Actor Salman Khan, who is no stranger to controversy, sparked an outrage after he compared the physical pain while shooting ‘Sultan’ to that of a ‘raped’ woman.
While addressing a section of the media, and describing the physically daunting schedule, the actor was quoted saying, “It is like the most difficult thing….When I used to walk out of that ring, it used to be actually like a raped woman walking out.”
Khan immediately realised his mistake and tried to make amends by saying, “I don’t think I should have used that”.
But, the following sentence largely went unnoticed by the media and general public. The result, a nationwide debate and an outrage on social media.
However unlike other times, when the actor would say something, regret and apologize for it later, the outrage seems a bit more disconcerting this time around. Surely, there are other things going on in a country with over a billion people.
Nevertheless, since the actor hasn’t explicitly apologized for his statement till now, here’s everything that transpired following his ‘rape’ comment.
Deadline for apology
The first one’s to react and publicly slam the actor for the ‘rape’ remark were the National Commission for Women (NCW).
Lalitha Kumaramangalam, the chief of NCW, questioned the actor and demanded a public apology from him. They commission has allowed the actor 7 days to issue an apology.
Bye bye Olympics
Salman’s journey as ‘Goodwill Ambassador’ for the Rio Olympics was plagued from the beginning, with notable sports personalities condemning the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) for their objectionable choice.
With the Olympics fast approaching, IOA officials feel that his statement might send a wrong message and tarnish the image of Indian sports, giving rise to speculation that the actor might be dropped from the contingent. An official, on the condition of anonymity, actually confirmed that Salman has already been dropped and his PR team has been notified about IOA’s decision.
Ghost from the past
Since the statement referred to a woman’s ordeal, an excerpt from film critic and writer Mayank Shekhar’s book ‘Name Place Animal Thing’ wherein the Salman had allegedly threatened a female journalist is now going viral on social media.
The excerpt: “I’d just heard about how filmstar Salman Khan had insisted to drop a journalist back home after a long interview. It wasn’t too late in the evening. She didn’t particularly fancy a chivalrous ride. But he wouldn’t take no for an answer. He’s a bit of a brat like that. She gave up. They drove together. She found the spot where she needed to be dropped. He insisted on driving her right up to her building gate, asked her to specifically point out the floor she stayed in. ‘Now I know where you live,’ he told her sweetly. ‘The interview I just gave you? Don’t publish it,’ By all accounts the piece never saw the colour of print.”
Slammers & Supporters
If there’s one thing that Salman can truly boast of, it’s his legion of diehard fans. There may be better actors, but they can only dream of a fan-following that could rival his. Needless to say, they came out in support of the actor, trended things like ‘SalmanMisquoted’ on social media and in general kept sending good thoughts his way. From the industry, a handful celebs like Subhash Ghai, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Pooja Bedi lent their support to the actor.
But, on the other end of the spectrum, others like Kangana Ranaut, Sona Mohapatra, Lisa Ray, Renuka Shahane and Sapna Moti Bhavnani publicly criticized the actor for his insensitive remark. And these are just from the industry. Activists, journalists and political parties have had a field day coming up with creative ways of saying ‘what he said was wrong’ and how he should be punished.
Activist Rafat Jamaal, in a petition filed before the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) in Lucknow, has asked for legal action against the actor for the statement showing ‘disrespect to rape victims’ and ‘revived the ugly memories of such heinous crimes’.
Lawyer Manoj Kumar Dixit has also filed a petition, in the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) IIIrd’s court in Kanpur, seeking action against the actor.
No more press for Bhai
Considering the fact that the actor got into the mess while he was talking to the press, seems Salman has actually decided to keep a safe distance between him and journalists for the time being.
While leaving for Spain today morning, where he is scheduled to attend IIFA awards, the actor steered clear of any media person waiting for him at the airport. He avoided everyone that charged towards him and simply made his way through the security barrier.