Today’s court decision to defer the hearing is believed to be an indication of the possibility that the actor will be eventually acquitted in this case.
By Rakesh Raman
As expected, Bollywood actor Salman Khan today got a major relief from an Indian court that has postponed the hearing in the blackbuck-killing case – in which the actor is allegedly involved – till July 17.
The 52-year-old actor who appeared in a Jodhpur court today has petitioned to suspend his jail term in the 1998 case in which endangered blackbucks were killed.
Last month, he was granted bail after he was convicted for hunting blackbucks as a pastime while shooting for a Bollywood film. Salman Khan’s co-stars Saif Ali Khan, Neelam, Tabu, and Sonali Bendre were acquitted for lack of evidence.
Salman Khan was kept in a jail for 2 days before granting him bail after he was convicted and sentenced to 5-year imprisonment by another court.
Today’s court decision to defer the hearing is believed to be an indication of the possibility that the actor will be eventually acquitted in this case too as it had happened in his 2002 hit-and-run case.
The bail was granted to the actor although the blackbuck poaching is largely a non-bailable crime which results in a 7-year imprisonment. An animal rights group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) had condemned the court decision to grant bail to Salman Khan.
Although Salman Khan had formed a humanitarian organization in 2007 after the blackbuck-killing incident to ostensibly show his compassion for others, most know it was a cover-up attempt to influence the expected court verdicts for the offences he has allegedly committed.
Politics in Salman Khan Case
The chattering classes in India know that it is not possible to keep Salman Khan behind bars for long as he is very close to Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister (PM) of India.
Those who are familiar with the religion-centric Indian politics know that Salman Khan is known for his sycophancy to Modi.
Most Muslims in India believe that Modi was responsible for the Gujarat riots of 2002 in which more than 2,000 Muslims were murdered while Modi was the state’s Chief Minister.
Salman Khan – who is also a Muslim – chose to become an apple-polisher, a toady for Modi, hurting the sentiment of millions of Muslims in India.
Salman Khan often argues that since Modi has been exonerated by the Indian courts in the Gujarat riots case, he has befriended him. But this is a baseless argument. Even if Modi is acquitted, you need not hobnob with him brazenly because he is still guilty in the minds of millions of Muslims.
Even when Modi was acquitted by courts, top countries of the world that respect human rights did not allow Modi to enter their territories.
For example, the U.S. administration had denied visa to Modi in view of the allegations of human rights violations against him in the 2002 incidents of riots and carnage. But as he has become the PM of India, Modi is visting the U.S. frequently because now he enjoys political immunity.
The victory in an Indian election is based on a politician’s capacity to tell lies and hoodwink the voters most of whom are uneducated. Thus, Modi won the election in 2014 and became the PM.
Role of Indian Courts
Plus, Salman Khan must understand how the Indian courts work. Many judges in India cannot dare to work against Modi or his party colleagues. Those who dared are either removed from their positions or they simply die in mysterious circumstances.
As the courts and top judges are completely controlled by the government, a few judges recently protested openly against the shady working of the Supreme Court of India.
They were particularly concerned about the mysterious death of judge B.H. Loya who was investigating a criminal case in which Amit Shah – president of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of Narendra Modi – was a prime accused. It is largely believed that the Modi government has influenced the investigation to get Amit Shah off the hook.
A couple of months ago, when courts were reluctant (or scared) to take up Loya case, a 15-party opposition delegation submitted a letter to the President of India Ram Nath Kovind, seeking an investigation into judge Loya’s death. But nothing happened, as it was expected because Kovind is also a Modi’s man.
Since the working of Supreme Court of India is in a total disarray, last month in an unprecedented action 64 Rajya Sabha MPs of different political parties had submitted a notice to remove Chief Justice Dipak Misra from his position on 5 charges of misconduct. The step was taken after the controversial decision on judge Loya’s death delivered by the Supreme Court.
Perhaps Salman Khan knows that his sycophancy to Modi can protect him from all harms and he was thus released on bail in the blackbuck poaching case, and now the hearing is postponed virtually allowing the actor to freely have a ball.
It has happened before also. As Salman-Modi footsie continued, in December 2015 Salman Khan was acquitted by an Indian court in a 2002 hit-and-run case. As it was a serious case in which one person was killed, many believed that Salman Khan would be imprisoned. But strangely the court decreed to let him go free. The less said about the Indian courts, the better.
The Modi government rewards all those who support BJP’s ideology of Hinduism aimed at making India a true Hindu Rashtra (a country only for those who belong to the Hindu religion). Salman Khan has been one of the beneficiaries.
There are also other Hindu Bollywood actors who willy-nilly stay close to Modi and his gameplans such as the dubious Swachh Bharat Mission.
Instead of staying away from India’s dirty politics, strangely these actors have decided to become a part of it. Sad but true.
By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society.