Written by SEEMA KUMAR
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ADITYA SHARMA// Salman Khan says he felt like a raped woman during the grueling shoots of Sultan and you were outraged. Well, to put it straight, there is stupid, and then there is pure retarded. Congratulations to you for being the missing link.

The moment I heard that people were shouting themselves hoarse over the comment on the internet, my belief in the legitimacy of facepalm being the leading asana for international yoga day became as steadfast as Rakhee's faith in “Mere Karan Arjuna ayenge".

Moving on. Let me ask you this. Would you be outraged if say, a donkey starts braying? I shall assume a “no” for an answer, because if you know anything about donkeys it would be that they bray (in addition to the fact that they also look immensely cute).It's natural for them to do so.

Then why would you outrage when Salman Khan says something stupid? It's not like he's known for his pithy commentary on the state of economic disparity causing human rights violations in Africa. Or other stuff that requires any more mental capability than that required by a monkey throwing his poop at whatever the monkey wants to throw his poop at.

This is the same 50-year-old who has been dating some of the hottest women in India (and abroad) and still proclaims that he is a virgin. So either he is being honest and none of those women slept with him due to his repellant stupidity (since the man looks about okay), or he was stupid enough to not know what to do once they'd provided their assent, or he is stupid enough to believe that the audience will believe in the crap he was dishing out.

This way, or that, he is inarguably stupid. Stupid people do stupid. Also, stupid people get outraged when stupid people are doing their existential duty by being stupid. quoderat demonstrandum (Latin for “Which had to be demonstrated”).

Some of you denizens belonging to the feminazi party's wing handling the comments sections in various forums will say, “But as a human being…”.

Now, which aspects of human beings make them such a shining example of righteousness, citing which you plead the case?

We kill other species without an iota of guilt. We kill our own species without an iota of guilt. We've used rape and mutilation as preferred weapons of destruction. Hell, our very existence on this planet is the cause of slow and painful disappearance for all other life forms. So “as a human being”, I think it was a very human thing Salman Khan just said. He was just “Being human”.

Now for the sake of argument, we set this mythical not-once-did-a-wrong example of a human as a benchmark.

Please explain how Salman Khan comes even in the light-year vicinity of that mythical being?

From battered women to slaughtered wildlife to self-driving cars that run over people, I am sure you will find the man guilty of crimes of a much larger magnitude than a retarded quote in an interview.

So either you accept that he is the very sort of person who would say stuff like he said, in which case outrage would be an exercise in futility. Or you ensure a logical cessation of the earlier outrages. Failing which you’d be the person who didn't construct an efficient drainage system after an earlier deluge and now is cursing the clouds for a sprinkling of rain. That. Is. Stupid.

AARTI K SINGH// Love him or loathe him, you just can't ignore him. Bollywood’s unquestioned enfant terrible, Salman Khan has always chosen to live life over the edge and is rather blasé about it.

A couple of years ago, (I think on the sets of Shaadi Karke Phas Gaya Yaar), I had gone out of the set to seek a quiet corner to make a phone call and I saw Salman trading his Seventeen for All Mankind denims with a spot boy who was adjusting some lights, just because they were the right fit! Right there! They both just removed their jeans and wore each other’s! I asked Salman about this and all he said was “Usey meri achhi lagi mujhe uski- - bas adla badly kar li”. (He liked mine and I liked his, so we simply exchanged.)

There is a reason why he is called Bhai. I was a witness to his taking off his designer watch and handing it to an autowallah or when he gave his expensive bicycle to the sweeper's son. But he also takes his Bhai tag way too seriously — and not always with palatable results. Extreme demonstrations of his protective, possessive bhaigiri result in him assaulting girlfriends — right from publicly pouring a soft drink on Somy Ali's head to reportedly whacking Katrina with a stick on a film set for wearing a revealing outfit. He may have refused the lead in Abbas-Mustan’s Baazigar because the idea of playing a negative character didn't rock his boat, but he has shown marked villainous behaviour more times than can be believed. Such as boasting about his connections to the organised underworld criminal network and making derogatory comments about other actors over the phone to girlfriends. But as per his fans, he is allowed certain “mistakes” in his life.

Not to say I am ignoring his magnanimity at large. Magnanimity is certainly a quality to be emulated but murder and scant regard for law are character flaws!

All the spiel of “look at his charity” and “ignore the mistake” to me, is nothing but a by-product of celebrity culture! We would much rather pay obeisance to the image that Salman has created of himself as Robinhood (a fact he acknowledged in Dabanng as well) rather than acknowledge the fact that he broke the law on five counts just that particular night -- the night his vehicle ran over people sleeping on the pavement!

I would not want to misplace all the love and sympathy Khan is getting from the film industry — perhaps it is genuine — but the Rs 200 crore riding on him, thanks to his upcoming projects, also need to be factored in. Perhaps the “golden heart” would not be tom-tommed about if he was a fading star.

Neither taking off his watch, nor sleeping with a cuddly teddy bear, or calling his doggies MySon and MyJaan nor rushing off money to a dozen people for treatments take away from the gravity of killing a homeless man in a drunken state, trying to suppress evidence and lying in court.

Bhai may be genuinely a good guy, despite his various antics, but the crux of the matter is summed up by none other than Salim Khan. The father has made the best ever judgement that a father can about his son when once he told me (as he also told many other journalists) off-the-record and brutally honestly, “Salman is his own worst enemy.”

Salman reportedly asked Additional Sessions Judge D W Deshpande to “Treat me like an ordinary person, not the superstar”. Perhaps this is where the real journey of actually being human begins for Chulbula Salman.

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