Bajrangi Bhiajaan First Look Poster
Bajrangi Bhiajaan First Look Poster

Disclaimers: I am well aware that this write-up could get me in a lot of troubles and could take up a whole week worth of time if I start responding to every hateful comment from a self-proclaimed ‘righteous citizen’. This is my opinion, not a debate.

I am not a diehard Salman Khan fan.

I did not watch Bajrangi Bhaijaan till after writing this post.

So here I go.

The success of Bajrangi Bhaijaan has set Bollywood on fire with people throwing judgment around in all directions and taking all kind of moral stands. I read several articles which talked about how Salman Khan is trying to redeem himself by doing roles that fool people into believing he is not the guy who he really is. “Salman is a clever artist. He rarely accepts roles that draw attention to his real life and its numerous controversies” said one article and attempted to give the reader a guilt trip about being hypocritical if they even thought of watching this movie and ‘paying’ for Salman’s innocence.

While I do not stand for the way Salman had led his life (and who am I to judge him), I do feel people should leave him alone. I have a problem with people who think this world is a courtroom and everyone is a judge. Salman has made mistakes, big ones, like we all have. The only difference is that it is much glamorous to talk about his mistakes than of the boy next door who is making all the wrong choices in his life.

According to recent statistics, more than 30% of Indian politicians have criminal records. Yet, we are still letting them run our country. 70% of women in India face domestic abuse, do you know if the man you report to at work is one of the people contributing to this statistic? My issue is not with people wanting SK to accept punishment for his crime; my issue is with people like Salman Khan and Sanjay Dutt being treated more harshly because they can be used as examples.

There have been widespread studies about criminals reforming themselves with the right kind of support. If our society is constantly shooting hate at someone like Salman Khan, and everything he does is seen as an effort to wipe his past from people’s memory, how is he supposed to ever reform himself. In fact, I applaud him announcing the donation of his profits to the farmers even after every one of his efforts to do good is questioned.

When we go out in the world, do we know each and every person’s criminal history before interacting with them? Doesn’t anyone have the right to continue with their life/profession while the judicial system is coming to a judgement about them? Why is it wrong to do good to repent for your mistakes? Why is it wrong only for Salman Khan to do all he can save himself? Isn’t that what lawyers do for a living, defend people whether they messed up or not?

Salman’s Being Human has started various initiatives in education and healthcare and has improved the lives of millions. All the work he has done for this foundation is being deemed as something he did to improve his image. My question is, “SO WHAT”??? How many of us have made this kind of difference in this world? What difference does it make what motivated him to do it?

I will reiterate that I am not defending Salman Khan and I do not think he shouldn’t have to pay for his crimes just like any citizen would have to, all I am saying is, let the judicial system decide. For the masses, he is just an actor who makes movies…so stop the judgement.

About his roles being manipulated to make him look unlike his real life personality…again “SO WHAT”??? Did we believe every superhuman role Amitabh Bachchan played was him depicting his own self? Do we buy into every stupidly comic character Akshay Kumar plays or did we take every sindoor wearing homemaker role that Rekha played as her real life persona? Why does an artist have to play characters the world dictates? And does the world not appreciate the roles he does play anyway? Do his films not entertain? Do we not go to a movie with the expectation of being entertained and feel like it was ‘paisa wasool’ after every Salman movie? No? Then explain the box office numbers.

Update: I did go and watch BB after writing this and I must say, unlike any other Brand Salman movie there is so much more to watch in this film. I did miss the usual SK in this movie, but it was so sincerely that it made my soul really happy. For those of you who are taking the ‘stand’ to not watch this movie because of your moral beliefs, I am so so sorry for your loss.

This is a guest post by Saanika Prabhu. You can follow her @ Saanikaprabhu

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Blog to Bollywood and Blog to Bollywood does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.