All is forgiven, if You’r a star
A Jail term may be ruinous to the lives and careers of the average person, but it’s different for stars. They usually emerge with their star status intact, even enhanced. According to actress and social worker Nafisa Ali, Sanjay Dutt and Salman Khan are big stars, they are bound to evoke public sympathy. She also believes that there need be no stigma attached to serving a jail term. Everyone deserves a second chance, she says.
Maneka Gandhi, animal rights activist and politician who pressed for action against Salman for the poaching incident, says cases against filmstars have novelty value and that’s what brings waves of sympathy for them. Their peers often find the need to express solidarity with stars in trouble and that’s why it seems like there is so much support for them, she says.
IPS officer Kiran Bedi agrees that this is a social reality that cannot be denied. Bollywood stars are idols in the minds of the people. And it isn’t easy to be a Bollywood star. It’s a tough life, and they’ve earned their stardom. Everybody has a past and you can’t wash that away. Some people pay for it and some get rewarded by it. It’s about how the stars are perceived in our country, she says.
CV Nagesh, senior advocate practising criminal law, points out that though there may be public sympathy for the accused, in a court of law they will be convicted as deserved. In the cases of Sanjay Dutt and Salman Khan, they’ve been convicted after their guilt was proven. So celebrity status and sympathies don’t affect judgements, he says.