Salman Khan Rapegate

The media is equally wrong

The man in question: Salman Khan

Note for Non-Indians: Salman Khan is one of the biggest Bollywood actors in the country. He recently made an inappropriate comment that involved rape victims. This has caused a great uproar in the Indian media.

I happened to listen to the audio recording of the now infamous comment made by the said actor. It is clear (in the audio) that the then present media burst into a collective laughter, and to an extent patted on Salman for making another ‘bro-type’ statement.

My question is — why no one interrupted then and there? Or after the interview? What was the laughter all about?

The answer is:

The ‘mediapersons’ laughed for they knew they have struck gold with that comment. No one was actually offended. They were simply thinking of how to headline that statement asap, and grab eyeballs.

In the same audio clip, one can hear how Salman Khan immediately realized what he said was wrong. In fact, he even muttered the same — ‘I don’t think I should have said it’. But this portion was conveniently edited out to sensationalize the story further. Prime time debates followed and the nation wanted to know or at least the media wanted the nation to know.

I feel there’s this growing ‘intolerance’ of the media itself coupled with a disgusting moral fabric that they pretend to wear to make matters even more obnoxious. Why no one protested when a full-blown poem on rape and female genitalia was shown in the movie 3 Idiots in 2009? However, circa 2016, everyone seems to be sitting on a burner.

If anyone is actually concerned about rape victims, will they (news media) care to give airtime to the struggle of one tribal woman named Sori Soni in Dantewada (Chattisgarh), who’s been fighting a lone battle against institutional rape. Will they have an equally passionate debate on the issue of ‘marital rape’ in India?

Lastly, not to defend Salman Khan (not at all), but time and again famous persons and celebrities are picked upon by the media acting as hounds — a word here, a remark there, maybe a wardrobe malfunction, a cleavage shot etc. Give these people a break. They shouldn’t be so important.

Parting Remark: While it is necessary to report the truth but shouldn’t the media adhere to a certain ethical code when dealing with such sensitive issues? More so when it is trying to teach the same to other people.