A guest blogger takes up the fight on behalf of Salman Khan’s fans and makes several persuasive arguments in favour of the Bollywood star, and sometimes, against Shah Rukh Khan.

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There is not only a lot of Salman Khan bashing but even bashing of his fans that is going on in the cyberspace and some things need to be made clear on that ground. Two blogs by some Asher Madan have prompted me to write this.

In my opinion, Salman fans are left with no option but to retaliate in this fashion. They are pushed to the corner by the media and SRK fans and I think they have every right to fight back. When things far from truth are being shoved down your throat, when the unfairness of it all becomes hard to ignore, the unrest and anger is going to surface somewhere in some way.

The Media Bias

Salman Khan
Salman Khan

Media religiously writes false negative stuff about Salman and when the fans protest, they are criticised or attacked by some totally unwarranted vicious comments. There is never a neutral, matter of fact kind of a report about Salman. Everything is given a decidedly negative turn. To add to that there are bloggers who are constantly telling people why Salman Khan shouldn’t be liked and why his films are bad and why he has no business to be successful and popular. Then you have SRK fans who can’t praise their idol unless they run down his biggest and probably more popular rival, Salman. The anguish of Salman fans or this ‘fan-war’ angle can never be understood unless this media bias is considered.

Shah Rukh Khan: The Great Man Who Can Do No Wrong

Shah Rukh Khan stills from Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, My Name Is Khan, Ra.One and Don 2
Irrespective of the quality of Shah Rukh's films, they get four stars.

There is this inexplicable stand by the media and an all out effort to tell people that they shouldn’t like whom they (people) like but they should like the person of the media’s choice. That’s SRK. I have been observing for the past many years how the media is supporting Shah Rukh and glorifying him as if he is the greatest person to have ever walked the face of this earth.

The qualities Shah Rukh doesn’t possess are plastered on him, his failures and wrong doings are masked and each and every action of his is explained and praised. Irrespective of the quality of his films, they get four stars. No matter what the calibre of his performance is, it is praised with the choicest of superlatives.  He is always mentioned with loads of positive adjectives and even a casual mention of him comes with a 2-4 lines tribute. Whenever his films seem to be getting unfavorable response from the audience, the entire media gets into action and starts telling people why and how that film should be appreciated and what a great job he has done by making such a film. This has been observed for Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, My Name Is Khan, Ra.One and Don 2 in the recent past. Then there are reports of the film doing very well which do not necessarily match the real picture. The moment the public opinion seems to be getting even slightly negative, there is bombardment of stories attaching all sorts of elements of ‘greatness’ to him.

Salman Khan: The Bad Boy Who Can Never Do Anything Good

Now just reverse all of the above and you get the coverage on Salman khan. In the past 20 years, the media has made all possible efforts to present him as the monster which he obviously is not.  His good qualities are never talked about. His perfectly normal and even well intentioned actions are attached a negative motive and presented as examples of his highhandedness.  When they don’t find anything, they actually cook up stories and bash him on the basis of that. They deliberately create controversies around him and his films. Presently, he is supposed to be having an affair with every pretty newcomer and a fight with anyone who happens to pass by. He is never praised even when he has given many praiseworthy performances now and then. He is probably the most charismatic Bollywood star ever. But an honest effort to analyse his appeal or to salute his uniqueness is never done. His success is never recognised. He is never given credit for anything.  When it becomes impossible to ignore, there is only a grudging acceptance of his success and popularity. Now, please don’t tell me that media reports things as they are because my point is, they don’t.

Pour The Black Paint And Then Slam As ‘Black’

Media and SRK fans take great pleasure in calling him a murderer, criminal etc. Now, thousands of accidents happen every year all over the country. Which driver is called a murderer? Thousands of youngsters are caught driving drunk. Who amongst them is labeled a criminal? Has Salman really done things that he is accused of having done? Nobody knows the truth of these cases. But media and SRK fans have given the verdict and have declared him a criminal. None of the allegations on Salman including beating his girlfriends etc. have ever been validated. But people write with so much conviction and passion as if they have actually witnessed these things happening.  They also add other imaginary stories as they please.

The media keeps adding new details every time they mention the old controversy which itself is their creation. They totally avoid writing about his good Samaritan acts for industry people, his helping nature, his unparalleled generosity and the acts of charity that he has done all these years. They never praise his loving, caring nature and his helping ways. There are so many positive and interesting aspects of his personality that never seem to catch media’s attention. It’s always the ‘bad boy’ stories for them. He may not be a saint but he definitely is not a criminal and a goon that they like to portray him as.

Just How Many People Know Salman?

Salman Khan at Being Human event
How many people know of the extraordinary charitable deeds that Salman has been doing for past years?

How many people know that Salman has helped so many accident victims before and after he himself was involved in one? He has spent time and effort on taking these strangers to hospital and aiding in their medical treatment. How many people know how he has helped many artistes and technicians to find a foothold in the industry? How many people know how he has helped producers in difficult times? How many people know that he spends his valuable time which he can utilise to earn money, on terminally ill patients, orphans and people in need of financial help? How many people know that all of his income from participating and performing at various events goes directly to his charity ‘Being Human’? How many people know of the extraordinary charitable deeds that Salman and his father Salim Khan have been doing for past so many years?

Media’s Choice Of Convenience

People in the media obviously know all of the above things but avoid writing about them. They are happy to attack him for things which he has not even done or words that he has not uttered. His films are bashed left, right and centre. He is presented as a downmarket hero when he actually has a following in all classes and in all countries where Bollywood has managed to reach.

I have personally written letters to many publications requesting them to stop believing that the world is full of only SRK fans and to wake up to the fact that a large number of their readers are fans of other actors also. My letters and my advice are obviously ignored. Media has continued in this fashion for so many years now.  Why so? That is for people to think and find out.

Salman’s recent successes have only increased the frequency and intensity of attacks on him. Why should Salman fans keep tolerating this attitude of media and why shouldn’t they point out these things to them?  Nowhere in the world would you find a personality loved so much by people being targeted like this by the media.

SRK Fans Make It Worse

Then there are these so called SRK fans who think it is their duty to bash Salman. Their comments are never limited to the news or article that they are commenting upon. It is always the personal attack and character assassination for no reason.  The comments are crass, cheap, abusive and full of mindless accusations. Just because he is involved in two court cases doesn’t mean you can accuse him of just about anything and abuse him as you like.

After the controversial court cases, Salman has not really done anything that would anger people or invite any kind of negativity. He never boasts, never makes tall claims, never tom-toms about his success, never asks for accolades and is just happy to go about his life and work. His performances have only got better and his success, bigger.

When despite all the positive and right things done by the person, a totally unwarranted negativity is directed towards him on a huge scale, the intention of people doing so becomes totally suspect. Salman’s fans obviously get irked by all this and react. They may not understand the nuances of campaigns against him but they surely understand that their hero is being treated unfairly and is targeted unnecessarily.

Why should Salman fans keep taking this rubbish? Why shouldn’t they stand up for someone they love? Especially when he is being targeted for no reason and made to look bad just to make somebody else look better and appear bigger?

I totally support Salman Khan’s fans. In the absence of personal PR machinery and in the wake of the mean and hateful attitude of the media, it’s only his fans that are there for him. So, don’t worry guys! Don’t cross the limits; don’t go overboard but stick to your guns. You are not committing any crime by loving someone and taking up his cause.

Manjusha Patil is a media and PR professional and a freelance writer. She tweets at @manjumuses.

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