Salman Khan verdict: For or against, does it matter?

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Updated: May 20, 2015, 18:09 PM IST

On May 6, some took the judge's chair while others turned into lawyers shortly after a sessions court in Mumbai pronounced its verdict against Bollywood superstar Salman Khan in the 2002 hit-and-run case.

Apparently, everyone became judgemental and over-reacted when the 'Dabangg' star was convicted and sentenced to five years in jail in the 13-year-old case.

Social media obsession took to new heights when posts defending the actor started trending and kept pouring in from all over.

The frenzied followers of the superstar, it appeared, virtually overlooked the fact that Salman Khan is a culprit, charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder and that none is above law.

Salman's fans should understand that even a magnanimous star like him cannot evade law. To put it in plain words - as you sow, so shall you reap.

How many of us remember that one of the five who came under the wheels of Salman's SUV succumbed to his injuries later and the other victims have led a miserable life thereafter.

In the last 12-13 years, we all have seen Salman Khan achieving super stardom and becoming one of India's most bankable movie stars, but ironically how many bothered to know what happened to those who survived the fatal accident.

The actor's humanitarian acts cannot compensate for the tragic loss of a precious life in the deadly accident. And the judiciary has seen to it that justice is served - though late.

Even if sent to jail, Khan will be out after five years and can still manage to live a lavish life. But will anything change in the poverty-ridden lives of the victims and the kin of man who died in the accident? Possibly no.

Apart from his supporters, there is another set of sadists who do not actually care about the law or whether 'Bhaijaan' goes to jail. So I have noticed, Twitter was flooded with jokes on the analog between Salman's movie dialogues and the real legal woes.

Now, that's being insensitive. One such example from the number of tweets which trolled happens to be from Salman's movie,`Bodyguard`- `Mujhpe ek ehsaan karna, ki mujhpe koi ehsaan na karna`.

I am just letting out my disbelief over the ridiculous banter in terms of the tweets that support him.

So, shall I assume that if someone kills a member of your family, but does a lot of charity work and has paid a heavy compensation, is it okay for him to not go to jail?

This is not the first time that a hit-and-run case was heard in the court. Are we then saying that all those who have been serving jail term for running over a fellow human beings in an inebriated state or by accident are either not charitable enough or shouldn't be facing jail term.

An accident is an accident. And taking away a precious life due to irresponsible conduct is a crime enough.

I am not against Salman Khan. He might be a gem of a person and a great charitable man. I have no doubts about it. But Bollywood and his fans – please admit it - he is proven guilty and is convicted of a crime that he has done.

But my point here is directed towards the illogical reasoning and the aggressive support pouring in for the star post verdict.

And the law.... Well he was convicted around 2 pm and granted interim bail just a few hours after that. More laughs and jokes followed in social media over the pace of the judiciary in his case.

The majority of Twitter and Facebook posts, right from industry buddies to general fans - all pointed towards the solidarity that bound them to the superstar.

The bloodbath that ensued on Twitter with reactions and counter-reactions on the verdict was worth a read. The lame tweets (from fans) to illogical comparison ( Farah Khan Ali's ) and the insulting tweet by singer Abhijeet that compared the dead victim to a roadside dog - shows the influence these celebrities have on our lives.

How much worse can it get?

Would the same fallible beings have stood by him, if in the place of a nameless victim, his car would have run over a fellow star or an influential person. Does it make any sense to debate over the quantum of punishment that he has been given? The well-wishers want his jail term to be reduced. After 13 years of court proceedings, a five year jail term is less? (or are you saying that as an explanation)

Talk about hypocrisy. If the judgement would have been in favour of the star, then there might have been a different row that the Indian judiciary has made a mockery of the poor victims and how it is biased towards superstars and so on.

But I wonder how the scenario would have turned out to be if his car would have mowed down another fellow celebrity.

Who is responsible for all the chaos?

All of us, and mainly, the super stardom of Salman Khan. Some fans praying for a miracle that he will be let off for a crime that he committed just because he is a superstar, was more than I could take.

My Twitter and Facebook timeline were flooded with some hilarious tweets and posts describing the softer side of the actor and how good a person he is, how has he changed many lives and how he deserves not to be punished. I am just disgusted over the outcry over how people are fasting and supporting his family and his actions.

Salman Khan is a superstar off-screen, too. And his star status has made his fans believe that he cannot do wrong outside the silver-screen. But the fact remains that if we want justice and law to take its due course in our country, we better respect this judgement with open eyes.

 

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