Monday, April 10, 2006

Justice Finally ?

In a nation where murderers and rapists go unpunished, and sometimes in fact cozily nest in the upper echelon of the government, Chief Judicial Magistrate Brijendra Kumar Jain, I suppose, fed up with the ineffectiveness of the Indian Judiciary decided to put things right, by sentencing Salman Khan, to 5 years rigorous imprisonment for killing two chinkaras. He had already been sentenced for 1 years imprisonment for killing two black bucks.

Now clearly I have no idea how the Indian judiciary works, and I don't know if this is a good decision or not. But there are certain aspects about this sentence that deeply troubles me.

What if this hadn't been Salman Khan? What if it were some local villager who just wanted to taste some deer meat instead of chicken on saturday night? First of all, none of these media channels would consider that news worthy. Consequently, in the absence of all that media coverage, would the same harsh sentence have been announced to that non-celebrity?

But no, Salman Khan, the heathen, the vile evil individual is finally being punished for his crimes. Everyone will now breathe a sigh of relief. The Bollywood bad-boy who thought he could get away with anything, has finally been shown that no-one is above the law.

It is disturbing when the media or possessing a celebrity status can actually alter the sentence against you. Clearly, Salman Khan is paying the price for being Salman Khan!

Killing the deers might have been a crime, but this sentence is not justified. Not in our system.

And one of the comments on the webpage following the article caught my eye. It said, perhaps if Jessica Lal and Meher Bhargava had been deers, they would have secured justice in our system.

Something is terribly wrong.

[Afterthought] Had Salman Khan been found guilty of drunk driving and been punished with 7 - 12 years or so imprisonment, for the other case, I would have hailed the verdict. But 5 years for killing deers ? It's not that I don't care about the endangered fauna of our country, but let's be real here.

[Afterthought 2] After further discussions with my friends, I realize my argument might be misconstrued. I am not implying that just because high-profile, seemingly open and shut cases have not been resolved in over 10 years, that this case should be side tracked. No, every crime, not matter how small should be dealt with swiftly but the punishment should be commensurate to the crime. Just because a street urchin is caught pickpocketting, he shouldn't have his hands cut off.

Additionally, I do think the indian wildlife preserves can benefit far more, by recieving a hefty "endowment" of several crores (2, 5, 10, 15.. ???) from Salman Khan, who anyway demands a paycheck of several crores for his movies, and he should be forced to use his celebrity status to raise funds, or better the state of our wildlife preserves. And no, this is not him simply buying his way out of trouble. These are just possible solutions. I'm not against imprisonment either, since the animals in question were endangered, but it is the 5 years rigorous imprisonment that I am against. And the fact that clearly, justice is not blind in our system, but in this case biased against the celebrity bad boy. It is consistency that I ask for. If even a poor villager from some obscure village in Rajasthan was also awarded punishment of 5 years for killing a chinkara, perhaps I might think otherwise. But given the state of things, I feel this punishment is unfair.


At Mon Apr 10, 04:01:00 PM GMT-5, Anonymous panda said...

musing monsoon haan.. i expected
to find more poems here :p

kewl, keep up the cultural affairs
of india info on ur blog.. =))

At Tue Apr 11, 01:39:00 AM GMT-5, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you that 5 yrs for killing a deer is little over the tops. I have a better punishment. How about asking him to start a wildlife foundation or do some campaign and raise money in conjunction with WWF. Let him use his stardom to do that and every time he works for the campaign he will be reminded of killing that deer.
yours truly,

At Tue Apr 11, 07:11:00 AM GMT-5, Blogger Mumbai Monsoon said...

I absolutely agree. With all the moolah he earns for his movies, even a fine of 5 crores is fine, a mandatory 100 hour campagin etc.. thats all good. But 5 years rigorous imprisonment is absolutely ridiculous. For all those who think that this is a good step, a step forward in cleaning up the system and ensuring that noone is above the law ... Are you kidding me ???

At Wed Apr 12, 02:43:00 AM GMT-5, Anonymous Anonymous said...

may be u might want to start believe in "what goes around comes around"
he got this for crushing those people in DUI

At Thu Apr 13, 12:09:00 AM GMT-5, Blogger Sujata said...

I think this is a classic example of a disproportionate no way is it fair(no matter how annoying an actor he is)..for him to go to jail for 5 years over killing a buck...a judicial system does not exist to make examples of people..and not even..."stop poaching and killing endangered species" "even you being famous cannot get away" a country where there are a few hundred wildlife poaching court cases and the numbers of protected animals decline steadily...this is clearly a bid to prove a point..something which I am disappointed to see a member of the judiciary doing...This only further lowers my hopes and my expectations from the Indian judiciary...

At Fri Apr 14, 09:34:00 AM GMT-5, Blogger Tugga said...

If he got that for killing a buck, wonder what he might have got for killing a boost, or buck-boost:-)

At Fri Apr 14, 10:07:00 AM GMT-5, Blogger Mumbai Monsoon said...

Please... I beg you. Don't torture me with your jokes in the blog-world as well. Having to face them in your lab is bad enough !!!


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