I’ll say it right off the bat, some people have all the luck in the universe and henceforth, Salman Khan should be used to connote that endorsement. Having being acquitted in 18-year long Chinkara poaching case, Bollywood’s over aged man-child who made career exhibiting his goon act both on and off screen is free again, and his fans are happier than ever. I don’t want to comment on the acuity of the decision, as doing so would implicate that firstly, I have something new to add on to the advancing debate and secondly, I’m using this space as a whetstone upon which to grind a very private axe. Both the hypothesis is null and void. However, I do have a bone or two to pick with the acquitted celebrity’s fandom, or might we say, his goon-dom?
Taking time out of hurling abuses at the only celebrity who dared to take a stand on Bhai’s preposterous rape comment, and refusing to believe that Sachin Kalbaug’s twitter feed might have mentioned their superstar in not (sic) all his colorful glory, legion of admirers rushed outside his place of residence in a bid to show love and solidarity for a man whose majority of life is narrative of criminal charges and getting rid of them; a man who has been acquitted of mowing down an homeless person, an insensitive brat who in an insouciant manner mocked the deep physical trauma and psychological scar of rape survivors by comparing it with his lifting of few dumb-bells. And to drive the knife in a little deeper, he arrogantly refused to apologize.
One cannot muster disregard for court’s ruling, because hello! contempt of court? But what we, as a society can and should do is to make someone accountable for the nonsense they spew on public forum. Alas! rather than making Salman eat his words, his fans ensured that his movie hordes another billion . So certainly, as a person who personally observes blanket ban on everything Salman, I can’t help but question the morality and humanity of all those millions who continue to idolize this misogynist enfant terrible. And of course, their collective IQ.
While we are on the business of demanding apologies, lets backtrack a little. Remember the time when a certain young comedian made a few seconds video that showed Sachin Tendulkar and Lata Mangeshkar (both played by the comedian himself) having an mock conversation and the outrage that it triggered? Suddenly everyone was crying foul; they couldn’t stress enough how dignity of women was being impaled under the guise of ‘tasteless’ humor. Apparently calling an artist old is so much worse than mocking the agony of rape survivors. I question the authority of those who were shouting in the news rooms, demanding FIRs and propositioning to investigate a larger conspiracy at play. I question the credibility of the Bollywood fraternity that just couldn’t come to terms with the ‘detestable’ words directed against a fellow celebrity.
The video was banned because, among other things, it insulted a woman. Why wasn’t Sultan, then, taken down after its actor made such an abominable comment? Why weren’t you, the aam junta on streets, threatening the over aged brat, promising to break his leg next time he came out? Oh, are we only bullying the innocents making a rather honest- free-of-erstwhile-homicide-and-physical-abuse- charges living ? My bad!
The popularity of Salman Khan is bad for the nation. The amount of regression he continues to vomit on our screens is alarming, outstripped only by the urgency through which his fans rush to validate that balderdash.
India suffers from vicious form of celebrity worship. Salman Khan’s existence all but confirms that. His fandom has ensured that nothing, and I mean, literally nothing could ever stop him from being their darling. They are more than willing to make excuses on behalf of his brassiness, his misdeeds. And lest someone comes in Bhai’s way, they’ll make sure to objectify the hell out of her. Because, you see, like celebrity, like fan!
So this goes out to all the fans out there – might they consider freeing that thumb from touching the nose – society takes a collective blow when it’s millions blindly follow a man whose life, as I said, is balance-sheet of serious allegations, acquitted or otherwise. You can do better than that.
Image source: http://www.biodiversityofindia.org