Thursday, 10 December 2015

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It's official: People with power can get away with anything!

Satyamev Jayate...Truth alone Triumphs...really?? The Indian judiciary remains unpredictable: there are moments when you feel proud, most of the times you are let down. Just a few months back, the Supreme Court made headlines by granting a convicted terrorist his last judicial resort the night before his execution. The court was convened at the eleventh hour, never before in the history of Indian judiciary were the courts opened at midnight. Hats off! And just when you thought your faith in the judiciary was being restored, just when you thought that everyone is equal before law, the Indian judiciary somehow managed to reach a new low! The poster boy of Bollywood, Mr. Salman Khan gets acquitted of all charges in the 2002 hit and run case! I mean...whaaattt??!! Seriously??

Well, this is not the first high profile case which made a mockery of the judicial system. Not long ago, we had this case of Jessica Lal's murder, where a politician's son, showed us how to play with the judiciary. An epic case of witnesses turning hostile! But atleast after a long fight, Jessica's family got justice...though not without the support of the masses and the media. The general resentment for the political class among the common people was an important factor in the courts re-opening the case and overruling the verdict. But, in Mr. Khan's hit and run case, I don't see anything like this happening. He enjoys the support of the huge (blind) fan base. Media won't pursue the case either, considering the money that is riding on him, and the influence he has. So basically, to the man who died that fateful night...Sorry messed up with the wrong man!

If you look at the hit and run case and the way it unfolded over the last 13 years or so, the topic of debate today should have been: Why the hell is it taking so long to give out the verdict! There were witnesses, and one was an on duty cop, who testified against him. It was his car, it was he who was behind the wheels, the cop who was accompanying him testified that Mr. Khan was under the influence of alcohol. But still, somehow, the evidence isn't strong they say! I mean...what else do you want? Do you want the man who died that day to come down to the courts to testify? The court had already dismissed the claim by Salman's driver, who tried to take the blame for the accident. He obviously was a stooge and dummy witness who lied under oath. So, here's a funny scenario: Salman wasn't driving, his driver was not even in the car when the accident took place, the cop and Kamal Khan (surprisingly no one cared to question Kamal Khan about the accident) were definitely not driving. Perhaps Chulbul Pandey had a self driving car way before Google even came up with the idea! We all know the shocking story of Ravindra Patil, the cop who was accompanying Salman on that fateful night. He was probably the only witness who didn't turn hostile. So, what does he get in return? He is pressurized to retract his statement, then he is arrested, fired from the police department, his family disowns him, ends up on roads with tuberculosis and dies. Well done! Great example set for those who even think of testifying against the big shots. In 2002, the court directed Mr. Khan to pay a compensation of 19 Lakh. If he wasn't responsible for the act, why was he made to pay at that time? A few months back, the court convicted and sentenced him for 5 years. But that didn't last long, when he got out on bail within a few hours of the sentencing. Well, for a common man, this bail approval would have taken god knows how long considering the way our judicial system works. But no...this is not a common man...this is Salman Khan! I was appalled to see the way people reacted to the imprisonment verdict! The twitter was filled with all kinds of crappy posts of fans and Bollywood supporting Mr. Khan. Some stupid singer went on to the extent of comparing the homeless people to dogs! Wow!! I understand that you want to be in the good books of Salman, but dude...are you even listening to what you are saying?

I know that many of the 'die hard' fans of Mr. Khan will not agree with what I say, they may ridicule this post. But it's okay. Deep down even they know what the truth is. What amuses me is that how could someone be so blind and show such an apathy towards the victim. There were tears for Salman, but no thought was spared for the victim! He has a heart of gold they say...and yet they forget that he is the same man who was accused of assaulting and harassing his past girlfriends...he is the same 'Bhai' who is being tried in the poaching endangered deer case in Rajasthan. And don't give me the bullshit about the 'Being Human' crap! It's like saying: It is okay if you kill someone as long as you follow up with some in front of the media social work. Wake up people! How can you be so blind! You need to distinguish the on screen Salman Khan from the off screen one. You need to separate the art from the artiste.

It is a sad day for Indian judiciary. It failed miserably. If you are a common man, please understand that no one gives a shit about your life. So, next time you see a fancy car driving towards you, be advised: please get out of the way....and no, even the footpaths aren't safe!

P.S.: A very heart touching post by a Hit and Run survivor, Charudatt Acharya.

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