The debate and discussion will continue to simmer post Salman Khan’s guilty verdict in his hit-and-run case. Legal experts will air their opinion; witnesses will be interviewed; the prosecution will explain its stand and the spotlight, of course, will be on Khan and his family, at least for these two days.
The Salman Khan case will be the talk of the town for a few days, at least, given the huge hype it has generated. It is not just famous names that will debate this; even the common man will discuss this threadbare.
Besides the celebrity focus, Bollywood’s support manifested in quotes and tweets some of them, frankly inane but that is not the only takeaway from here. What the Salman Khan verdict must do for people is reinforce the don’t-drink-and-drive message. Instead of simply focussing on the quantum of punishment or the bail or other aspects, what we can learn and tell people is that it is certainly not cool to drink under influence.
The Mumbai police’s aggressive anti-drink driving campaign must be lauded, but it is when the spotlight shines on celebrities that the most impact is felt. Youngsters must realise that drink driving can turn one’s life into hell.
The Salman Khan case can actually be turned into a strong example for this. It is a strong indicator that intoxicated driving is deadly, not just for the victim but the drunk driver, too.
It shows how alcohol compromises your thinking, your sense of speed and, in fact, imbues you with a false sense of confidence and being in control.
The bigger cross to bear is living with the knowledge that one has killed somebody, taken away a life, because one was driving drunk. What we see publicly is just one face of Salman Khan. The other is the demons he must be battling inside, jail or no jail. That should be a very sobering thought for all of us.