime witness in the hit and run case. His admirers also need to remember, that after that horrendous accident, the drunken superstar had fled from the spot straight to his mansion. Humanity is far from being human, one has to be humane and compassionate, the word "Human" is just a noun, and Salman is just endorsing an apparel brand. And for the enormous charitable work, for which the Mega Star has been hyperbolized by his fans; under the legal framework, even Mother Teresa could have been jailed, if convicted of ‘rash driving’ and ‘culpable homicide’.
The episode also unmasked Bollywood’s hubris, arrogance and the fanciful planet in which it dwells, totally confused between the Reel and the real world. One can get glimpses of such mindset, going by the remarks made by playback singer Abhijith and Salman’s cousin Farah Khan Ali. The Mumbai film industry works on a cartel system, as one film dynasty fosters, shelters and guards the other, and thus the combination of handful families, have successfully monopolized the silverscreen for ages. Before watching Khan’s movies, one has to be a devotee and afanatical admirer of the actor. He also needs to keep his brain in the refrigerator. The twenty five years of Salman Khan’s era in the industry, has yielded mediocrity, stereotyping and hero worship. It’s the outpour of crowds that barge into his Friday releases that has kept the haughty Super star firmly in the limelight; mounting exorbitant profits for the producers, making him the most bankable star in the industry.
The hit and run case that has been haunting the super star and his fans for thirteen years, could have been wound up a decade ago. All that Khan had to do was, respect the rule of law and the sentence; eminent lawyers and their lies and masochism may have relieved the star for a while, but dagger keeps hanging. The most brightening aspect in this resentful episode, is the large heartedness displayed by the Victims family. They appeared on television grieving, and pleaded the superstar for some paltry compensation, if at all "Being Human" is generous enough to lend. A contradicting feature of Indian society, the loud and the imperious rich and benignant and humble poor. One can find the kind of compassion from the pavement dwellers that is vacant in occupiers’ of mansions.
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