Thursday, 14 August 2008

Disciplining celebrites in India

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Recently, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zenta Jones have been fined US$ 3K in Italy for wrongly docking their yacht. It was not long ago the famous Athlete Marion Jones was punished for drug abuse. The list is long and it feels sad that not even one celebrity from India has made it to the punished list except maybe Harbhajan Singh for the infamous slapgate.

Somehow in our country a celebrity is free to kill, break laws; encroach lands; have unlicensed arms and yet get away with it. The 24x7 news channels build such a sympathy wave for these guys, that we are lead to believe that the particular celebrity who otherwise had lead the life of a saint, should not be punished for a single act of aberration. I pity for the guy, who in this great democracy, was fined for filling a PIL in the court that it was wrong to give customs duty exemption to Sachin Tendulkar for his Ferrari.

The act of holding dangerous weapons is justified for the simple reason that Sanjay Dutt is a man of golden heart; how he helps the unit boys and most importantly he has acted in “Lage Raho Munna Bhai” which is wrongly claimed for promoting Gandhism. Salman Khan’s act of mowing down pavement dwellers and killing chinkaras is justified on the grounds that he is a good boy gone wrong. Arrest of these `noble souls’ is represented as the police system trying to find cheap popularity for itself. Refusal of bail to these `men of honor’ is projected as the ineptness of the judicial system. Stories on how these `freedom fighters’ had to suffer by sleeping in the jail; eating the jail food and how they had to suffer without the usual luxuries of life are made to look like `sacrifices for the country’.

It is time that we realized in our great country that celebrities are like anybody else and not above the law. Celebrities should be an example for others but in our country becoming one means a passport to a life of unruliness and getting away with it. When they break the law, they should be subject to the same ignominy like any other normal criminal of this country. If the police get publicity because of arresting them, so be it that is not their fault. A celebrity is easier to track down than an ordinary criminal. So for a particular act of crime, when an ordinary person goes untracked but a celebrity is trapped, there is nothing wrong with it. It is only the price he/she has to pay for being a celebrity and still breaking the law. After all, Caesar’s Wife has to be above suspicion.

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