BY: | Waqas Jawaid Arain |
Bollywood superstar Salman Khan, son of celebrated screen writer Salim Khan, has been jailed for five years for shooting endangered wildlife nearly two decades ago.
They came together to shoot – a film. They allegedly then went together to shoot – the blackbuck. But in the end, while Salman gets ready to spend a night in Jodhpur jail, the rest of the ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’ team are hopping on to the next flight out of the town.
One fine September evening, Salman left for a joy drive, allegedly with co-actors Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Tabu and Neelam.
Khan, regarded as the bad boy of Indian cinema, was taken into police custody and driven to jail after the sentencing amid chaotic scenes outside court.
Controversy has followed the Bollywood Dabang Khan since he burst onto the silver screen in the 1980s.
Khan spent a week in prison in 1998 when first accused of using unlicensed arms to shoot the black buck.
Khan was sentenced to five years’ jail in 2002 for killing a homeless man in a late-night hit-and-run crash. That was overturned in 2015 but the acquittal is now being challenged in the Supreme Court.
He was cleared in 2015 of killing a homeless man in a hit-and-run accident. That decision is now being challenged in the Supreme Court.
His image also took a hit when he was accused of assaulting former Miss World and Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai during a relationship which ended more than a decade ago. Khan has denied ever hitting any women.
Salman Khan vs Shah Rukh Khan:
Looking at their bromance now, you would have never guessed that there was a time when Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan could not see eye-to-eye. The two Khans had a nasty spat at Katrina Kaif’s birthday bash in 2008, after Shah Rukh supposedly made a joke about Salman’s ex-girlfriend Aishwarya. According to reports, the two would have come to blows, if it weren’t for the intervention of Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh’s wife Gauri.
According to Forbes, he made $37 million in yearly earnings to finish second behind Shah Rukh Khan in the 2017 Bollywood rankings.
Both the Khans are among the top 10 most highly paid actors in the world.
The Bollywood heartthrob’s latest blockbuster “Tiger Zinda Hai” (Tiger is alive) collected some $85 million worldwide.
His 2016 movie “Sultan”, in which Khan played an ageing wrestler, notched up one of the highest-grossing opening weekends in Hindi cinema history, proving that for his legions of fans the body-building actor known as “Bhai”, Hindi for “brother”, can do no
Bollywood film industry analyst Komal Nahta said the conviction and any jail term would only delay movies but not seriously harm his career.
Director Kabir Khan, who worked with Khan on “Bajrangi Bhaijaan”, one of his most acclaimed movies, believes his misdemeanours hint at a “vulnerability” that audiences relate to.
“His fans stand by him and overlook many of his indiscretions by saying his heart is in the right place.”
— Adnan Sami (@AdnanSamiLive) April 5, 2018
FIVE YEARS! And others are let off !
— richa singh (@richa_singh) April 5, 2018
— Ramesh Bala (@rameshlaus) April 5, 2018
The actor has a cult-like status in star-obsessed India. Most of his devotees are young men who envy his glamorous lifestyle.
They are largely from the urban masses around India who eke out a living in Mumbai and other cities but dream of more.
They emulate his Bollywood big hair and wear pirated T-shirts emblazoned with Khan’s charity “Being Human”. At weekends they gather outside his home where Khan waves from his balcony.
The high point of nearly every Salman Khan film is when he rips off his shirt sparking frenzy among Bollywood audiences, but his millions of fans could soon be missing their macho fix.