Today, while browsing through my Facebook feed, I saw a post with pictures of Salman Khan. He was crying at one of the Bollywood personality’s prayer meet. I’m not into celebrity news as such, still, intrigued I was in this case, I clicked on the post anyways. There I found the comment section filled with words of appreciation for Salman Khan. “Sensitive Salman”, “Kind hearted Salman”, “Such a big heart he has, he broke down and has tears in his eyes”
There were all kinds of metaphors being used for this apparently magnanimous thing that Salman Khan had done – that is crying for someone he knew. Someone who’d passed away. For this ‘apparently‘ large-hearted deed, he was being made an example that one shone follow, an example of morals, the one who has a big heart, who cared for others, loved others without any selfishness. “Respect” – I remember was used multiple times for him, in the few comments that I scanned.
Now look at some of the facts about Salman Khan
- He was till last year was being tried for driving over and killing a man [culpable to homicide]. (he was recently acquitted of all the charges but only after a few key witness disappeared or backtracked.)
- He was sentenced to one year prison in a blackbuck hunting case. [he never served, and escaped this too]
- Connected to the above, a case is still pending against him for the possession of illegal arms.
- He openly remarked about 26/11 attacks on India saying that Pakistan wasn’t involved in that attack. And that this case is getting attention because it was an attack on a 5-star hotel. And such attacks are a common thing in India, which keeps on happening now and then.
- He once tweeted in support of 1993 bomb blast accuse Yakub Menon. [A terrorist who was executed last year for the same]
- Many co-actors have claimed threats received from Salman Khan. He has been often found involved in brawls, sometimes his bodyguards beating fans and reporters to pulp.
If anyone of us, the common men, were faced with even 50% of such cases, we would have been serving a long time in prison. Still, Salman Khan isn’t serving. And in spite of the fact he has actually killed a man, given threats to his co-stars, killed an animal of rare species, was found in possession of illegal arms -he still has a large heart, and he cares for everyone.
While going through the feed there was one comment that particularly attracted my attention.
Rude face but see the kind heart,hey guys ts s (this is) an gud example for all /boys/men’s v are show anger som times but inside v r sweet ,soft heart personality’s,respect nd tkcre of men’s ,,,,Mr ladies/girl
[paraphrasing above] ……Rude face but see the kind heart. Hey, guys, this is a good example for all boys/men. We show anger sometimes. But inside we are sweet, soft heart personality. Respect and take care of Men…Mr. Ladies/Girl
This comment made me stop and think about the motivation behind the people who are praising Salman Khan.
Do we see a Salman Khan in ourselves when we lose our temper in a moment of fury, and abuse the car driver who just overtook us? Do we see a Salman Khan in ourselves when we race our cars on the highways during night time thinking nobody will catch us? Do we see a Salman Khan in ourselves when we drink and drive, in spite of knowing that it is illegal, in spite of knowing that it can be potentially dangerous to us, and to the others? Do we see a Salman Khan when we share unverified posts on Facebook without knowing the actual facts, without verifying them even once?
Do we see a Salman Khan when we get a thrill by by-passing the laws, thinking we would escape like everyone does, in the end?
May be we do, even if sub-consciously, and therefore we keep on loving and respecting a man who has time and again proven not worthy of that.
One more Salman Khan movie released recently. One more time his movie has broken box office records. One more time he has made his fan happier, his producers and himself richer. And one more time the heart of that son has cried who saw his father sleep on one ordinary night, only to realise in the morning that he’ll never wake up again.
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Also published on Medium.