Be human, don't waste your sympathy on Salman Khan

  • Lalita Panicker, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: May 07, 2015 13:00 IST

Where is Maneka Gandhi when we need her? In his bid to be more loyal than the king, singer Abhijeet has come up with a novel exoneration of Salman Khan. If you sleep like a dog (on a footpath presumably), you will die like a dog, said the erudite playback artiste.

Apart for being an insult to dogs, the singer shows a brainless disregard for life altogether. Of course, there are other two-bit supporters who have chipped in with such gems like 'no one should sleep on the footpath'.

And this is good advice for the homeless since they cannot get a good night's sleep for fear that someone like our Bollywood bad boy turned Being Human might come racing along, tight as a kite, and glide over you.

It is no one's case that you don't sympathise with your friend in his hour of trouble. But given past experience, our all too human Khan has also been known to be quite a street corner bully when it comes to those who dare to oppose him.

He has been quick with his fists with his girlfriends, and not spared their later boyfriends like Vivek Oberoi. The latter's career went into a tailspin, coincidentally after he took on the Great Khan in an ill-timed press conference.

Bhai has a heart of gold, according to the great and good of Bollywood. But what about one word of sympathy for the person who lost his life and those who were injured on that fateful night nearly 13 years ago?

(Police officials escort Bollywood actor Salman Khan to a court in Mumbai. Khan was charged with killing one person and injuring four when his Toyota Land Cruiser crashed into a bakery in Bandra in 2002. (AFP file photo/Sebastian D'Souza)

Khan was able to work his way to the top all these years while we can't even remember the name of the poor victim.

The lament in Bollywood is that Khan and before him Sanjay Dutt are being targeted because they are celebrities. On the contrary, I would say that they have got far more sympathy than the average Joe for crimes committed. If you or I run over someone while under the influence, chances are that we would be cooling our heels in the clink with very little or no public sympathy.

I can't see anyone asking why the victim happened to be in a place where the car's wheels could crush him with such ease.

But then Bollywood and the ghastly Abhijeet are not alone. They have good company in our political class. We have one minister saying that farmers who commit suicide are cowards, we have another who says that the death of a molestation victim was an 'act of God'. Another who asks whether he should urinate into dams during a drought.

Why is it so difficult to keep your offensive opinions to yourself? Brevity is clearly not our strong point. It is highly unlikely that anyone asked Abhijeet his opinion on Khan or anything else for that matter. But, true to our penchant for verbosity, he has uttered his ugly words ensuring his 15 minutes of fame.

Who knows, when Khan gets over this strenuous ordeal, Abhijeet may be warbling away in the superstar's movies.

I can only hope that the canine remark reaches the ears of Maneka Gandhi. Then Abhijeet will be singing a different tune altogether.

(The views expressed by the writer are personal.)

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