Bollywood, the nation is watching you

There is the inevitable rush of the Bollywood fraternity to actor Salman Khan’s house now that he is out on interim bail. Many were already at his home on Wednesday even as the star was at the Sessions Court.

There was also the tweet, inane and insane, which implied that people who slept on roads were dogs or that it was inevitable that something like this would happen if you sleep on the pavement. One industry person wrote that the government should provide a home to every homeless person! It goes to show that many Bollywood personalities, these oh-so-celebrated ones, may have an IQ inversely proportional to the crores they make.

Some responsible tweets have been seen from Bollywood, but by and large, it is shocking that so many celebrities are making light of what is a very serious matter — driving under the influence of alcohol, killing one and injuring others, effectively ruining several lives in one irresponsible moment. While batting for Salman Khan as a friend, generous person, fellow Bollywood-ian, is one thing, one cannot and should not support the action.

Salman was driving under the influence of alcohol. He knew full well that he was intoxicated and that liquor definitely compromises brain function and reflexes. Instead of talking about how sad they are and weeping copious tears, those in Bollywood must use their vast appeal and visibility to make a case for safe driving. This is a perfect opportunity for stars to use their power via social media to hammer home the message that alcohol and driving do not mix.

Right now, the atmosphere is charged and this case has captivated the eyes and ears of a nation. This is an audience that is already available, so why not spread the socially responsible message to a ready audience? In this age of click-of-the-button instant gratification, timing is all important. Bollywood, click not just on your keyboards but also on your conscience to use the Salman case for the greater good of society. Like they say, there is no time like now.

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