Bolywood’s bad boy Salman Khan finally got a conviction for killing an endangered black buck in Rajasthan in 1998. Co-accused of Salman Khan, were let off for lack of evidence. Judge wanted to make an example out of Salman Khan because of his fan following, because of his stardom. Idea was, so I thought, if a famous person like Salman Khan can be convicted and sent to jail for killing an endangered wildlife, then common people would be more fearful of the law.
Salman Khan has been embroiled in one controversy or other. Other than killing black buck, Salman Khan had allegedly ran over people sleeping on pavement in Mumbai, under influence of alcohol. Salman Khan had also barged into apartment of his ex-girlfriend, Aishwariya Rai, some say he also physically assaulted her. There is no doubt in my mind that Salman Khan must pay for the consequences of his action. Conviction in black buck killing may be the first step. No matter how much money is riding on his shoulders. No matter how many humanitarian work he does. No matter how good a human being Salman Khan is.
Salman Khan was fined Rs. 10, 000 and a jail term of five years, for killing a black buck. I find both penalty of 10, 000 rupees to be ridiculously low and punishment of 5 years in jail to be unusually harshFi. A fine of 10,000 rupees is nothing for a person like Salman Khan. He probably spends more money per day on his pets. By contrast, a jail term of five years for killing a black buck is also way too much. Consider the following two cases:
Sonali Mukherjee was a young beautiful 18 year old girl in 2003. She was living in
Dhanbad, Jharkhand. Three men, Tapas Mitra, Sanjay Paswan, and Brhmadev Hazra, poured acid on her face one night, while she was asleep on the roof of her house. These men thought Sonali to be arrogant and must be taught a lesson. The incidence had turned Sonali’s life upside down permanently. All her family savings was spent fighting court case. Desperate and destitute, she asked presidential permission to commit suicide. In 2014, more than a decade after her ordeal had started, Sonali was given a grade III clerical position in Bokaro Deputy Commissioners office, by Jharkhand government. Today, Sonali is married and has a child.
Men who disfigured Sonali, a young girl with a bright future ahead of her, were sentenced to nine year in jail. They secured bail by appealing high court, came out. These men, did not even spent their term in jail, lead a normal life outside, while Sonali and her family suffered. Contrast this with Salman Khan’s five year for killing a blackbuck.
My second example is about Aruna Shanbaug. Aruna was not as lucky as Sonali.
A nurse in King Edward Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Aruna was engaged to be married. Of course fate had a different idea. One day, Aruna Shanbhag had the misfortune of scolding a ward boy. Angry ward boy, Sohanlal Walmiki, attacked Aruna while she was changing to go home for the day. Aruna was raped, strangled with a chain and left to die. Her body was discovered next morning, almost 12 hours later. Aruna did not die, she went into coma instead, and remained in coma for 42 years, from 1973 till 2015.
Sohanlal, was sentenced to two consecutive seven year sentences. He served his terms, changed his city, got married and lived a normal life. All the while, Shanbhag remained in coma. Reports suggest Sohanlal has been repenting his act and his remaining life is a penance. But consider this, Sohanlal made a vegetable out a vibrant human being and spent 14 years in jail, while Salman Khan killed a blackbuck and got 5 years.