By Gaurav Sharma
Bollywood superstar Salman Khan known for delivering blockbusters that easily supersede the works of other Bollywood hunks, has been sentenced to 5 year rigorous imprisonment for mowing down a man sleeping on a pavement, while grievously injuring four other
The judgment has drawn sharp reactions from both die-hard fans and detractors alike. No sooner was the verdict passed than the Indian media started covering Salman Khan, like bumblebees swarming over a honey-soaked flower.
Fathom this: Twitterati has flooded the social media platform with #SalmanVerdict and #Salmanfoundguilty for days on end now. Facebook status updates also invariably revolve around the judgment on the superstar.
Being a popular Bollywood star, one would assume it to be quite natural for the masses to have an opinion on their Bhai. Things are, however, taken to a whole new level when a war of words escalates between celebrities, as to who was responsible for the ‘accident’.
Celebrities seem to have eschewed their sense of equanimity while the verdict being announced. Abhijeet, a famous Bollywood singer lost his wits so much so, that he started blaming the accident victim for ‘sleeping on the road and getting killed’.
The indiscriminate coverage of the Salman Khan verdict by the media shows the shoddy level to which journalism standards have stooped in the country. From showing an emotional Aamir Khan hugging Salman after the verdict, conducting ridiculous panel discussions on the issue, to propping up images of fanatic fans refusing to eat, all the post-Salman-verdict noise has only shrouded the important issues which affect the common man.
Moreover, the media has missed the opportunity to ask the more relevant question of whether the elite should hold the life of a common man as sacred or have the right to non-chalantly crush them under their wheels, thinking they have everybody in their pockets.
A young athlete has committed suicide following alleged harassment by her seniors. The Lok Sabha has passed the Juvenile Justice Bill, the GST Bill has been steered through. These are just some of the many stories that remain veiled under the deluge of Dabanng news.
Just a handful of media channels chose to focus on the issues that matter to the man on the street. Hardly any news channel thought it pertinent to ask why it took an overwhelming 13 years for justice to be served.
It is not as if the world has come to an end with Salman being imprisoned. Truth be told, a guilty man deserves to be punished, that too at the earliest.
Salman could deny the allegations with all his heart and soul, but in the end the judgement was crystal clear in that he was inebriated at the time he was driving the SUV.
If only Being Human meant Being Humane, bhai would have thought twice before crushing someone under the wheels of his monster Land Rover.
The case is done and dusted and it is time for the guilty to serve his period. Media, please, move over.