Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Fair Play

Maybe we have come a long way from the position of ‘Show me the person, and I’ll show you the law.’

Maybe we are very clear that celebrities are no different from regular citizens. So, if they do the crime, they must do the time.

But maybe, just maybe, the judiciary that is acting according to such strong, potent impartiality, doesn’t quite believe it.

That is why there is a 150 page judgment (in a bid to be a ‘landmark case’ no doubt) when a much more concise sentence would do. If only evidence is weighed to administer punishment, then why should it matter if a guy is a celebrity? Salman Khan got famous acting. How does that mandate that he have stronger ethics than others? Why does his fame make him responsible for other people’s conscience? Why should his getting punished be an ‘example’ for other people?

Maybe the judiciary itself needs to think of whether it’s trying to overcompensate for its lapses. Maybe it needs to look at whether it’s going all out to punish those who get caught to make up for those who get away.

So it punishes a frightened 19 year-old (a common citizen) when she turns a hostile witness while the uncommon ones breathe easy.

It sentences a guy for breaking the law. And then it points out that a celebrity has not escaped the long hands of the law because the celebrity is no different from a regular citizen. The law is the same for all – a common man or a celebrity.

Yes, your Lordship, I’m trying to get past the fact that Salman Khan is a celebrity and your judgment is in fact, very very righteous.

And no, your Lordship, law is not blind. It definitely peeps.


Heretic said...

As long as Salman pays the price set within the law for killing an endangered/protected species, no one really has a cause for complaint.

As for poachers and other instances of people getting off scotfree, that is only an instance of the system not really doing its job. No point letting a clearly-guilty Salman off the hook because 100 others have managed to con the system. By all means, celebrities also need to pay the price for committing crimes, just as we expect all criminals to. That's the point of the legal system! At least we got one offender on the block, now go get the others too is what the judgement really implies.

All for the judgement, although I strongly believe Salman will get off the hook over the next month or so (by means fair or otherwise).

Ameet said...

Law definitely peeps. Do you think it's a cultural thing? I've noticed that laws are taken more literally in the west, whereas in India, they're heavily coloured by the moral compass of society. Enforcement of laws is also an inexact science - with a liberal dose of common sense applied.

Anonymous said...

There have been umpteen cases where the 'celebrity' has escaped the law because of the power/influence/money that they have. When one such person is not allowed to escape the law, isn't it the correct thing to do to let others know that it's not 'given' that being a celebrity you can go scot free.

I agree completely with the judgement and if your argument is that the law is the same for celebrities AND common man, just do a data research on past cases involving celebrities.

Mukta said...

Hey all,

My only point is that if the 'celebrity' status was not important in deciding the case, then one shouldn't be harping on it. Also, if you have punished a guy because he broke the law, than that's the whole 'raison d'etre' of the judiciary, isn't it? How does it become a colossal 'triumph of justice'?

I am not at all saying that I disagreeing with the judgment. All I am saying is that the observation that Salman is a public figure and should THEREFORE have been more careful in abiding by the law is wrong. If you say that, then aren't you looking at the accused differently from a normal guy?

And if that is your contention, then don't say that Salman's celebrity status didn't matter...because it did. No, it wasn't material in arriving at the verdict and it didn't swing the weigh of evidence in any which way, but it was a consideration.

Blythe Spyryt said...

Somehow, i think the "victory" at this point is a bit hollow...because black bucks and other endangered species continue to die and only one has really been punished for killing it. If they want to send out a message, let them address every single instance that an endangered animal or an animal in a sanctuary has been hunted for sport.

ichatteralot said...

That poor black buck died YEARS back and some more endangered species died thanks to Tiger Pataudi. Wonder how many years it will take to bring him to justice - if at all...

Anonymous said...

Punishment for law breakers is how the system should ideally work, but leaving some high profilers and punishing some, doesn't reflect very good on our system.

I agree Salman did break the law, but the judgement was heavily favoured. An important reason was undue publicity by the media.
I think there were many more important events and cases at that time, which should have been given more importance.

Anonymous said...

i agree. if its been made such a big thing aboyt him the what about pataudi and so many like him, and there are many, who on a regular basis go hunting (with friends and guests) endangered species.

its a very pathetic and immature show of ... nothing really.

the punishment happened. the brime is still going on .. full swing. sad! salman khan is just a really stupid person who doesn't know any better, put him in a "special" institution or something, the guys that deserve jail are people like pataudi. pthew! pthew!

-J [teerathyatra]

Anonymous said...

the brime in the comment above is crime. passion overtaketh fingers ...


doubtinggaurav said...

The moral of the story, black bucks have more value than pavement dwellers.