Soumyadipta Banerjee

Have you become friends with Salman Khan, bro?

Constable Ravindra Patil when he was on duty

Constable Ravindra Patil when he was on duty

The question has been thrown at me so many times that I have lost count. Lots had this perplexed look on their faces while asking me the question.

A few posts on my personal social media — which either praised Salman Khan or thanked him — perplexed them. They wanted to know how I could put out such posts or status messages when I had publicly apologized to him before taking down two blogs, a couple of years back. 

This blog, hence, became a necessity to put things into perspective.

I am neither an enemy nor a fan of Salman Khan. He has millions of them on both sides of the fence and I don’t think he particularly cares about it. Also, I don’t think Salman Khan bothers about the diverse public perception about him or the lack of it. Salman does his job of being a bankable Bollywood star and does it pretty well. 

I am very happy that Salman Khan has been exonerated from all charges. The Honourable High Court has pronounced the verdict and we should all accept the judgment in all earnestness. I do too. Salman Khan has a big heart and the society at large needs people like him. God bless him.

Also, there’s absolutely no doubt that he spends a lot of money on charitable causes which has earned him a lot of acclaim and praise. These are facts that nobody can deny. 

This is also a fact that the two blog posts that were taken down were not about Salman Khan. Salman Khan is a part of the story.

Those two blogs, right from the headline to the last line, was about a deceased police constable called Ravindra Patil.

Ravindra Patil, a strappy, young and handsome man died under pitiable circumstances on the floor of a government hospital in Sion, Mumbai after he contracted drug-resistant Tuberculosis. He had developed the disease while he was begging on the streets of Mumbai during the last days of his life.

Ravindra Patil just days before his death

Ravindra Patil just days before his death

I had found that not many articles were written about him and hence took up the cause.

In my opinion, Ravindra Patil deserved an honourable death. I also feel that Ravindra Patil’s plea to the government and his former colleagues fell on deaf ears.

He deserved a better death. He deserved to be treated better. When a police constable begs on the streets of Mumbai, it is a case where the system has failed. We failed to protect a human life.

Ravindra Patil deserved better.

We failed him.

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