It took 13 long years for a sessions court in Mumbai to find Salman Khan guilty of running over four poor migrants sleeping on a pavement. He was drunk and speeding, even when his police escort kept asking him to slow down. Bollywood, as expected was firmly behind him. One friend actually said on prime time TV that it was the fault of the pavement dwellers. “How dare they sleep on the pavement! The lived and died like dogs!”
This was probably the most damaging statement any person from Bollywood could make. It made Bollywood look quite out of touch with reality. As it is Bollywood stars live on a different planet to the rest of India, barring Shabana Azmi, who has actually taken up the cause of slum dwellers.
His friends say that he is a wonderful human being and has a Foundation that helps the poor. For this alone he should get a milder sentence.
The question that arises is that if he was such a wonderful person why did he not personally pay for the treatment of the poor migrants he ran over? Why did he not help the family of the one person who died in the accident? In interviews they have claimed they just got 3 lakhs from the court and half of it went to their lawyers.
If Salman felt any remorse, he would have at least tried to help them anonymously. His lawyers might have told him that if he did anything personally it would be an admission of guilt but surely with the amount of money he is earning and the friends he has, he could have routed the help through any friend.
I feel this would have made the world of difference. To now show him as a compassionate and caring human being is a bit too late. If he really cared a whit this is what would have happened:
He feels such remorse that he asks a friend that he will channel money through him so that the injured can get the same treatment he would get. He would have had the dead man’s family taken care off for life. This would have shown today how compassionate he really is.
But he did none of this.
After all, his lawyers must have cost him much more money than the treatment of the injured and the family of the man who was killed. And he is no short of money. He never visited the hospital to see the injured or give them financial help. He also fled the spot while the victims were dying. He did not go to the police and admit what had happened. He ran away.
The lawyers are going try and get him out on bail because there are several crores riding on him of the movies that are half finished and they will also say that he is sick and needs treatment abroad.
All I need to point out is that if he is too sick for jail, he is too sick to act. Why is it that our VIPs always resort to sudden sicknesses and every conceivable trick in the trade to get out of jail free.
Is this the act of a person who is compassionate and kind?
The judges in a 250 page verdict went into these very details. Actually his statement to the police is so full of lies that I am amazed he did not get perjury as well as the other indictments. He says his tire burst and his car went out of control while the verdict shows that none of this happened and he was drunk driving and speeding and went out of control. And most damning of all he did not have a driving license.