It was called the ‘trial of the century’. In 1995 O.J. Simpson, the American football and movie star was being tried for the murder of his wife Nicole and her friend. Most people were convinced he was the killer.
In a very dramatic court-scene OJ was also asked to try out a glove from the murder scene. His lawyer famously said "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit”. The glove didn’t fit. OJ was acquitted for various reasons and it was considered a trial that was badly screwed up by the prosecution. So where is OJ now? Well, he was arrested in 2007 on other charges and in 2008 was sentenced to 33 years in prison. OJ was a celebrity who fell from dizzying heights to a cold prison cell. Some people aren’t that lucky, are they? The law catches up with them one way or another. One can call it divine retribution. But hey, cheer up! It’s not so bad in India. Our OJ’s are above and beyond the law. Not just that, the media loves celebrities who break laws, who are convicted. They are honoured by the media and even by the govt. For two weeks, during the anti-rape protests, our MSM raged against criminals, politicians, criminal behaviour and our laws but they aren’t willing to stand up to or lose one single rupee when it comes to promoting criminals.
Following the Gangrape in Delhi on December 16, 2012 people were out on the streets protesting. Not just in Delhi but across India. Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit gave some ‘tear-jerking’ interviews on NDTV and CNN-IBN on December 21. Hmm… but what was she doing a day earlier? She was busy renaming a road in Vasant Vihar after MAK Pataudi. Vasant Vihar in Delhi is just around 3Kms from Munirka where the woman was raped and assaulted. Who is MAK? He is Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, former Cricket captain and a great player. Just one thing; MAK was arrested for poaching animals and was locked up for 2 days in 2005. He was granted bail but the case never concluded because he died in September 2011. So even if there’s a blot against your name you will be honoured. If you’re a celeb. BCCI also wanted to name the India-England Test series after him. He’s a celebrity, offences can be ignored. Right? Now that the protests have died down most protesters will find time to watch ‘Dabbang2’. Why not! After all for 2 weeks the media couldn’t promote the movie properly. Gotta make up! We have a history of worshipping criminals and then lament the law. And the media doesn’t care; they just love celebrity convicts who are out on bail.
Dabbang? Oh yeah, some pathetic lowlife at The Hindu, the paper that generally rants against Hindu icons finds Swami Vivekananda’s ‘pose’ too masculine (Taking the aggression out ofmasculinity). But who’s the guy who revels in being topless, bare-chested in movies and likes to strike masculine poses in undergarment ads? That’s Salman Khan (SK) for you; a convict, under-trial and out on bail. Now SK is reputed for many “masculine” escapades, including assaulting co-stars or journalists. In a drunk-driving case he killed one and injured a few more. He has been convicted for killing Black Bucks revered by the Bishnoi community in Rajasthan. But would The Hindu complain about underwear ads of SK? I suppose money is “masculine”, isn’t it?
All news channels are guilty of promoting the likes of SK as a great social-service guy. It seems he even weeps for stray dogs that die. Nice! And then the media outrages over who inspires criminals and rapists, that there should be more stringent laws. They want Bollywood to reconsider “item numbers” but all this, while they promote “bad boys” every single day. Coca Cola pulled SK out of their ads after the drunk-driving incident but seems he’s back doing ads for them. CNN-IBN had him as the chief guest (as most other news channels do on many occasions) handing out awards to “Super Idols”. To distract from the rape case and other crimes they then blame lyrics of Honey Singh. Who sponsors Salman Khan and why ads featuring him are carried by media? The media itself is guilty of the same crime they accuse Honey Singh of. He writes lyrics or sings but the media rewards criminals. Mind you, it’s not as if these guys have served their sentences and paid their dues to society.
SK is not the only one. There is the other guy, Sanjay Dutt. He too is a convict, a political party’s member and he floats on media channels like he’s the great “Gandhi” after his Munna-movies. Surprisingly, his case seems to take eons to come up for hearing in the Supreme Court. The offence was in 1993. Do the media scream over a 20 year long justice period for him? Oh no! You see, like SK, Dutt sells stuff for them too. Why would you want your salesmen in trouble, huh? One of the reasons film-producers offered to justify bail for these Bollywood criminals is that a lot of money was invested in their movies. Heard anything more absurd?
The funniest part is that these celebs are hard to find when they have to be served with summons or when there’s an arrest warrant against them. Midday reports SK was exempted from court appearances 83 times in 10 years in the drunk-driving case. And when the latest summon was to be served he couldn’t be found. The crystal ball showed he was partying with the Special IG of Police. They could have even asked Rajdeep Sardesai (yes, Rajdeep who once thought Dawood Ibrahim was a patriot) or anyone at NDTV, ABPNews, Timesnow or any channel. Arnab Goswami even did a ‘Frankly Speaking’ interview with him. If SK shows the way can others be far behind? Ha! Bitty Mohanty, son of a top cop (Relax, it’s not in Caps, I am not referring to THAT Top Cop) is absconding for 7 years after jumping parole in a rape case. Gopal Kanda, former Minister of Haryana, was absconding for almost a month when there was an arrest warrant in the Geetika suicide case. He did have a genuine explanation though: he was preparing his reply to the charges in peace in some corner of the country. Durai Dayanidhi, son of MP Azhagiri, was absconding for months with a non-bailable warrant on him. He surfaced only when bail was finally granted. Oh by the wayward, media feels like a coy “dulhan” when they have to report the land-cases of Shekhar Gupta or N. Ram of The Hindu. Hammam Ahoy! The list is endless.
Someone said “Drunken Lumpens”? Umm… how does the news-media explain all the surrogate liquor ads? BlendersPride fashion! “Make it large” Royal Stag! “Chaar yaar” type Bagpiper! Oh there’s music to drink by from Smirnoff or Bacardi. Keep counting. No moral sermons or outrages for the ridiculous promotion of liquor by circumventing the law. And the media celebs are gonna tell you how to deal with rape? People supposedly in journalism who have made every possible compromise with morals, truth and dignity simply do not qualify to sermonise or outrage over laws or failure of law. If someone has to wake up first, it’s the media. The Hindi news media can’t even get past their “Saas-Bahu” and “BigBoss” specials. Who are these people fooling? These are channels whose websites goof up and change headlines thrice a day like Shivraj Patil changes clothes. People keep screen-shots for their mischief.
Let the media apex bodies like PCI or NBSA pass resolutions that they will not harbour or promote any Bollywood or any other celeb with criminal charges against them. Let them resolve they will not promote movies of convicted criminals. Let them report the court cases against their own media members. In the absence of this, the news-media itself is nothing more than an accomplice, a mafia wife.