Prison is not meant for superstars who dazzle the Tinsel-Town!
But at times, the monotony of being famous and wealthy drives the screen heroes to lead a reckless existence in real life. They indulge in silly acts of extreme defiance and Salman Khan is one of them.
By being sentenced to a five-year jail term Salman Khan has again proved the same old truth of himself: “in reality, I am not actually what I am perceived to be. I am not the fearless, bold and ethical superhero; I am quite the opposite.”
Jail may be the most deplorable place for him but it is what he has inadvertently chosen to make his temporary abode.
For those of us who had followed his contentious lifestyle for more than a decade couldn’t stop wondering how he managed to evade corporeal punishments all these years. But yesterday, all his techniques to elude the bars finally collapsed.
Though he constantly denied driving his Toyota SUV that had killed a poor homeless soul, in real terms the argument appears vacuous.
Why then was the Bollywood superstar’s car being driven by an unreliable or whimsical driver? It was fear that forced him to flee the scene with one killed and several others injured. And, where was his license during the time of the occurrence?
Foremost, why is the Dabangg (Fearless) hero so apprehensive in real life?
The questions are countless but all of them have been answered through a simple court verdict that should have been delivered at least a decade ago.
This case has caught attention of many due to a number of inexplicable and unexplained issues. There is concern as to why it took some 13 years for the courts to deliver a verdict related to a culpable homicide case. Secondly, the most surprising is when Khan’s driver Ashok Singh came to the court after 12 years to declare that he was at the wheel when the accident occurred.
His appearance out of the blue after such a long time opens up many sinister possibilities.
Another disturbing aspect is the response of the Khan fan club to the verdict, which stated vociferously that Salman didn’t deserve such a fate.
Amidst all this brouhaha, Salman’s charity work and his generosity came under spotlight with little or no coverage of the accident and how it affected lives of ordinary people.
However, the Bollywood superhero somehow managed a couple of day’s interim bail.
The whole verdict may sound like ‘justice delayed but not denied’ but celebrities have many different ways to dodge reprimands.
Not that Khan will be the first Bollywood celebrity to land in jail, but he will be the first to hit the industry with an impending loss of some 200 crore plus rupees among the industry’s film makers.
It’s already reported that on hearing the verdict the share price of a company called Mandhana which has an exclusive agreement with Being Human (Salman Khan Foundation for designing, marketing and distributing clothing products) had fallen as much as 4.74% by noon while that of Eros International dropped by 7.15%. That is what happens when you jail an Indian superstar these days.
The 13-year-old drawn-out saga, full of murky details and dramatic twists has triggered such national and international media hype that it became obvious how Indian stars are catching up with the Hollywood industry.
From airbrushing his image to changing lawyers, Salman is believed to have done everything to escape sentence but from a rational angle, it’s a punishment which the actor had chosen for himself deliberately the night the accident had happened.
He could have left the wheels in more ‘dependable’ hands or not driven at all.
The morale of the piece is old: never drive when drunk. With that you may include an extra – ‘never be in a car at all when drunk.’
However, it’s the post verdict developments of the next 48 hours which will follow Salman’s decision to appeal against the verdict – which he has done. It’ll be nail-biting moments to watch how seriously his appeal is dealt with.
Rumours have it that the sentence will be shortened to three years at the most. Some even say that a ‘financial arrangement’ will replace or curtail the sentence. Whatever happens, rumours till Friday are always welcome to quench our thirst for suspense.
In the light of what we have known of the hit-and-run case, it’s Salman who, instead of cleaning had muddied the waters for worse, is believing his silver screen demigod-like image would someway shield him from all attacks.
Had he taken lessons from what had happened to Sanjay Dutt he would have been in a far better situation today, wouldn’t he? Again, he chose not to.
Last but not least, what’s Khan’s plan in prison? Would he write his autobiography? Or would he compose a song like James’ ‘Jail theke ami bolchi’?
Fascinatingly, murmurs indicate Khan might do something never done before: be the leading actor of India’s first ever full-length movie shot inside jail.
If that truly happens, we might see Bollywood broadening its horizons from outdoor exotic locations to domestic jails. In fact, a movie shot entirely in jail by casting a convict superstar could become the next phenomenon.
I am certain Munni badnam hui serf tere liye would sound great from the other side of the iron bar. And if Munnis are permitted to keep him company on the sly…jail does not sound like a constraint at all!