By Daniyal Arif
The highlight of the week has been conviction of Salman Khan, the icon of Bollywood. The culpable homicide case that has been going on for the last thirteen years has finally come to a conclusion. The heart throb of the Bollywood industry has been sentenced to a five year imprisonment. This decision is as ironic as it is judicious. A person was killed when Salman Khan’s car slammed five people out of whom some recovered from their injuries whilst one embraced death. Thirteen years to get justice even after committing a clear cut homicide; the aggrieved party may have left the hope of getting justice from this rotten judicial system prevalent in the sub-continent. Even after the division of the sub-continent it’s hard to separate the roots of the prevalent system in both the countries.
The judgment has meaningful subliminal messages that elucidates if one looks at it closely. One that when it’s rich against the poor, there is little chance that justice will prevail. If it does, the crime has to be blatant for the court to stand the pressure. Still, it will take decades for the decision to arrive; ground reality may have altered so much so that even the investigating cops may have died meanwhile.
Secondly, the societal reaction to the judgment was worth noting. All the Khan fans, Bollywood community, and the populace in general came to Khans rescue with the notion of standing with the icon in his tough times. Khan was said to be pursuing some big budget movies as well, and that meant there would be huge loss to the industry in Salman Khan’s absence. Khan is a popular actor, and people admire him for his macho image. That being said, there isn’t any doubt about his popularity, likeability and the philanthropic cores that he performs for the betterment of the society.
In retrospect, the fact is he has been announced a murderer by the court due to which he has been given a five year imprisonment. I am astonished to see an absence of support for the victim’s family. In fact, the family lost a dear member of their family, and according to the courts findings, Khan’s negligence due to irresponsible driving under the influence of alcoholism led to the incident. It also needs to be noted that Khan has asserted in the court that his driver was on the driving seat. The claim was put down by the court.
Community vows to standby the Khan in the tough times. Why is the community silent on the fact that Salman is a murderer, and he has been rightly charged for his wrong doings? Maybe, the community still needs to digest that the law is the same for poor, rich and the famous and ineffective implementation of the law has brought the society to the verge of inhumanness.
I know it hurts to see a country’s icon before bars. But, it hurts more if the icon kills an innocent, and gets away because he is an icon. A better response would have been a soft corner for the Khan as well as satisfaction for witnessing justice because the world lost an innocent life, and every human life is equally sacred. Lack of support for the innocent slain and his family is an ironic picturesque of the world. People should be ashamed that they did not stand with the aggrieved because they were poor and represented a common man.