In the trial scene of Shylock in the “Merchant of Venice” , an impassioned audience member once got up and moved by the unfairness of it all, cried out ” That man has been wronged.”
Indeed he was—and today many years later history (or myth) repeated itself with the protagonist being, by a strange quirk of fate, a man whose name has the same first letter as Shylock’s. (but who is neither “shy” with respect to body exposure nor has “locks” of hair).
Ravi Chopra who was one of the star attorneys in the Warren Commission, the eyewash investigation into the assassination of JF Kennedy,(and whose character was played by Kevin Costner in Oliver Stone’s “JFK”) was immediately on the ball.
“This is ridiculous. There were other actors too, but I don’t understand why Salman alone was targeted. How come the others were acquitted while he alone was sentenced? Was it written on the bullet that killed those blackbuck that Salman had fired the shot?” wonders producer-director Ravi Chopra, who is directing Baabul with Salman, Amitabh Bachchan and Rani Mukherji.
Exactly. Also how do we know that there was not a second shooter in the bushes behind the grassy knoll—who did this all to set up our misunderstood Salman ?
Ravi Chopra while conducting Salman’s defense showed the judge the trajectory the bullet (in case it was fired by Salman) had to take in order to hit the deer—-it violated all the laws of physics having to go in and out, turn back again and shoot the deer.
To which the judge cruelly smiled and say “Apun ka naam hain Heera, chaku se bullet ko cheera“. Which legal experts interpreted as ” Anything is possible in the Hindi movie world—the laws of Newtonian physics don’t hold here”
So if not Salman then who else did it ? The people who were in that hunting party were: Sonali Bendre, Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Neelam and Satish Shah.
One name stands out: Saif Ali Khan.
After all, his dad (Nawab of Pataudi) is also doing time for killing deer—isn’t it natural that the blackbuck-hunting genes were also inherited by the Chote Nawab? How come the Saif Ali Khan angle was never explored—would it be the same invisible hand that got him the National Award ? I mean if someone can get the National Award for “Hum Tum” surely that person can get away with murder. Even of an animal.
There is more. Just before the judgment was to be delivered, Ravi Chopra made a stunning request.
Where was Dick Cheney on that day in 1998?
I mean look at it. Mr Cheney also goes on hunting expeditions. And he is known to pump bullets into anything except what he is there to hunt. What if Mr Cheney in trying to shoot someone else (perhaps Satish Shah) accidentally shot the black buck ? There would obviously be a cover-up, right?
However, the request was refused by the judge.
Another Salman director, Rumi Jaffery of God Tussi Great Ho, is also in shock. “I cannot believe this,” he says, too taken aback to react. He is, however, confident that Salman will come out clean and that the higher courts will grant him bail. “In my heart, I know he is innocent. He will bounce back,” says Jaffery. Ravi Chopra too is confident Salman will walk out clean.
Ravi Chopra also added, off the record :” When that beggar died and the press went to town saying that Salman ran him over—did it say anywhere on the tire marks that ‘Salman Khan is driving this car’. When the press reported Aishwarya’s black eye, where did her swollen eyelid say: ‘Salman’s hand did this’ ? I mean it is just so unfair.”
Rumi Jaffrey when pressed for further comment just shook his head and said “God Tussi Great Ho”.
Rumors are being whispered that Salman Khan is going to be interred in the infamous Abu Gharaib prison where he will be let off early if he can convince the other prisoners there that male nudity is not humiliating but liberating—-after all he has been doing it voluntarily for years.
But then again, that’s just what it is.