The Breakthrough Voice 22nd June, 2016
Bhaijaan, “Being Human”.

Written by: Shreya Iyengar

“But bhaijaan hai woh….
Hit and run,
Shoot and kill,
Foot in mouth,
Yet being human”

Having read these lines on Twitter, I felt that they were appropriate for this post.

Did Salman Khan just say that he “felt like a raped woman” during the shooting of Sultan?

I recently read the statement written by the survivor of the Stanford rape case, and sincerely wonder: did he feel as outraged, angry, devastated, numb….as humiliated and empty as she did?

You really did, bhaijaan, didn’t you?

You did feel all this while earning the big bucks and the dizzying fame, shooting in the comfort of a crew, actors and a team which would be at your beck and call at every opportunity?

It is neither an accident, nor a role play; it is definitely more severe and painful than “lifting and thrusting on the ground, and lifting 120-kilo guy 10 times from 10 different angles”.

His jarringly insensitive comment is a reflection of the snobbishness of a conceited man; of the film fraternity, which has maintained a worryingly stoic silence…. of the general lack of awareness of the common people – their passivity and indifference when they resort to any means to defend their “bhai”, who, after all, has a heart of gold. If “bhai”, who is mostly equated with a protector in India, has such callous disregard for what a survivor suffers at the hands of a hellish perpetrator, I wonder who will educate and spread awareness about the abominable act.

Why is it that a ghastly, humiliating, violent and permanently damaging act like rape is so easily trivialised and dismissed by not only the superstar, but also by us – the common public? Why do we find it convenient to reduce rape to something so insignificant, so banal, and later apologise for the slip-ups?

Do not let go of this as just “another” statement; an apology is the very least we deserve. And then, maybe, we can be large-hearted enough to let this go – yet once again.

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