Confession: I have been a fan of Salman Khan since my childhood – mostly because my sister loved Shah Rukh Khan and I relished the rivalry.
Through the years, I grew up on the cheap thrills of his films and claimed happily that I was a fan. It is not too difficult to love someone who doesn’t take himself too seriously and helps all the underdogs around with super heroic, gravity-defying powers. The fun lies in the irrational and brainless yet seemingly high on morality entertainment.
The problem every Salman fan faces is with his real life persona. Defending art (yes, I am being blasphemous enough to call his films art) is easy but how do you defend someone who is irrational, irresponsible, misogynist and treads the path that often lies on the other side of the law?
Here’s a look at five major things that have bugged me for long and made me finally give up on Salman Khan.
Salman and his girls: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Katrina Kaif, Sangeeta Bijlani... the list goes on. How am I supposed to defend a man who is a girlfriend-beater?
Salman and his tweets: Even if I manage to defend his English on Twitter, what explanation can I give when he supports a terrorist?
Salman and the hit-and-run: He was acquitted for the 2002 Mumbai case and walked free of being responsible for a man’s death at the wheels of his car. But, of man who ran away from the accident scene leaving the injured people to die, a man who seemingly coaxed his driver to take the blame – what clarification do I give on your behalf, bhai?
Salman and the lack of maturity: Every time a Salman Khan goof up is blown into a big controversy, his 80-year-old dad Salim Khan comes out and apologises. Not once has the man owned up to his mistakes and apologised. How is one okay with their father apologising to an entire nation repeatedly? How can I defend a 50-year-old who acts like he’s in his teens and is his parent’s worst nightmare?
Salman and his insensitivity: You reflected a misogynist culture when you compared a gruelling workout and film shooting session with the feeling of a ‘raped woman’. Right after the ‘joke’, Salman reportedly admitted he shouldn’t have said it (perhaps his idea of an apology). The statement is as much a reflection of a (sub) culture where rape jokes are apparently ‘cool’. But as Salman Khan, the star, you do not have the right to say such insensitive things. As a person first, to have thoughts that trivialise rape are appalling. There is no way I can defend that.
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