My friend and I were driving home after a late night gig, the car was moving at a speed of about 60kms/hr, quite surprising for Bombay even at odd hours. Suddenly my friend screeched his car to a halt. He rolled down his windows and shrieked in anger and drove off. Hell! What happened there?
The stretch at Juhu Versova link road has a divider, where people sleep, a hand came right on to the car, my friend managed to just brake in time, had he not been able to do so, that man would have lost his arm. This brings me to a question, would we have been crucified too? We did not run the car on the pavements, neither was we driving too fast nor was we drunk but knowing how this system works, I know for sure we would have been labelled criminals for ruining that man’s life.
Before all of you jump to conclusions, I do not intend to say that a person sleeping on the road has no right to live. He for sure is not there by choice. It is our system and its regressive policies that make thousands such people to live on the streets. All our governments, including the much famed AAP come out on the streets during winters to provide temporary shelters to such less unfortunate ones. But rarely have they tried finding a permanent solution.
That debate though is for another day. Today it is about ‘Salman Khan’ and his hit and run accident. For the last one week till the man walked out on bail, everyone except his fans was ready to crucify the man. For once Salman Khan did feel the jitters, his pale expressions in the morning said it all. The prospect of going to jail for a crime he had not committed started to take a toll on him.
Yes! I truly believe that ‘Salman’ has paid the price of being a celebrity here. One might argue that had he not been a star, the case would have been well and truly over by now. There were several theories on the social media forum that ‘because he was a celebrity with powers, had close connections with politicians that matter, he walked out on bail even after being convicted’.
Let us get this straight, all of us who have crossed paths with the legal system, would know that cases linger on for many years, whether one is a celebrity or not. In fact days after that famous Salman Khan incident, a HSBC bank vice-president ran over people on the streets of Mumbai, and only a case of hit and run was registered. Then why was he charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder?
There were murmurs then that ‘Salman Khan was nailed by a mighty politician because he did not adhere to his demands’. Now let us look at the case from this angle. Ravindra Patil was a police constable answerable to his seniors and not to the truth. Don’t we know how easy it is to manipulate below the line workers of a system? Why don’t we accept this logic? We have conveniently chosen to believe that ‘everyone was saying the truth and Salman Khan was the accused’. I continue though not to buy that theory.
Perhaps it was his reputation of being arrogant, a woman beater, someone who had killed a black buck (again not proved) that did him in. If that indeed is the parameter of judging him, then why have we conveniently ignored the good he has done for the society? No! I am not talking about ‘Being Human’. Even before that came into existence, he was someone who did innumerable charities to different organisations in the city.
Now let us get into the merits of this case. Why did the prosecution not question ‘Kamaal Khan’ during their arguments? Was it done by design? Who was the government fighting for? Was it justice or against Salman Khan? If Ravindra Patil truly was honest, why did he give a different version to a newspaper later? Why don’t we believe that ‘earlier he did it under the pressure of the government and later spoke the truth’? Unfortunately for fans like us that truth died with him.
It is being said that on that fateful night ‘he was drunk, did not have a driving license and ran away from the scene’. Well! All this holds true only if he was the man behind the wheels. You don’t need a license if you are not driving, you can be drunk as much as you can if you are not driving, and as far as running away from the scene, his people were around to take the victims to the hospital.
Lately the manner in which he got bail was questioned too. Well! The loopholes are there for everyone. His lawyers were smart enough to use it, how on earth does that make Salman Khan wrong? If his being a celebrity angers you, then again that isn’t his fault. If the disparity hurts, that too unfortunately is the system’s fault. Had you been in his place and had the clout, the manner of the bail surely must have been the same.
Before I rest my arguments, let us remember the comparative theory that works today. We had one celebrity who was anti national, we had one who killed someone because he wasn’t given a drink and we have one who was not even questioned by the society, only because he shares his surname with the numero Uno industrialist of this country. And then there is Salman Khan who was not even driving the car.