@IshitaYadav's brother was killed 8 months ago in hit & run by a drunk truck driver. Her Qs now on Salman.
In September last year, my brother was on his way to drop a friend back home. On his way there, a truck had blocked the road, causing a traffic jam. My brother got out of his car, tapped on the truck driver's window, told him to move it so the cars could pass through. The truck driver started his truck, and as my brother was walking back to his car, he was run over by the same truck. It knocked him down and the rear tyre went over his pelvic area. The driver was drunk and drove away. Fifteen minutes later, two young boys who were driving past saw him and took him to the nearest hospital.
We were told by the doctors he would be back home in two weeks but would have to go through a series of procedures over the next five-ten years, to "put it all back together". There was a lot to fix. His bones in the pelvic area were badly crushed and had turned to dust, his intestines had popped out, his urinary tract was damaged, there was no skin left in the area. He didn't wake up after his first operation and died two days later from multiple organ failure.
Unlike the homeless man that was killed by Salman Khan, my brother wasn't a nameless, faceless, and personality-less person for those who knew him. His name was Ishan, he was 25-year-old, he had just finished his MBA, his interests included history and political science, he loved watching and playing cricket and football, he would binge-watch Game of Thrones, Homeland and House of Cards, and he never missed an episode of Real Time with Bill Maher. He was witty and had a good - sometimes politically incorrect - sense of humour (in my last conversation with him when he was in the ICU, he said he was talking like he had Down's Syndrome because he had cut his tongue in the accident). He was a happy young man who was always making the people around him laugh. He also had this heart of gold' people have spoken so much about in the last few days. While fighting for his own life in the ICU bed, he told my mother that he felt sad for the young girl named Sushmita, who was in a coma, on the ICU bed next to his, and that he wished she'd wake up soon because her parents "seemed sad". He loved animals. He once spent an entire Sunday afternoon trying to save a crow that was stuck on a kite string on a tall tree branch, and later took it to the bird hospital. At another time, he saw an auto run over a cat that got scared and hid itself in the bushes. He called an animal ambulance and waited there for four hours till the injured and terrified cat finally came out and got some help.
The reason I describe him in great detail is that he isn't just a statistic to be discussed every time an MP raises a question in Parliament about the number of lives lost in hit-and-run cases across the country. He was a real person who was loved by his family and friends. A person who died because of someone's irresponsibility and whose loss is irreplaceable.
The truck driver was eventually caught. Not because the system is extremely efficient (the cops had been bribed by the truck owner, and had said there was no way he could be traced), but because I work for a Member of Parliament who had put enough pressure on the police for them to not let the driver get away. The driver said it was just an accident, that he didn't mean to kill him, that it was a "mistake". It may have been. But is it also a mistake to run away rather than stay and help the person you have "accidentally" run over?
In this case, do you sympathise with the driver or the victim? The victim, I'm guessing, since it's hard to be apathetic towards someone who SOUNDS human. Now think about how this case is different than Salman Khan's hit-and-run incident. It's not.
After two days of extreme reactions on television channels and the social media, people seem to have moved on from whether they think Salman deserves punishment or not, and Salman is back to ensuring Bollywood doesn't suffer losses worth Rs 200 crores.
What's shameful, however, is that just because a person is considered more "important" than a non-celebrity, it gives him the license to kill people and get away with it. What's worrying is that a homeless dead man whose family has not spent millions on a PR machinery in the last 13 years is subject to such apathy and disgust from people, while TV editors giggle like little school girls at a glimpse of Salman's shadow in his balcony on the day he gets bail. What's appalling is that members of political parties tweet in favour of a criminal and wish there's minimum sentence because the criminal apparently has a heart of gold. The sad truth is that Salman Khan got away with a slap on the wrist while you and I would have got years in prison for the same crime.
Just because you can't put a face or a personality to a person that was killed, doesn't make their life any less valuable, it doesn't make their family miss them any less, and it definitely does not give you the right to compare them to a stray dog.
Salman may have a fantastic heart, but it doesn't make the crime any less grim or worthy of punishment. Crimes should not be judged by how good or bad a person is. He is still someone who destroyed lives, and spent the last decade trying to use money and power to protect himself from real punishment. By letting him get away, all that the judicial system has done is set a dangerous precedent for the other powerful celebrities out there.
Now mull over this: What if a random celebrity's driver had run over and killed Salman Khan? Would you still have let it pass as an "innocent mistake"? Would you still have been appalled?