- Dr. Surendra Sisodia
The box office is rolling again for Bollywood star Salman Khan on this Eid due to his newly-released movie ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’. The movie, which has received praises from film critics, has already been declared a mega hit and one of the fastest Rs. 100 crore-movies in the history of bollywood. Salman, who is in the middle of a huge controversy following his acquittal in the infamous Mumbai hit-and-run case, is back with the fans queuing up outside cinema halls to watch their super human ‘ Dabangg ‘ Hero. Apart from a few protests about the title of the movie, it is running successfully, and even tax-free in few states.
A flash back…when on 6th May this year, the verdict came in the purview of the hit-and-run-case of 2002, Salman was convicted to serve a jail-term for five years, the whole country was watching a live movie on all TV news channels. The drama was on, No media channel was ready to lose its TRP and was eager to tell the viewers all about him. Following the news of Salman’s conviction, the entire “Bollywood Parivar” came in support of him. Who wasn’t there? Karan Johar, Sonakshi Sinha, Arjun Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor, Parineeti Chopra, Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Hema Malini, Waheeda Rahman, Aamir Khan, Ravina Tandon, Riteish Deshmukh, Bipasha Basu, Soha Ali Khan and many others reached Salman’s home and also got active on social media in support of their ‘friend’. The verdict was followed by hundreds of tweets that were not only disgusting but also cruel. Someone even called the poor who slept on the pavement, dogs, to get attention from media and Salman’s family and added, if dogs slept on roads they would be killed. Look at the publicity he got. One of his fans tried to commit suicide outside the court as well. Salman Khan fans got fanatic about him. They actually prayed for him and held poojas and dharnas, and even advocated, “He killed one life! So what? He has saved thousands of lives! He has done a lot of humanitarian work! It’s not as if he is a serial killer! He was drunk, if he were in his senses, he surely wouldn’t have killed anyone”.
The drama came to an abrupt end when the Court granted a bail to him and suspended his 5-year jail term. This entire episode actually benefited the ‘Brand Salman’ and a strong wind of sympathy for him spread all over. We, the common people of this country are very soft hearted and our memories are very short. People have started to believe that their star is innocent and had to pay off the price of being a celebrity and his stardom. Bajrangi Bhaijaan is the first film after this ‘actual movie’ and has already been guaranteed a huge success. Salman is undoubtedly a great entertainer, yet the way he dealt with the case was not liked by many people. They feel, he should have taken the injured to the hospital and should have surrendered to the law confessing his mistake. The honesty would have never missed by the judges and many more people would have supported him morally as well. Instead, he prolonged the case; the eye witness and his body guard from the police was allowed to die a miserable death; accepted his mistake some time back and later brought his father’s driver into the picture, who owned up the crime; he was fully drunk; had no driving license; broke the speed limit; ran away from the scene after a drunken driving that killed a person, so on so forth. People disliked the idea of delaying the case to get naturally diluted as most of the cases do.
Nevertheless the hero has got the bail and court gave his huge fan following, happiness and an occasion of joy. 49 Years old Salman is a clever artist. On screen, he has stuck to the stereotype of an innocent, sweet-talking, doe-eyed do-gooder with a heart of gold, solid arms and steel chest. He now rarely accepts roles that draw attention to his real life and its numerous controversies. On screen, you rarely see him drinking or breaking the law. Mission Being Human, clearly, is for real life. At the same time, Bajrangi Bhaijaan is perhaps an average but the most clever film Khan has been seen in recent times, in which crossing the border seem only as difficult as crossing the stations from local metro in Jaipur. The results are fantastic, critics have expressed that they liked Bajrangi Bhaijaan. However success credit also goes to Harshaali Malhotra, the little cute child with expressive eyes and an equally engaging smile, who plays Munni in the film. Politicians and stars perhaps have their personal yardsticks for justice. They know that the mob is the ultimate arbiter of their destiny, their judge and jury. For them, box-office success of their work is more credible a proof of their innocence than a court judgment. So, Salman too is happy to have Bajrang Bali’s Ashirwad in theaters full of enjoying fans. All the Best Salman… keep entertaining your fans.