It's definitely a sad day for all Sallu fans. He's been sentenced to five years rigorous imprisonment in connection with the 1998 black buck poaching case. Salman, who is facing four poaching cases, was earlier sentenced to one-year imprisonment.
This blue-eyed boy from tinsel town would've never imagined that his Maharaja-ish lifestyle (what with expensive hobbies like hunting) would land him behind bars. Of late, Sallu bhai has been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons, from the 2002 hit-and-run case, to allegations that he is a girl-friend beater... he is Bollywood's new baddie. A life destroyed by fame and money.
In reel life, he's transformed from a skinny, wood-chopping hero in Maine Pyaar Kiya
to the macho, I'll-drop-my-shirt-at-the-drop-of-a-hat hunk in Maine Pyaar Kyon Kiya
. And with the years, he's also tucked away millions of hearts.
It ain't surprising that Sallu, like most other stars, believed his stardom could bail him out. Unlike in reel life, Sallu failed to find a god father to rescue him and had to finally bow down to the law.
For people like him, hunting would've been only a mere past-time, it's implications far forgotten. What would've mattered then were are only a few pointless hours of King-size machoism to impress rich friends by putting up the prized trophies that were hunted down. In Sallu's lingo, hunting would have never translated into 'killing'. For him, these animals were only a mere source of entertainment, nothing more... nothing less.
Many may vouch for Sallu's good samaritan status. He's done his share of social work, helped the poor, the old... blah, blah... well, so have other actors -- make-up in place, flashing a plastic smile and posing with dirty, poor boys. And once the "click-click" is over, their good samaritan role ends. Salman is no exception either. Had he been one, he wouldn't have fled after running over one person and injuring four others outside a bakery in Bandra in 2002. Instead, he shamelessly fled the scene and sent his driver back to take the blame. Is this what a human being does?
Even through the bad times, the film fraternity stood by him. They vouched that the actor couldn't harm anyone, intentionally! Some even drew parallels to the high-profile, Jessica Lall murder case -- if the killer could walk away free, then why is Sallu punished? This is true Bollywood logic, if one murder can walk away free then the same loop-holes should free their man as well. This way, they can conveniently rewrite the law for the rich and famous. An endangered animal for them, is no more important than the fly they squash on the wall.
The public, however, is unforgiving. The law should not be different for actors, they cried. So the mighty Sallu bhai has lost any sympathy. He ain't the sole culprit, there are other celebrities waiting in line to face the same whip... With Pataudi facing similar charges, we are yet to see how far and wide the law can reach!
But this judgment has definitely shaken the filmiwallahs. So the next time, they pick up a gun to aim down an animal, their hands will shake at the thought of spending a few years in prison. At least, that would save some innocent animals!