Is it a slip of tongue or Salman”™s dhang?

This is not for the first time that Salman Khan has landed himself in a controversy. Actually, he is used to it. “˜Dabbang”™ Khan, as he is popularly known as among his fans, remains in news mostly either on the basis of his statements or love affairs. Recently, Bhai issued such a ludicrous remark, while promoting his film “˜Sultan,”™ that was opposed by one and many including a large section of the Hindi film industry. By saying, “I felt like a rape victim while shooting the movie,” he broke millions of hearts of his die hard fans, industry colleagues and those women who considered him as a man with a golden heart up till now. It”™s not at all possible for a man to comprehend what a rape victim goes through. In addition, an actor’s hard work during shooting should not be compared with a dastardly act of rape. In a civilized world, no one can even think about coming up with such an illogical comparison. Then why Salman Khan went ahead with such a parallel?

It is really shocking for a man who had earlier sought the death penalty for convicts of Delhi’s Nirbhaya Case, to come up with such a comparison. We can easily assume that the actor in not at all aware about the brutality involved in the ugly rape and what exactly the victim undergoes. Probably no. So what did his recent statement actually mean? May be it is a slip of tongue for the man. But how did this controversy come up?

It was recently during a talk with a journalist that Salman shared his busy shooting schedule for his upcoming movie Sultan and also bared how much hard he is working for the movie. It was at one point that he expressed how he used to walk out of the ring, after the shoot, and used to feel like a raped woman. Reason behind this insensitive remark could be the limited knowledge grasp over language and social values, as per my limited understanding. Our actors have no idea what impact their cheap and mean remarks can have. Some times Bollywood stars make petty remarks in lighter vein which directly cause an impact on female identity and dignity. Only a victim can understand what rape is all about. It is beyond any justification to include it under freedom of expression that we enjoy.

Actual problem is the environment where our stars grow up. Vulgar fun is also counted as entertainment in their peer group. We have still not forgotten the AIB roast, where many of our Bollywood’s A-listers enjoyed at the sake of others in crude and filthy language. The general public is also to be blamed for it. Most of the lyrics we find in Salman’s songs – “˜munni badnam hui darling tere liye… mai to tanduri murgi hu yaar gatkale saiyan alcohol se”™, “˜mai karu to sala character dheela hai”™ – women are being commodified.

Salman is not alone to be blamed for this objectification of women but even singers such as Honey Singh have drafted songs glorifying rape. A veteran leader of a political party was once heard saying one “˜tanchh maal”™ to his party members. Although he later apologized for it, the issue does not end here. The world of Indian advertisement, like its Western peer is also a big culprit. Shamefully, Salman didn’t even beg for forgiveness on this matter yet. It was Salim Khan, Salman’s father, who later apologized for this.

It is sad that fans of Salman quickly forget everything and encourage him to perform more such gimmicks. Being responsible citizens of India we should criticize such irresponsible statements and acts so that no one finds the encouragement to repeat it all over again.

Meenakshi Joshi

TV Journalist/ Anchor @indiatvnews