By Aditya Aamir
With politicians calling each other names and behaving like alley cats, power shifted to Jodhpur Central Jail where “Mr. Compassionate” Salman Khan, restless and privileged, was counting bars. Overnight in a midnight drama over 200 judicial officers were transferred and the new magistrate in Jodhpur Rural District Court moved quickly to hear Salman’s bail plea.
In any case, “bail is every jail-bird’s right, jail is not”, and the “law of parity”, which Salman’s lawyers quoted ad infinitum, had to apply. So what if that same parity has not been shown to lakhs of under-trials, forget convicts? Salman had “family and friends” worried sick he was fighting hordes of mean mosquitoes.
Besides, Salman, like the caged lion, was stalking his “A/C cage”, walking his waking hours unable to shuteye, because he was not used to such an environment. The food was not up to his taste and he was used to “workout” to keep his muscles tone-perfect. Hell, if Salman Khan doesn’t flex his muscles who will, Baba Adam?
So many people were crying for relief. Salman’s sister Alvira; Salman’s bodyguard Shera; Salman’s mom and dad; Salman’s brothers Arbaaz and Sohail. That was not counting the family dog, the family cook and the family car driver. How could the law be so callous to such good people, all under the same roof? Something had to shift, and shift fast.
If it was a Bollywood flick, the sleazy Vidhayak and the ruthless don, with insanity written into his role, would have conspired to see to it that no court was held on Saturday and the ‘hero’ would have remained behind bars through the weekend. But in real-life Qaidi No.106 had everybody on his side.
Lawyers in boxes in TV screens sounded like they were hired counsel for Salman Khan. They refused to acknowledge logic. Who killed Jessica Lal reverberated. So did who killed Aurushi Talwar and who killed the blackbuck. But, suddenly, there was talk that Salman the large-hearted did not aim to kill, he was “covering up” for somebody else in the hunters-pack.
Salman-fans were out in strength. One “cute little girl” in her father’s arms “fainted” outside Jodhpur Central Jail and television channels covered her beautifully. India is full of people who have no regard for the law – witness Salman Khan, a “habitual offender” – and people who will stand for the law-breaker blind to the majesty of the law.
The drama witnessed outside Jodhpur Central Jail and Jodhpur Rural District Court, two venues where law had no place under the 40 degrees Celsius sun, was a pathetic display of a ‘Banana Republic’ in full play. And as the hours melted into each other on Saturday, it was as if the animal-loving Bishnoi community was the real villain of the piece. It was as if Salman had been punished enough after having spent two of the 1,800 nights he has been sentenced to spend in jail.
Salman Khan was never the hero in real life. He was ham-handed in his dealings with fellow actors, threatening male and female actors alike – Aishwarya Rai, Vivek Oberoi, even Shahrukh Khan. The brash actor who believed he was only next to God Almighty has been an atrocious role model. But this muscleman on steroids has always gotten away with wrongdoings of all sorts.
It was a shame jail staff in Jodhpur went out of their way to be servile to Salman Khan. But what else could you have expected from jail staff? Most of the two nights Salman has been in jail, he allegedly spent in an air-conditioned video-conferencing room with multiple television sets. There was no dearth of cigarettes for the convict and allegedly jail staff were ‘selfie-taking’ with Salman and palming off the superstar’s autographs like the jail would run out of ink.
Salman Khan has always treated the media with contempt and there were many a time when his bodyguards led by the redoubtable Shera have laid about media-persons like they were so many inviting to be rolled out of the way ninepins. But the “shameless media” has always gone for more of the same talking of him as if without him there would be no Bollywood. The media gave him superlatives and put him on a pedestal, always forgetting that ‘Being Human’ could be a sham Salman Khan practiced/perfected. If Salman Khan got bail on Saturday, it would have only been because the media played double-standards, fourth-fiddle! (IPA Service)
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