What was Salman Khan thinking?

Published: September 18, 2010
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Bollywood film star Salman Khan made a controversial political statement on Pakistani current affairs show Face Off

What possessed Salman Khan to say the things that he did about the Mumbai attacks is a bit of a mystery (do view the video first).

Perhaps he is planning to enter politics. Perhaps he wanted to promote his film in Pakistan and ensure that he would make more money. Considering his film has broken more box office records in India than I can count, this clearly shows that the one muscle in his body that is perhaps not pumped up persistently is his brain. Perhaps he had a momentary lapse of judgment and thought that he was on Bill Cosby’s ‘Kids say the darnedest things.’

Do you want to be Arnold when you grow up?

Maybe Khan does have secret political ambitions and thinks that he is India’s version of Arnold Schwarzenegger surpassing both Big B and Shatrughan Sinha in terms of super celebrity status. If that is the goal I think Salman will most likely fail. He is far too privileged; besides, he does not have an almost unpronounceable surname, a thick Austrian accent and is certainly not a brash, quick talking bodybuilder from a small European village who became one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Salman has also not married into India’s equivalent of the Kennedy family or amassed a fortune via shrewd investments. In short he does not have a hope in hell of becoming the Chief Minister of Karnataka – India’s California, depending on one’s level of gullibility.

Khan did apologise almost immediately after the controversial interview was aired which was recorded three weeks ago. I surprisingly agree with his following comment:

Everybody knows that the Pakistani government was not behind it and it was a terrorist attack. Our security had failed. We have had lot of attacks earlier, and all of them were not from Pakistan. They were from within.

Clearly his choice of words was not wise as far as India is concerned.

Playing a politician doesn’t make you one

What is it with film stars making political statements? When will film stars learn that while a politician can indeed act, most commercial actors fail miserably when trying to make a political statement or standing up for a cause. In Salman Khan’s case, there are also the constant clashes that he has had with the law. He literally got away with murder a number of years ago. Perhaps at the time Salman managed to convince the right people that his reasons were the same as that of maybe Pholan Devi?

Does anyone remember Sultan Rahi? Look how an alleged face-off with political figures ended for him. Maula Jatt it is firmly believed paid the price for his Jattness. In one single sweeping statement, Salman managed to alienate himself from almost all of India and at least 70 per cent of Pakistan if not more.

Pakistanis want justice too

As a nation I am positive that we believe that what happened in Mumbai was wrong. However, in our heart of hearts most of us also realize that it is more than likely that extremist groups from Pakistan were involved. Pakistanis were grieved at the loss of life in Mumbai and prayed for the souls of all those who perished which is why most of us firmly believe that those who committed that heinous act in Mumbai should be punished.

Although I am against capital punishment I agree with Gary Ackerman, chairman of the House of Representatives subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia when he says:

LeT are a deadly serious group of fanatics and this group of savages needs to be crushed.

For Salman Khan’s sake I hope that Shive Sena supremo Bal Thackeray is perhaps willing to secretly finance some of his future ventures.

emad.hassan

Emaad Hasan

A teacher, academic counselor and a senior sub-editor on the web desk of The Express Tribune with a keen interest in law and politics

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • MR

    And why do we care about Salman Khan?Recommend

  • Anoop

    Salman did a very stupid thing. Pakistanis would have watched the film no matter what.

    He apologized immediately so thats good. Recommend

  • HST

    there is nothing wrong with what salman said…..exactly what 100% of the Pakistani’s think. just counting out the writer! In case the author didn’t got the clue its called freedom of speech, and everyone has the right to express his views. some call it dumbness some call it boldness. i guess we pakistanis have so long been dubbed to be shamless gutless, spineless, respect-less waGARA wagara that we forgot what it feels to be courageous and in believing and expressing what we deem is the right expression not for the sake of politics but for bringing people together. got it? nahi samjhaay?Recommend