On a drunken night behind the wheel of a car, had Bollywood superstar Salman Khan mowed down a fellow Bollywood superstar, would there have been any debate on the quantum of punishment that the actor deserved? Or for that matter, would there have been any debate on whether he deserved to be punished at all?
If the victim had been somebody other than a faceless, impoverished pavement dweller, would there have been a teeny weeny bit more sympathy for the family of the deceased and not merely the family of Salman Khan?
Would the view that the judiciary had handed Salman Khan an exemplary sentence because of his celebrity status have been trotted out if he had killed another Bollywood star?
I can quite think of a word that means the opposite of exemplary, but that just the sort of word I would use for Bollywood today.
There are many things that I have grown to admire about Bollywood. I admire some of the excellent films that have been produced by the Hindi film industry. I admire Bollywood contribution to public relations ?Hindi films are a hit in a diverse range of countries from Russia to Turkey.
But on Wednesday morning, I cringed with disgust as I saw Bollywood come out in full strength to support Salman Khan. There was an outpouring of sadness over Khan conviction, with not a word of sympathy for the kith and kin of the man who died on the city pavements.
It was almost as if Khan had been convicted for swatting a fly. Those who fit snugly into their Being Human T-shirts seemed to have forgotten that a man who dirt poor and sleeps on a pavement still qualifies as a human being.
While many in Bollywood merely ignored the existence of the pavement dweller who was killed, the award for the most cringe worthy comment would have to go to playback singer Abhijeet, who had this to say on Twitter: 淜utta rd pe soyega kutte ki maut marega, roads garib ke baap ki nahi hai I ws homles an year nvr slept on rd.?br> Loosely translated, he feels that if a dog sleeps on the streets, he should die like a dog. He goes on to say that the roads aren a poor man father property, adding that, though he, too, was homeless for a year, he never slept on the streets.
The tweet says much about the playback singer views on animals and people. While he has rather strong views on people sleeping on pavements, he seems to have no problem with people driving on them.
fter watching Dabang, I actually thought the deceased man will be convicted for sleeping on the pavement instead,?she a twitter handle called @ammarawrites in a satirical swipe at Khan.
Barring a few rare birds like Abhijeet, the deceased man was all but forgotten by the film industry.
BeingSalmanKhan is a man who has always helped d underprivileged! A man who has done so much humanitarian work. Prayers for a fair judgement,?says Bipasha Basu. I can quite understand what 渄oing a lot for the underprivileged?has to do with being convicted for running over an underprivileged man. Are there so many underprivileged people in India that it doesn matter if you kill a few here and there?
While many prefixed their sympathy with a line on how they respected the court verdict, some actors like Arjun Kapoor, didn deem fit to do so. t doesn matter what anyone or any court says he doesn deserve this at any levelill stand by @BeingSalmanKhan no matter what︹€?says Kapoor, clearly an expert in the law.
t hurts when your own are punished, even if they are in the wrong. We love you and are standing by you,?says actor Alia Bhatt.