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The Bhai-philes: In Search Of The Real Salman Khan And Why He Continues To Be A Divisive Figure And A Bollywood Hot Potato

The entire social media, over a past few weeks, have been considerably divided over the Salman Khan verdict – the five year prison sentence  given by the lower court for a hit and run accident amounting to culpable homicide committed somewhere in the year 2003, and the  subsequent bail granted by the High Court. While Bhai-fans were over-ecstatic at this development, many felt once again justice was denied, justice lost. There were major and minor skirmish on social media, with people coming out for as well as against this judgment, but this was a major breather for Salman Khan as well Bollywood, because trade analysts put that around 230 crore ride on his movies and that’s a big reason why Bollywood heaved a sigh of relief. Some might say that this concern was not genuine, but many will beg to differ for they will tell you about Salman’s larger-than-life generosity. Then why this cat and mouse game, then why was a prime witness not taken under consideration, why did his driver committed perjury, these questions have no concrete answer.

Salman Khan or Bhai as he is known in Bollywood, is a legendary figure for his humanitarian work. His charity Being Human has done considerable work for the downtrodden. But Salman himself is a polarizing figure, he may be at time acerbic taking down his foes and friends alike, while the next moment he might give his life for them. Sounds very generic but that’s what Salman Khan is known for, very filmy even off-screen.

Salman Khan has got involved in a list of controversies apart from the hit and run accident that turned his life topsy-turvy. Be it his past relationships, the Black Buck shooting case in Rajasthan and some controversial comments that got political parties running after him, some might wonder what’s wrong with him. Yet when we see all the work he has done through his charity, it is hard to believe that he has got himself tangled in such activities. Is he outspoken, is he impulsive, Salman Khan Theorists have no concrete answers. He can do anything for his friends and even enemies. Salman Khan is a strange phenomenon. Many will vouch it be his friends, fans or even his strongest detractors but one can’t really fathom the cause of this. Over the years he has tried to rectify his image but time and again he has been the victim of his actions be it the way he treats his ex-girlfriends or his statements like the one he gave during 26/11 attacks. Somy Ali, one of his ex-girlfriends recently clarified that Salman Khan was never abusive towards him but then Aishwarya Rai Bachchan can’t say the same because it was because of her fight with Salman Khan on the sets of Chalte Chalte led to her ouster from the movie and the role was bragged by Rani Mukheree. Yet these are things of the past and people move on but when you are involved in culpable homicide and other such serious offences how much good you do, it is difficult to get out from the constant scrutiny.

After the verdict for the hit and run accident was declared, entire Bollywood rallied behind him but some were more than loud like jewellery designer Farah Khan Ali and singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya who said it was the fault of those pavement dwellers who were sleeping their and defending Salman Khan tweeting bizarre stuffs that got the social media criticize them and even FIR lodged against them. But this thing can’t be helped for everyone wants to be in Sallu’s good book. Stars like Rishi Kapoor condemned such tweets and said that though one and all are behind Salman, such tweets are a disgrace and one should respect the Indian judiciary. This further got social media attention as Rishi Kapoor on a twitter war with Ejaz Khan another self-professed Bhai-phile and sometime actor. These are the things that hurts Salman Khan’s image.

One can’t predict Salman Khan. Remember the last scene from Kick where he says Mere bare mein itna mat sochna … dil mein aata hoon … samajh mein nahi. Now that’s bhai for you all. He will continue making movies, and as recent report suggests he is already piling up the shoot for Bajrangi Bhaijaan. His detractors will scream justice is dead, his fans will say he has suffered enough, but among this hullabaloo, one thing won’t stop and hopefully shouldn’t, Salman Khan’s movies because whatever he is, he is a fantastic mass entertainer.

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