The Curious Case of Salman Khan

By Ranjit K. Sahu

At first I would like to clear that I have nothing against Mr. Salman Khan personally nor against the Government or judges or anybody concerned with the entire episode. The law has taken its course and I stand with it as an abiding citizen. However as an individual with a right to express I put forth my thought process emerging from this case of black buck hunting, more out of my love for nature and environment than for films and poplularism. Of course I would like to put a few uncomfortable questions at the end which may or may not be in sync with the thought of masses that too the youth who have formed a huge fan club of the actor.

To begin this discussion, with words of another famous Cine character, Spiderman,” With  great power comes great responsibility”, let me  ask  all the masses rallying in support of the star if stardom does not by default instill and expect a sense of responsibility in terms of public conduct on an individual? A partial agreement perhaps with the judge who pronounce stem sentence that people in public often serve as role models, especially for younger  generations and should there fore be more conscious of their actions. Nevertheless let me put the sentence and the actor behind as for purposes of this discussion treat Mr. Khan as just a human being conscious of his existence on earth in relation to other living creatures.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain natural system across the globe due to rapid urbanization and increasing human and wildlife conflicts. In this regard preserving wildlife that too endangered species is the duty of every human, more so of those people who are educated and form the cream of the society. They need to lead the way in such efforts. On the other hand when such celebrities indulge in activities of destruction of human or wildlife and try to claim their philanthropic inclinations  through their other charitable activities, it at best indicts hypocrisy, indicating a tendency to cover up the bad deed with the good deed. A  quip by a person in a social media sums this aspect very well where he mentions that if opening charitable trust or donating to some welfare negates the crimes then all criminals can resort to the same practice. Commit a crime and then undertake activities of welfare elsewhere and claim their innocence and naiveness. Why has any law or judicial system in the first place? That the court has pronounced him guilty is proof enough that  he was complicit in the act.  The fans celebrating the bail and the family going all out with the film fraternity to celebrate it is nothing but a shameful display of misusing the public popularity. The purpose of any judicial proceedings is not only to provide  the accused enough opportunities to prove himself or herself  innocent but also to set an example to the society that law is equal for all. When the people who have already been prove guilty resort to such acts of using professional popularity  to try to cover up their mistakes, it defeats the very purpose for which laws are made, I, e reform the individual or establish systems in society to maintain discipline and  order.  It also shows that the individual doe into feel guilty which voids the purpose of punishment, i.e. to make the person realize his mistake and reform him. On the other hand such public display and cerebrations on being granted bail by both the individual and his near and dear ones as well as those linked with him in professional. public and personal domains, speaks of arrogance and sets a very bad example for others. In a situation where the individual should have kept low after the verdict, bail or not, his coming out in public only indicate this utter disrespect for  the law of the land.

Incidents can happen in an individual’s life where he or she can commit a crime under duress but the poaching is not one such case. It was intentional. Since most judicial proceedings happens through witnesses and evidence, and in county like India, where it is possible  to easily manipulate both,(as indicated by witnesses turning hostile in many cases during court proceedings and tampering of evidences in many others) it finally rests on the individual and his conscience to affirm the truth. This again Is a direct consequence of his upbringing and the moral value system existent in the family, the society and the nation.

The media has also played a very negative role, by continuously trying to portray the individual in positive light. Every individual has positives and negatives. The question is not about whether good exists in the individual or not. The question is lain and simple, was the crime committed or not. And in this regard the pronouncement of the court indicates just one fact. It happened and the concerned individuals was involved in it. The extent to which his involvement was forced, spontaneous or intentional does not matter. A country does not become developed merely by aping other developed countries s in terms of infrastructure development, but only developed when individuals learn to abide by rules and regulations set up by the law. That is what sets apart developed nations from the developed; the efficiency with which laws are abided to by the majority of the citizens (disregarding the fact that every society has deviations and exceptions to existent laws). A change in perception and attitude in citizens regarding this aspect of their existence in the society is thus an important prerequisite. for real development.

To end this opinion piece, and return to the words of the character, Spiderman, it is time people at the higher echelons of society, who the younger generations look up to as models, set better examples, rather than use fan followings and social media to negate the effectiveness of laws meant to create harmony in the society.

About the Author: Dr. Ranjit K. Sahu is a freelance writer currently located in Virginia, USA. His interests include education, environment, sustainability and health care in the underprivileged regions of the world.


One Comment

  1. well written mr sahu, and i welcome your analysis over this issue. these super human heroes do not shed a tear when they ruthlessly hunt and kill innocent animals and endangered species, yet the moment they have to face trial their hoards of money comes to their rescue in every form available and like a dog hide their tail between their legs, begging for mercy. such double faced hypocrites should be trolled instead their so called fans or paid fans? create monstrous disruption in way of justice.
    What about our own politician who are involved in gross actions and then like rats and moles hide underground while their ‘innocent’ lawyers apply for bail?

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