oppn parties How Does Salman Khan Know Yakub Memon is Innocent?

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How Does Salman Khan Know Yakub Memon is Innocent?

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
Salman Khan has landed himself in controversy â€" yet again â€" proving that celebrities should not comment on issues they have little or no knowledge of. Although the mainstream media has been carrying articles saying pretty much the same thing that Salman has said â€" that Yakub Memon is being hanged as His brother Tiger was not caught (read Meera Menon’s piece “Are We Hanging Yakub Memon in Lieu of Tiger?” in ndtv.com, for instance), those are informed pieces that just raise a point by putting together several conjectures. Meera Menon was at one time a deputy editor with The Hindu. Salman, on the other hand, says with a kind of injured authority in one of his tweets that “1 innocent man killed is killing humanity.”

This is where he has gone wrong. Salman should have known that the Yakub Memon trial has progressed from the Special TADA trial court right up to the Supreme Court. He has been found guilty according to laws in India and has been sentenced to death, a judgment upheld by the apex court. How then can someone call him innocent? By calling him innocent, Salman Khan has shown that he has no respect for Indian laws and the judiciary.

Tiger Memon, along with Dawood Ibrahim, were the masterminds of the Bombay blasts but there were many local players whose help they enlisted. Despite his plea that he did not get along with his brother, Yakub Memon has been found to have helped in the conspiracy. Though many think that given the sentences handed to others his death sentence is a little harsh, there is no doubt about his complicity. A difference of opinion on the severity of sentence should not be used to say that he is innocent.

Trials such as the one under discussion see many twists and turns. Witnesses retract their evidence, turn hostile, go missing or are brutally killed. Several such things happened in this case also. But in the end the evidence was pieced together sufficiently well to pass legal scrutiny and convince the judges of his guilt. Now, if the legal system decides that he should hang, so be it. If we still have doubts after a protracted case and several mercy pleas later, we might as well dismantle the legal system and introduce a policy of media or general referendum to decide cases.

Salman Khan is a brilliant entertainer. His job is to make films and entertain people. He should not make comments about such sensitive issues. In fact, no celebrities should make such off the cuff remarks about issues they do not understand. But since Salman has apologized for his mistake, one thinks that we should move on. Let the Supreme Court decide whether Yakub will hang or not.