The following was written by SMIW’s Bruce Vain.
I hope you’re okay.
I ask that in all earnest, because I recently read that you said you “felt like a raped woman” after undergoing some grueling training sessions; during the shooting of your upcoming film.
When I read that, I was immediately concerned for your physical and mental well-being and decided to write to you. After all, it is clear that being Salman Khan, you are 100% familiar with all the ways a raped woman feels and things she goes through after being assaulted.
You said that after the training sessions, you couldn’t walk and that made you feel like you had been raped. Since I’m not an authority on the subject in any way, I’ll just take your word for it, Sallu. You may be on to something there, because it is plausible that sometimes, a rape survivor may receive injuries and bruises that make it difficult or even impossible to walk.
However, sometimes they might experience other things too.
For example, a rape survivor is really likely to be blamed or at least held somewhat accountable for what happened to them – especially if they are a woman (yes, men get raped too bhaijan, although many don’t talk about it because it is not very manly – masculinity is dangerous that way, you know).
So, keeping up with the tradition of people with no knowledge or experience of how it feels to be a rape survivor asking questions that have nothing to do with rape – I am compelled to ask you some really important questions, if you don’t mind?
Let’s start with what you were wearing when this happened. Was it too tight? Too revealing? Did you assess the moral implications and dangers of training in such attire before you consciously made the decision to wear those clothes?
Were you drunk when you went to train, Salman? How much did you have to drink? Don’t get me wrong here, you obviously are a reformed man who has quit every vice, except women (WTF?) – something you proudly proclaimed in the same interview – but let’s be honest, you clearly have a history of being drunk and taking irresponsible actions.
Actions that often leave others bruised, injured or dead.
Speaking of others, who were you training with? Did you know them? Did you trust them? Is there a history of any relations – sexual or otherwise – between you and them? Again, don’t get me wrong, but you do have a reputation of being promiscuous. The tabloids are full of stories about your romantic relationships.
So, why shouldn’t your previous personal history be brought into question here? Who’s to say that the training which left you feeling this way wasn’t just a case of a relationship gone bad or even a misunderstanding?
Oh by the way, did you try calling them bhaiya to see if that made a difference? Also, were they serving Chow Mein anywhere in the vicinity of your training place?
Next, let’s talk about where you went to train. More specifically, why that particular training center and why at that time of the day / night? As a person who has common sense and reads newspapers, did you not realise the perils of going to train there and at that time? On that note, do you read newspapers or have common sense?
What about your life after this incident? Do you think you will be able to cope? Go back to work? How do you plan face your colleagues, your neighbours, your family? Because obviously, this is your shame. You do realise that you have lost your honour, right? Are you worried that no one will marry you, now that you have spoken about it? Have you seen how society treats those who dare to talk about their own rape?
Have you considered suicide as an alternative to just existing as a zinda laash?
Oh well, I guess you do have something to put your hopes on. You have that film still coming out. The one where you pretend to be a wrestler, and a good person. The one full of badly acted scenes and over-produced songs. The one where you romance a woman one-fourth your age.
The one for which you trained so hard, that you felt like a raped woman.
So yeah, I guess you can still look forward to it breaking all kinds of box-office records and sending a nation of bhai-loving, misogyny-supporting, rape-normalising people into another tired, rehearsed, bi-annual frenzy. Meanwhile you’ll sit at home, being all human, all ‘rape victim like’ – basking in your self-satisfying mediocrity, masquerading it as glory – made up of sweat and blood.
Sweat, that you lost – in creating a false media image, bullying newcomers, lobbying against rivals and making clever rape metaphors (to promote films that would have made just the same exorbitant amount of money without them).
Blood, that you drew – from hides of endangered animals, corpses of homeless people, battered cheekbones of ex-girlfriends and Vivek Oberoi’s film career.
About the Author:
Bruce is co-founder of The Spoilt Modern Indian Woman initiative and the person behind the popular campaign Spoilt Modern Desi Women.