Salman Khan’s conviction in blackbuck poaching case exposed Bollywood as one big ugly family that loves to hide its skeletons even when it’s hanging out in the open. Yes, we are talking about the unconditional support of Bollywood stars for a convicted criminal.
Soon after the verdict, Rajya Sabha MP Jaya Bachchan expressed her anguish by commenting:
“I feel bad. He should be given relief. He has done a lot of humanitarian work,”
With pictures and merchandise for sale in the name of charity, the crimes of killing humans or blackbucks become inconsequential. However, in the line of ‘well-wishers’, she is not the only one to express ‘shock’ or ‘sadness’ over the conviction of a criminal. The others joined the bandwagon soon. Here are some of the messages:
Such outdated archaic laws in India that really need to be changed! Parts of our legal system needs a revisit! Any1 can file a case on anyone! One court says not guilty other says guilty! People thrown from court to court! @BeingSalmanKhan doesn’t deserve this at all! Ridiculous
— Raj Kundra (@TheRajKundra) April 5, 2018
I am extremely shocked to hear @BeingSalmanKhan being convicted by session court but also having full trust in indian judiciary which has many other doors to appeal for final justice whatsoever. Since He is most loved person by industry N people for his human reasons too.
— Subhash Ghai (@SubhashGhai1) April 5, 2018
The law takes its course. Can’t argue it. But at this point in time I just feel helpless and my heart goes out to @BeingSalmanKhan and his family. Reason, cause the last thing @BeingSalmanKhan is, is a criminal.I feel this is too harsh. I do hope he gets the relief he deserves.
— arjun rampal (@rampalarjun) April 5, 2018
If you are shocked to experience the hypocrisy of Bollywood stars, let’s jog your memory by taking you back few years, during the initial conviction of Salman Khan in 2002 hit-and-run case. Some of the biggest names of Bollywood came forward with their unreserved support and love while describing the ‘great’ nature of B-Town’s “Bhai”. Here are some of the tweets:
It doesn’t matter what anyone or any court says he doesn’t deserve this at any level…will stand by @BeingSalmanKhan no matter what…
— Arjun Kapoor (@arjunk26) May 6, 2015
@BeingSalmanKhan is the nicest human being in this business. Wish all our Prayers and love help him in this difficult time. Deeply saddened.
— Bipasha Basu (@bipsluvurself) May 6, 2015
Today I wish he wasn’t a superstar. Prejudice. @BeingSalmanKhan
— Pulkit Samrat (@PulkitSamrat) May 6, 2015
Heart breaking!! Stay strong @beingsalmankhan Feeling really sad, May god give you and your family a lot of strength.
— Yo Yo Honey Singh (@asliyoyo) May 6, 2015
I can only respond emotionally just now…my thoughts and prayers are with Salman and his family today….I wish them strength….
— Karan Johar (@karanjohar) May 6, 2015
That case ended with gross mockery of justice when Salman’s driver was convicted instead of him and the recent blackbuck case is going on the same path with the first step being his bail.
It’s not only Salman Khan to whom the celebrities came out supporting and normalizing the crimes. Another significant mention is Sanjay Dutt. He was sentenced to five years in prison for possession of an AK-56 rifle and his connection with the 1993 Mumbai blasts. Guess how the Bollywood biggies reacted? By sharing their ‘sadness’ and how he ‘doesn’t’ deserve it. Here is what the celebrities shared on their social media:
I am truly shattered to hear of Sanju’s sentence…the nicest guy i have known just doesnt deserve this…my heart goes out to him….
— Karan Johar (@karanjohar) March 21, 2013
I stand with @duttsanjay , always will. He’s my brother. He made mistakes, but he’s served more than his time, in terms of mental stress.
— VISHAL DADLANI (@VishalDadlani) March 21, 2013
Heart Broken: Just heard that Sanjay Dutt has to go to jail for 5 years. I expected mercy! Alas it did not happen.
— Mahesh Bhatt (@MaheshNBhatt) March 21, 2013
I am numb, I don’t know what to say. Sanjay Dutt is not a criminal. This is too harsh a decision.
— Arshad Warsi (@ArshadWarsi) March 21, 2013
the ’93 blast case should NOT be made about Sanjay Dutt.The Real planners are sitting safely in Pakistan like Osama Bin Laden was.
— kunal kohli (@kunalkohli) March 21, 2013
Though not grave as murder or connection with terrorism, Bollywood dutifully stood behind Shah Rukh Khan when he thrashed a guard at Wankhede stadium and the crime was proven. Here is what they shared:
“Kahaani” director Sujoy Ghosh said,”Read about the SRK incident. I think @iamsrk was very decent about the whole thing. I’d have ripped their heads off if it was my daughter (sic).”
Director Anurag Basu commented, “SRK’s behaviour is completely justified, I’d have smashed their heads if it was my daughter.”
Vishal Dadlani tweeted, “Straight up. Touch my family, I destroy you. No question. SRK was right.”
“I’ve got first hand reports of the fracas with @iamsrk. His daughter was touched and shoved. He protected. Well done Dad!! At Wankhede, SRK was a father, not just an actor… Please don’t expect a father to apologise for protecting his baby.. Satyamev Jayate (sic),” Tweet by Ronit Roy.
Undoubtedly, there is an abundant crisis of consciousness in Bollywood that never fails to overlook even the gravest of the crimes and normalize the criminals.
It also raises a big question about the fans – who are commoners. Can’t we take a look and introspect before painting a celebrity as saint or sinner? It’s also our madness to mingle the line between reel and real that acts as the source of power for celebrities and their normalization of crime. The judiciary’s favor for the rich and power-packed community of the B-Town comes from the power we provide to them with our desire to live vicariously.
With the recent Salman Khan conviction, the ‘overwhelming grief’ of the fans again proved that it is us who give them the power to mould and use judiciary. It’s because either we gobble up everything they throw at us or refuse to acknowledge them as anything beyond the negative stereotypes associated with their stardom. Here are some of the instances:
From one hand-
Some must be eating chicken
Some must be eating muttion
Some must be eating fish
Some must be eating beef
And from another hand with their mobile phones they are tweeting “omg Salman khan killed blackbuck, he’s animal killer ”
— amir khan (@amirkha03427641) April 6, 2018
#SalmanBailOrJail he should get bailed ASap dis bishnoi community k khilaaf 100 cases hai wahi jodhpur court rape , murder and loot k and these bastards r giving death class to salman’s lawyers #WeLoveYouSalmanKhan #BlackBuckPoachingCase
— #WeSupportSalmanKhan (@TheDevilShahbaz) April 6, 2018
Although #SalmanKhan is falsely made victim but Just Show me another Poaching case where Victim gets 5 Yrs Jail.#WeLoveYouSalmanKhan #BlackBuckPaochingCase #SalmanConvicted #SalmanKhanConvicted #SalmanVerdict #Blackbuck #BlackbuckPoaching #BeingHuman #Jail #IStandWithSalmanKhan pic.twitter.com/L8y2x3jWhd
— Race 3 (@TeamSalman) April 5, 2018
He’s a fighter. Don’t need any support back from any1 whom he supported. Nor he need sympathy. He knows that his family and fans are strongly supporting him. His attitude speaks for him. Like a boss. pic.twitter.com/lpxr8zUyZo
— सिकंदर 👑 (@SunnyShines_) April 5, 2018
Dua Kro Ki #SalmanKhan ko bail ho jaye.#SalmanBailorJail#SalmanVerdict#BlackBuckPoachingCase#Jodhpur#SalmanKhan
O’Allah only You know the secrets of our hearts, so accept our silent wishes and prayers.❤ Ameen#JummaMubarak
— Aamir Khan (@AamirKhan_4) April 6, 2018
I wish he should get bail definitely because he saves many lives pure Hindustan ki duae h Bhaijaan ke sath Salman Khan hi Ek aise insaan h jo 90% money donate kr dete h sirf 10% use krte h he is great inspiration to whole world #Beingsalmankhan pic.twitter.com/n6ct5dVDM5
— Ritesh Pandey Rk 👑 (@RiteshPandeyRk2) April 6, 2018
Don’t you think, it’s time for us to stop envying or moralistically judging the Bollywood stars and reduce our insatiable curiosity as fans so that the crime and criminals of the silver screen are perceived through their deeds?
Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.