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Issue No.: 576 | June 2015

Being Salman Khan

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

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. 

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.

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Other Articles in this Issue


In this issue ...


Tribute to S. V. Raju

Nurturing a Tradition

Jehangir Patel

Fond Reminiscences of our dear Editor ...


Raju and Freedom First

Ashok Karnik

Remembering Raju

Firoze Hirjikaka

Guntur Remembers Raju


Tribute to S. V. Raju



The National Scene

NDA’s Management of the Economy – More of the Same

Ranga Kota

Agrarian Crisis – Rural Distress – and All That

Sunil S. Bhandare

Rahul Resurgent

Firoze Hirjikaka

The Year That Was ...

H. R. BapuSatyanarayana

The Rural Perspective

Agriculture and Rural Indebtedness - VIII

R. M. Mohan Rao

Point Counter Point : Every issue has at least two sides


Ashok Karnik

Being Salman Khan

Ashok Karnik

Farmers’ Suicides

Ashok Karnik

Foreign Relations in the 21st Century

Modi Goes to China: Development at Home and Peace on the Border

B. Ramesh Babu

ISIS - A New Threat

Ashok Karnik

Dawood’s Return?

Ashok Karnik

Swastika: Whose Symbol Is It Any Way?

Nitin G. Raut

The Swatantra Party in Gujarat - A Historical Perspective

The Swatantra Party in Gujarat: A Shooting Star (Part II)

Usha Thakkar
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