Salman, tais-toi! as they say in French

I like Salman but sometimes I wish he would just shut up. Case in point this last incident. A homeless person got run over and killed. The car was driven by the chauffeur of Sohail Khan, Salman’s brother. The vehicle was registered in the name of Arbaaz Khan, an older Khan brother. From what I understand this was a hit and run case, not the first one involving the mighty Khans.

When the news broke, I read Salman’s statement. Of course he tried to shield the chauffeur, afterall, he is their employee and naturally Salman, who was not in the vehicle and thus not at fault, tried to deflect culpability and downplayed the responsibility of the driver in this incident (also to keep his name out of trouble, let’s face it..).

I don’t know about India, but what I learned in driving school is that if a pedestrian gets hurt it’s ALWAYS the fault of the DRIVER. We are behind the wheel of a fast moving vehicle and thus 100% responsible for safety of vulnerable pedestrians. Yes, it might have been an unfortunate accident, as Salman calls it, but in India people drive recklessly, let’s face it. Every time I have to cross a street in India I am saying a prayer.  So Salman keeps talking about poor visibility. (By the way, why is Salman doing all the talking and not the chauffeur himself?)

The driver  said  he thought it was a plastic bag. Well, looks like there was a person under the plastic bag… did the driver stop when he realized it was bumpy? Wouldn’t you check what it was you drove over? Did he stop to collect the body and take him or her to the nearest hospital? I wonder…. in that case I would accept Salman coming out in defense of his driver, ahem, Sohail’s driver!

But no, the first statement I read, coming out of Salman’s mouth… We are NOT responsible for the death of the woman who died (later I read it was a 70 yr old homeless man) BECAUSE she was SHUNNED by her family. EXCUSE ME??????

Oh, if it was a woman who was a runaway, maybe from the brutality of her environment, it’s a lesser human being?  I read the word “pavement dweller”… Well, Hello!!! What they call pavement dwellers don’t have two legs, two arms, a head like us and a heart so wounded you, Salman,  cannot even IMAGINE in your dreams because you are living grand and in luxury. People who live on the streets don’t have feelings? Don’t they have worries and hopes just like the rest of the world? Only because it’s a homeless person you can treat them like dirt?  Salman can count his blessings that his karma had not taken an unfortunate turn and ended HIM being up homeless. And HE should be talking!!! with his record. Didn’t he kill a homeless person 10 years back in a hit and run?

Where is the compassion? the caste system is so deeply entrenched in India, that people are still not able to see beyond it.  Yes, sleeping near a road is not recommended and yes, do it at your own risk.  But if you take a life, may that be an accident, you cannot free yourself of all responsibility.  You have to do the right thing. And the Khans should show some damn compassion and not make statements as Hey, that was a scumbag, a runaway, who had it coming! The right thing to do would have been to acknowledge the human loss.

This was somebody’s daughter or mother or wife…. and if it wasn’t a woman (btw, this life was so little worth that the press didn’t bother to determine who the heck it was, a man or a woman..) it might have been a father, a grandfather, THAT THING, huddling under a plastic bag, sleeping under the sky, no roof to claim his own. Somebody desperate enough to sleep next to a street, a highway…

The Khans could have said something nice about the victim and commited to building a homeless shelter, because today it happened to their chauffeur but yesterday it happened to them. They have the money. Find out about the family and offer them your condolences, even if they live in a goddamn hut. Try to do good. Find out about the person, their circumstances. This kind of example is what I would like to see, not trying to deflect culpability and shield the driver in an attempt of “Khan clan” damage control.

And that’s my five cents on this whole case. Well, this comes just as I was enjoying a scandal-free Bollywood moment in history.


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