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Don’t lock him up, use Salman Khan to sensitise Indians towards wildlife!

For Indians, there is an urgency to become more passionate and compassionate towards wildlife and environment. And Salman Khan could possibly be used to create such awareness, writes Karan Bhardwaj

Salman Khan

Salman Khan in Delhi during a promotional event/

Law catches up, even if it does after 20 years. Ask Salman Khan. But people evolve with time. Ask Salman Khan. He used to drink, drive, hit and run. Like deceased royals, he used to poach animals. But today, being human, he is reportedly more into helping others. His charities, thought mostly undeclared, have grown an army of well-wishers. In fact, I just watched two conjoined sisters from Bihar, Saba and Farah, who are joined together at the head, expressing their desire to stay with Salman Khan behind the bars.

Nonetheless, crimes are like a birthmark. It is etched forever and one has to own it, whether one likes it or not. Salman Khan’s crimes are no different. But can they be used to set a rare example in sensitising Indians towards wildlife? Practically, Salman spending five years in jail (chances of this happening are bleak) is not going to serve anything to the larger cause of preserving wildlife. It’s just a high profile case, nothing more than a media spectacle or public tamasha, which has caught fancy for a couple of days . If we were really bothered about death of animals, we would have been aggressively questioning acquittal of other Bollywood stars in this case, who too were present at the poaching site to enjoy their moment of a lifetime.

For Indians, there is an urgency to become more passionate and compassionate towards wildlife and environment. And Salman Khan could possibly be used to create such awareness. It’s absolutely not about going easy on a superstar or giving him a second chance. It’s just about taking a different approach to deliver justice to the murdered animals. Let’s not forget that Salman Khan is one of the biggest superstars in India and has the capability to influence billions. Instead of locking him up, he could have been made unofficial voice of wildlife in India. After involving himself in three poaching incidents, he could have been more than willing to invest a part of his revenues in protection of endangered species.

After twenty years of committing a crime, I personally would have been glad if the judges had ordered Salman to spend considerable amount of time in serving animals at various sanctuaries in the country. For the next five years, he should be persistently campaigning to make India a better habitat for animals and birds.

Ideas are many. But I guess, they are too wild for some!

PS: I am no way hinting that Salman Khan be made brand ambassador for “Don’t Drink & Drive” campaigns! We are far more aware that killing fellow humans is a punishable offence.

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