There are two versions about Salman Khan's nature. He's the lion-hearted superstar humanitarian (as he calls himself on Twitter). He is the brash and cocky bhai' who doesn't mind working his clout or fists to get what he wants. Recently, and not for the first time, the latter avatar of the actor came to the fore. He bullied a blogger into pulling down a blog post that was not to his liking.
The blog in question, Bollywoodjournalist.com, is written by an entertainment journalist, Soumyadipta Banerjee, from Mumbai. In one post, he wrote about the mysterious case of Ravindra Patil, the police constable who was assigned as a bodyguard to Khan and was in the Land Cruiser that ran over four homeless people in Bandra. In his statement to the police, Patil claimed that Khan was behind the wheel and was drunk. And that the actor had not slowed down despite Patil's advice. This is a crucial detail. A sessions court judge relied on this to rule that the actor should be tried for culpable homicide not amounting to murder under Section 304. This could mean a maximum punishment of 10 years in jail.
According to news reports, Patil was under pressure to change his statement. He went missing and was eventually discharged from the police force. He was located many months later, suffering from tuberculosis, and died in 2007.
In the blog post, Banerjee hinted that Patil was pressured by Salman's well-wishers in the police and film fraternity.
Salman wasn't happy.
He sent Banerjee a legal notice, threatening action if the posts were not taken off. Banerjee has not spoken to the media. On 8 July, he wrote on his blog, The last two days have been really excruciating for me. I have received a communication from Mr Salman Khan. There I have been instructed to remove two blog posts that I have written about him. Those articles have been removed from this blog. Here's a public apology to Mr Salman Khan for writing two blog posts that he didn't consider appropriate.'
Many are aghast at the manner in which the actor reacted. Well-known film journalist Rauf Ahmed says infotech laws are often misused to target those whose views are not convenient to people. "Salman had no right to threaten the blogger with a notice. He may not be able to take on a newspaper or a magazine for what they write. But a blogger is an easy target."
Salman, ever the hero, ran away, leaving those migrants bleeding and dying. They testified to seeing him get down from the driver's seat. He surrendered 8 hours later, still with 62 mg of alcohol in his blood.
His police guard, constable Ravindra Patil, was blamed by Salman for driving. Patil lost his job and was disowned by his family. A newspaper published a photograph of him sitting on the floor of a bare room, skeletal from tuberculosis he had no money to treat. He died alone and bankrupt, at the age of 30 in 2007.
This had no effect on Salman's popularity, and in fact his best period was ahead of him.
In a civilized nation, his audience would be repelled as Americans were with Errol Flynn after he was accused of statutory rape. Fortunately he's popular in a culture with low morality and he can laugh off his behaviour. His charisma is intact.
Asked by The Times of India in 2007 why he had so few endorsements, he said he didn't get them: "Arre, milte nahin hain endorsements.
Karna kaun nahin chahta (I don't get endorsements ...who would not want to do them)?" His explanation was that the cases against him put advertisers off, but that's wrong. Nobody cares about that. It's his image as a mass--that is, lower class--star.
Jailed for poaching, Salman appeared in court wearing a skull cap. He claimed this was not for sympathy, but it's hard to dismiss the feeling that it was. He's almost never seen in one otherwise and the Khan family prides itself on its pluralist traditions.
|SS: But you must've thought a lot in prison|
SK: In any case, I get a lot of time to think. Didn't have to go to
jail to think. I do think a lot. The accident was very unfortunate. I
wasn't even driving but no one wanted to listen to me. What can one
do? What was destined, happened.
The thing I'm saddest about is the mother whose son died and whom
I've still not met because if I meet her someone will say I'm trying
to buy evidence. Her condition makes me most sad. Her image keeps
coming back to me whenever I try to sleep. It haunts me. How will she
survive in her small hut? That is the thing, which makes me most mad.
I can't bring her son back to life. I can only say maaji, I'm very
Accidents mean accidents, it was a mistake. But why is there so much
hatred and animosity against me? I don't think I deserve it. No one
tried to verify rumours. The media carried reports without cross-
checking information. It was only when my fans started getting upset
that people started coming out with the truth. Is it some kind of a
game of money and power?
Then they say I'm rich and powerful. If I was so rich, powerful and
so famous how come I ended up in jail? There are a lot many people
who are much more richer and powerful than me. They are the ones who
send people like me to jail. Why did I have to go to jail to repent?
Why couldn't I have repented at home? Why did people try to change
Topic started by HarveySpecter
Last replied by Veni-Vidi-Vici