Turns out, hit-and-run cases are not new to Bollywood.
It was the year 1993, when Puru Raajkumar “hit-and-ran.” Reportedly, a drunk Puru accidentally ran his car over 5 people sleeping on a pavement in Mumbai. In the process, he ended up killing two people, injuring another two, and crippling one. Puru fled the scene, but was later arrested. However, he didn’t face any charges, wasn’t told to take a medical examination, wasn’t even put up for a trial and got away with the crime by paying Rs. 1Lakh.
Who is Puru Raajkumar, you ask? He is the son of veteran actor Raaj Kumar and is, what they call, a ‘failed star kid’ who couldn’t make a mark in Bollywood.
Cut to about 11 years later, Salman Khan commits almost the exact same crime. It takes them 13 whole years to come out with a judgement and now, Salman is to face 5 years in jail under sec. 304 II of the Indian Penal Code.
I’m not taking sides here. I understand Salman Khan, like all of us, is not above the law. I also agree that it’s commendable that justice has prevailed, slowly but surely.
But is it possible that Salman’s massive star status is being used to send a strong message to society, through an exemplary sentencing that might discourage future crimes of the same nature?
Of course, the fact that one crime went unpunished doesn’t mean that others should be similarly ignored. And of course, society has changed quite a bit between 1993 and today. But what do you think? Do you feel Salman Khan is facing extra scrutiny because of his outsized star status? Or is this just a sign of the changing times?