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Issue No.: 576 | June 2015
 

Being Salman Khan

Ashok Karnik
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Salman Khan’s conviction (May 6) for rash and negligent driving ....Salman’s charity and good behavior cannot become mitigating factors.
POINT

Salman Khan’s conviction (May 6) for rash and negligent driving under the influence of alcohol, leading to the death of one person and injuries to many more caused a storm in Bollywood; some were affected due to their financial investments, others due to industry friendship and some due to personal sympathy. Their reactions ranged from understandable to bizarre. Nothing wrong in sympathizing with a fellow human being, even if he is in the wrong but the bizarre part was when an eminent singer like Abhijeet blamed those sleeping on the foot-paths for inviting their own death. He has not grasped the Indian reality that people in most cities have to use the footpaths as their bed-rooms! Yes, it is their crime that they are poor, Mr. Abhijeet Bhattacharya. The next lot would be those who walk on roads as there are no foot-paths. They can be hit by cars and should not complain as they are the guilty party according to Abhijeet’s law! The sympathy for Salman is understandable but we have reached a stage where drunken driving has become an acceptable misdemeanour, not a crime. The Supreme Court has had to come down heavily on this trend and asked the courts that death due to reckless driving should not be viewed leniently. 
COUNTER POINT

Salman’s charity and good behavior cannot become mitigating factors. We have underworld dons who, after lifetime of making illegal loot, donate heavily for religious festivals and emerge as philanthropic social dignitaries. Do they need special treatment for their humanitarian work, forgetting the havoc they played on the society? We had Varadabhai (Mudaliar), Arun Gavli, Haji Mastan who were a social menace but also donors to various temples and dargas. More to the point, did Salman ever express regret for killing somebody even if it was unintentional? He was busy fabricating his defence and disowning all responsibility. His appeal will determine the weaknesses in the prosecution case. He has the money to engage the best lawyers in the country. It is getting too complicated and we need not go into the legal aspects of the case here. The issue is that his financial clout helped him use all the legal remedies available to an accused; a common man cannot use the provisions of law that can help him stay out of jail. The contrast between the two is glaring and disturbing. The judicial system cannot be faulted.
Every issue has at least two sides. A wise person examines all sides before coming to a conclusion. This is an attempt to present various sides of an issue so that a considered opinion can be formed.

Readers are invited to email their points of view on serious issues of the day to
 ashokkarnik2001@yahoo.co.in

 Readers who do not have the facility of a computer can also post (mail) their points of view on serious issues of the day to "Point Counter Point”, c/o Freedom First, 3rd floor, Army & Navy Building, 
148, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Mumbai 400001.
 
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