Friday, 28 October 2016

Worshipped Like Gods

India's love of film stars is so great and knows such little bounds that when the stars reach a certain level of stardom, they can almost commit murder and get away with it. Its even been known for actors who play Indian Gods in TV or Movies such as the 'Ramayan' and 'Mahabharata', to have people semi-worshipping them in real life. Treating them as incarnations of the god.

Something similar as also happened to English actor Sir Ben Kingsley, after he played Gandhi in 1982.

Gandhi Syndrome ....

But perhaps the best example of this phenomena is to look at the many court cases and controversies of Bollywood Superstar Salman Khan: He is, in case you don't know it, one of India's biggest film stars (and thus in the world), and has appeared in more than 80 films.

This means that whenever he faces a jury in court, he invariably seems to get acquitted. If not in the lower local court (where the alleged offences occurred and people may rightly have a grievance), then in the appeal courts (which are more national affairs), where his celebrity seems to dazzle.

He has actually racked up not just a number of court appearances (or rather his lawyers have ... he doesn't always have to turn up, citing celebrity or work commitments), but also a number of other controversies.
  • For instance, the actor's phone was tapped for two months by Maharashtra State government, beginning in August 2001, mainly to see if he had any links with Mumbai's vast underworld crime syndicates. He had allegedly boasted privately of such contacts. The case was not proven (or ran out of time ... its hard to tell in Indian rulings), and in any event Mr Khan denied that it was his voice on the tapes. So that was that. 
  • His ex-girlfriend the Former Miss World, Aishwarya Rai, accused him of beating her up. She also said that she eventually broke up with him - not just because she was suffering physical violence at his hands, but also because he was cheating on her. This was denied by Mr Khan. 
  • Mr Rai's former friend and fellow actor, Vivek Oberoi, also accused Mr Khan of making threatening phone calls to him. This of course was denied by Mr Khan. 
  • In 2002 he was involved in a accident that killed one person and left three others badly injured, this when Mr Khan's vehicle veered off the road and crashed into a bakery .... Mr Khan was released on bail of just 950 Rupees (less than $20), after giving himself up to police some hours after the accident. The police authorities in Bombay later confirmed Mr Khan was driving after consuming more than the legal limit of alcohol allowed by Indian law. He was later arrested and charged with 'Culpable Homicide' and then shortly later freed to carry on film work. In May 2015 (only 13 years later) he was sentenced to five years in jail for the killing of the homeless man .... but you guessed it, on appeal he was 'acquitted' by the Mumbai high court last year. The reason given was becasue of the lack of evidence. This after the police officer who arrested him suddenly 'died' .... and the victims family eventually got compensation of 150,000 rupees (about $2,224.21 at todays exchange rate). The government, under enormous pressure, has challenged his acquittal in the Supreme Court ... trial not expected for another decade at least. 
  • He also stood accused with seven others, of killing a gazelle and two protected antelopes in Rajasthan in 1998. A lower court convicted him and sentenced him to one and five years in jail for the two cases of poaching. But on 'appeal' he has just been acquitted .... reasons not clear.

Popular 'Bad' Boy in India

His sense of entitlement and hubris knows few bounds, and only last month he created an uproar in the press and social media when he told reporters that work on his latest Bollywood film was so gruelling that he felt 'raped like a woman'.

If he had ever spent any real time inside a prison, he might well know exactly what it was like to be raped like a woman.


  1. When Rudolph Valentino died women world wide committed suicide. Millions went into mourning and thousands turned out for the funeral.

    A God in fact.

    1. He was a world icon because silent movies allowed him to become so as no language barriers. Thanks for the excellent comment - wish I had thought of that example.

  2. He's just got off with another charge, after being found guilty in the lower courts.

    He should be nicknamed Teflon, because no dirt sticks to him.

    1. Its who you know in India when it comes to justice. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Salman (you can't touch me) Khan jailed again for killing those deer. He will be out in days but it's funny that he can kill street people with less problems than deer.

    1. He should be called teflon cos nothing sticks. Thanks for the comment.


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