In case you did not hear the “news” yesterday, Salman Khan was released from Jodhpur jail on bail. Well, I am not here to talk about whether Salman is innocent or guilty, or is the sentence too harsh, or are celebrities the soft targets, and also I do not have anything against Salman. I am appalled by the way the media has handled the whole situation. It is frustrating to see the media play minute-by-minute updates, 24 hours a day about this story, and reporting his return to home as some sort of a celebrated event.
Let’s not forget, for the fact, that Salman Khan is convicted in the chinkara case for 5 years. Technically he’s someone who, in the eyes of law of this land, has committed a punishable offence and has been sentenced (in record time). Let’s not forget that he spent 3 days in jail. Let’s not forget that he is out on bail. Let’s not forget that he has not been acquitted. Let’s not forget that he has to fight a legal battle in this case, and in other cases pending against him, which includes the hit-and-run case as well. Let’s not forget that he was convicted earlier as well in a similar case.
The media, on the other hand, has made him a national hero kind-of person. I saw reporters on various “news” channels yelling how sad and sympathetic they were about the whole episode. One RJ of a popular radio channel even went to the extent of calling up the Jodhpur jail superintendent on her show and asking him to take good care of dear Salman. All this can paint only one picture in the mind of the common man – Salman Khan is innocent and has been punished wrongly. Good. Why don’t you news guys do this with Monica Bedi? She was a bollywood star too. Simply because Salman is a bollywood actor and is loved by so many people does not make him innocent, and definitely not when he has cases against him lined up one after another. Talk about acquittal by media here.
In my opinion, this opportunist behavior by Indian media has just made the Indian law look stupid. Just saying that “Salman is the bad boy of industry” and rubbing it off casually does not complete media’s job. It’s media’s responsibility to bring the facts in public, debate over these matters and play a role in awakening the common man so that he can take his own decisions. A bad boy needs to be punished if he violates the law.
At this point, I must appreciate Rajat Sharma and his news channel IndiaTV. It was the only news channel which clearly stated that Salman Khan has been released on bail only and he still has to fight this legal battle. It clearly stated that he has not been acquitted. This, I think is a bold and true stand in the wake of other channels showing people dancing on streets when Salman returned home!
On a lighter note, I felt that most reporters who got a chance to interview Salman were overawed just by the thought of meeting him in person. Maybe it was a dream come true for them. (Chuckles) So much so for all men are not equal.