Remember a couple of days ago when Kangana asked why Hrithik’s Daddy had to come to his rescue? And I said it’s not really a Hrithik issue, it’s how the world works? I am CORRECT! Now Salim has come to Salman’s rescue. Oh, and speaking of old guys everyone listens too, Om Puri is in trouble as well.
As reported yesterday, the Salman quote about Pakistani artists should be welcomed in India continues to be “a thing”. And now Salim Khan has spoken out, as he tends to do when his son is threatened, in a series of tweets. Bollywoodhungama has collected them all into one statement, you can see it below:
Breaking news Saeed, Lakhvi & Masood replaced by Salman Khan Mahesh Bhatt, Karan Johar & Yechury on the most wanted list of Times Now. As these people are a big threat to the unity of our country. Take heart, gentlemen, at least you are in the job of entertaining people. Rather than in a job of shouting screaming hurting & humiliating people. Mr. Yechury careful, talking of peace will make you a traitor. Mr. Bhatt our country has no dearth of intense and dramatic actors on TV then why look across the border.
It’s a fine statement, as you would expect from one half of the greatest screenwriters in Indian history. But what I will be more interested in seeing is the response. I bet people, both from film and politics, are a lot more lenient on Salim than they are on Salman. Because he’s an old man, and he has such a long history of accomplishments, and so on and so on. Old men are just allowed to get away with a lot more than young men are.
Although there is a limit! Om Puri appeared on a TV show last night, and just sounded odd! Now, I support the general idea that it is better to work for peace between nations during conflict than to draw lines. I’m fine with Salman’s statement, and Salim’s. But Om Puri just got strange! Saying of the troops (according to Bollywoodhungama’s transcript):
Have we forced them to join the army? Who asked them to lift the weapons? You want India-Pakistan to be turned into Israel and Palestine and indulge in a fight for centuries? It is not merely a division of the country; it is the partition of families. Our country houses 22 crore Muslims and they have their relatives on the other side and vice versa. India has the second largest population of Muslims in the world.
And concluding with:
“Prepare 15-20 people as suicide bombers and send them to Pakistan.”
Here’s the main video if you want to check the quotes, what I am fascinated with is the body language. Everyone else is fairly calm, facing the camera, and Om is just jumping all over the place, slouching, and finally getting up and walking out. It’s just weird!
Going back to my point about Salim speaking for Salman and Rakesh speaking for Hrithik, I have to wonder if Om would have been allowed to go on so long, or even been invited to speak on this kind of program to begin with, if he hadn’t fallen into that “older man” category. If his age gave him some kind of (obviously false) presumed wisdom, which covered a strange strange personality.
If so, it wouldn’t be the first time. I don’t know why I am the only person who remembers this, but Om Puri is a wife beater. But not a young exciting scandalous wife-beater, an older respectable one so it isn’t talked about much. Back in 2013, his wife filed a case against him for hitting her while they were having an argument about their teenage son. She later withdrew the case, it turned into a whole thing, there were allegations that it was just a move to increase her alimony, or increase sales of her memoir, etc. etc. But, in the middle of all of this, the brother of Om’s first wife Seema spoke up, which is what convinced me that there really was something going on in his marriages (here is the full interview):
My sister was tortured and victimised, but we did not go public even after she got divorced…Just because someone is a good artiste does not make him a good human being. An actor lives in the world of make believe, but the definition of a good human being is different….There was a time when we wouldn’t want our daughter, daughter-in-law or sister’s personal life to be out in the open, but times have changed…I am nobody to stop her from going back to Om. She is an adult and an intelligent woman. She is not a child that she can be stopped. But she should know what is bad and what is good for her. She should live her life with dignity. I will always protect her. People should know that she has a brother called Annu Kapoor.
The whole wife-beating thing was back in 2013, and I know it doesn’t seem terribly closely related to a statement on TV in 2016. But, to me, they feel kind of all of a piece, the idea that he can do whatever he wants and doesn’t expect to be questioned. Because he HAS done whatever he wants, whether it is stringing together random thoughts on TV or beating his wife(s), and most people haven’t questioned him.
(By the way, it looks like now Seema has gone back to Om, and Annu is working with him. But none of this changes my impression from that 2013 interview, relationships are complicated, a woman can go back to a man who beats her and her brother can choose to maintain the relationship with her at any price.)