This post was to be on the pickle we made. I had also thought of writing on my random observations and stray thought on matters relating to packaged food.
Then Bhai got bail.
That was the end, as far as India is concerned, of everything. RaGa, NaMo, AK, RSVP, AAP, GST, MAT, - no abbreviation meant anything anymore.
Salman Bhai has got bail!
I have a problem. Let me tell you what that is.
Let us be clear on a few points:
Life is unfair. The rich, the powerful and the connected generally do better than those who are not. Salman and his team did everything to see that he is let off. I would do the same for myself and my client. It is up to the prosecution to prove his guilt. If the prosecution is corrupt or incompetent or lazy or unfocussed, then that is something that will be exploited by the Defence. As I said, life is unfair, shit happens. I am not condoning it; I am merely saying this happens.
Has the 13 year trial worked for or against Salman Bhai? I believe for. He has been free for the time, witnesses are dead, memories are foggy, perceptions are different and all this has acted in favour of Salman Bhai. One thing against him is that now he has to face the more stringent charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder – manslaughter – as the Yanks call it.
I believe, and I believe this with all sincerity and without a trace of irony or sarcasm, that ultimately Salman Bhai will be acquitted.
Let us, take a deep breath at this provocative statement and look at how this all started. Salman Bhai and friends went for a drink or three to a now defunct bar called `Rain’. They got drunk. Salman Bhai drove his Land Cruiser at high speed, lost control at the right turn from St Andrews Road onto Hill Road and ran over people sleeping on the footpath. That is it. However you look at it, Salman Bhai was drunk and he killed. I know this; Salman Bhai knows this, his mother, father and everyone else knows this.
As I have said, for myriad reasons, I believe - however shocking my claim may seem to you - that this is the proverbial perfect crime.
How do we deal with this? Very very badly, in a manner that absolutely shocks me. I wonder if we as Indians have any moral compass.
Bollywood in its entirety has come out in support – I have no idea what that word means anymore – of Salman Bhai. Our son of Maharashtrian soil, upholder of the Hindu Maharashtrian, Raj Thackeray was quick to visit Salman Bhai. I am so bloody self-righteous Anupam Kher was seen visiting Bhai. The complete enigma Zafar Sareshwala popped in. Does no one have any morals? Is what Salman Bhai done not wrong? The only person whose presence at Galaxy I could not feel outraged by was Priya Dutt. Her brother is incarcerated, she may have some inputs to give Salman Bhai, and, I write this with all honesty.
The role of the Mango People who thronged the Court and Galaxy is also hugely disturbing. I appreciate that they want to see the stars. Granted. But to celebrate and burst crackers on hearing of the bail? Hello? Right and wrong, sheep, Mango People and, dare I say, kuttas? I mean really?
A bit about celebrating. The Times of India carried a report, and I quote “According to a source close to the family, patriarch Salim Khan forbade his family from celebrating and his sons from getting drunk. "He pointed out to them that while the Bombay High Court's decision to suspend Salman's five-year sentence is a relief it is not a cause for jubilation," added the source.” Assuming this is correct, is everyone totally delusional? I agree this is not a time to celebrate, but why bring drink into the equation, especially at this time? This is the link..
This herd like `support’ by Bollywood of their family is deeply disturbing. The same thing happened around Sanjay Dutt. If I was to choose, Dutt’s crime was far less serious. Dutt violated the Arms Act and had a deadly weapon in his possession. He did not use it and ultimately the gun was melted down. Salman Bhai killed a man. There is a difference between the two crimes, a big difference. But still Bollywood `supports’ Salman Bhai. We all know that Bollywood films have extremely strange value systems and encourage a rather deviant behaviour. That is of course the subject of another post. But this? `Support’? The only person against who Bollywood rallied was that other despicable character Shiney Ahuja who raped his maid. That creature seems to have been washed off by Bollywood.
If Bollywood could have the moral compass to rally against Ahuja why does it not do so against Salman Bhai? Is it that Salman Bhai and family – Arbaaz, Malaika, Sohail, Salim & Helen - are too well entrenched and have a lot of money power thus cannot be shunned? So moral compasses change with the force applied to them?
When things like this happen, I really despair India.