Thursday, 7 May 2015
Salman Khan arrest, Abhijeet, Farah and pavement dwellers
Salman Khan convicted and sentenced to five years in prison!!!
Though the sentence is not yet executed, it is unbelievable news because -
- Heart throb of millions
- Founder of 'Being Human' an NGO
- Helped many people
- Tooo larger than life to be sent to Jail
Once the result sunk in - one cannot but appreciate the Indian judicial system which finally caught up with the person. One could also champion it as the triumph of the system and claim to reinforce the faith of the common man in the system. One point though was missed out i.e compensation for the victims. Hope that it gets addressed soon.
That said, it was rather unfortunate that Salman Khan got involved in this accident in which one life was lost and three injured. That could have happened to anyone - we don't need to demonise him for that. But where he faltered, is in the way he tried to avoid conviction. That could be a result of natural human tendency or a result of bad advice by his advisors!! Had he owned up manfully and underwent a short sentence, he would have emerged a bigger and more popular man than he is now!!
There were also a few tweets by his fervent admirers Mr Abhijeet and Ms Farah which when summed up, mean that people should not be sleeping on the pavements. Having watched their interactions on TV too, I was amazed at their insensitivity which almost seemed to imply that the people who slept on the road were the guilty persons!!!I switched off the TV in disgust.
While I was lying down to get to sleep, these discussions were still in my mind. It is reported that about 5 lakh people live on the footpaths of Mumbai. With the rich being so insensitive about these people (even likening them to dogs!!!) Who is going to ensure the safety of these people?!!!! Many accidents have happened killing some of them in the last few years!! I was disturbed by several such thoughts
---THEN I GOT TO A RATHER INTRIGUING QUESTION -
JUST WHO ARE THESE 5 LAKH PEOPLE SLEEPING ON THE FOOTPATHS?! That led to some doubts!!
- WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?
- ARE THEY WORKERS - IF YES, IS IT NOT THEIR CONTRACTOR'S LIABILITY TO PROVIDE THEM HOMES?!!
- WHY SLEEP ON FOOTPATHS IN POSH MUMBAI AREAS? IF THEIR PLIGHT IS SO BAD THEN WHY CONTINUE IN MUMBAI?? WOULDN'T IT BE BETTER IN THEIR HOME TOWNS?
THESE ARE DIFFICULT QUESTIONS TO FIND ANSWERS!!!
Mr Abhijeet and Ms Farah may have started this discussion rather crudely, but it may still need to be taken forward to get to the root of this problem. My heart is with the people who don't have a home and are sleeping on the footpath - but I want to know if they really don't have a choice??
Either way, after a lot of thought, I tend to agree that footpaths are not meant for people to sleep or hawk. It's time to do away with the word -'pavement dwellers' altogether and make alternate arrangements for them as precious lives are being lost in this manner !!.
Maybe it's time for a new movement - to free up the pavements (not just roads as in the Times of India initiative) and one may need to thank Mr Abhijeet and Ms Farah for starting this seemingly outrageous (at first sight) discussion.
Lest you forget... The juvenile rapist of Nirbhaya who was supposed to be the most brutal of all is still at large!!! keep an eye ...