The Maharashtra State Commission for Women is analysing Salman Khan’s creepy rape remark. As if to suggest that by studying the grammar and syntax of the remark, it will somehow emerge that what he meant was something entirely different and respectful of women. Rishi Kapoor has a better explanation: he didn’t mean it. Which suggests that his remarks are infantile and that he, like a child, speaks without thinking. Poor old Anushka Sharma has had the nerve to say the remarks were insensitive ergo she should not be surprised to find that not too many are queuing up at the door to sign her on from now on.
I am surprised at all the surprise many are expressing at the man’s remark. It is perfectly in order with what he is all about. He runs over sleeping pavement dwellers killing one, oh it must be a mistake, he was not at the wheel at all. He shoots a black buck, but perhaps that was a figment of our imagination and it was not a buck but a ghostly shadow. He has a history of violence with women he has dated but like victims of the Stockholm syndrome, they find virtues in his misogyny.
He is a little hot tempered, he likes his women covered up, but all this detracts from the fact that he has a heart of gold, say the faithful. The truth is plain and simple. The superstar, for that is what he is and that is why many fear to take him on, is a nasty piece of works. His infamous grudges are quoted approvingly by his fans. His running feuds are projected as his strength of character, his principles if you will when they are actually tantrums and aggression because he can get away with this. When he appeared on a television show and quipped that he was a virgin, how the faithful roared with laughter at this sharp brand of humour.
The fact that he adores both his mother and stepmother are seen as sterling qualities of his respect for women. His generosity is legend, did he not splash out the budget of a small country on his sister’s wedding. And, he gives so much to charity but does not tell anyone. All this somehow gives him the right to mock women, beat women and intimidate people who cannot hit back like the hapless playback singer who is on his knees asking for the great man’s forgiveness.
And whenever Salman runs out of the wrong words to express his manifold sentiments, we have his father, a man with a felicity for words, rushing in to defend his son, firing verbiage in all directions at those who dare to suggest that his offspring is not all that kosher. So, let us not get all hot under the collar about this remark. It is not an aberration for the star, it is the norm. He knows he can say pretty much what he wants and he will get away with a little rap on the knuckles from afar from some, indulgence from his fraternity and approval from his fans.