A remark by Salman Khan, made during an interview session on Saturday, has created a controversy, with the National Commission for Women (NCW) demanding an apology from the actor, failing which, he will be summoned for an explanation.
During the interview about his upcoming film Sultan, the 50-year-old, while describing the gruelling shoot for the film where he plays a wrestler, reportedly compared the experience to that of a “raped woman”. While talking about lifting a 120-kilo man ten times, the actor allegedly said, “When I used to walk out of that ring, it used to be actually like a raped woman walking out.”
The remark went viral on Monday, creating a social media furore, with #InsensitiveSalman trending. However, his critics and fans seem divided on the issue after it emerged on Tuesday that his quote being shared is incomplete. Khan, it is believed, realised his faux pas as soon as he passed the remark and admitted to it. What he said, thus, was: “When I used to walk out of that ring, it used to be actually like a raped woman walking out… I don’t think I should have (pauses). It feels like the most difficult… I couldn’t take steps. I couldn’t take steps.”
While Khan has remained silent on the issue, his father, noted screenwriter Salim Khan, took to Twitter to apologise on the actor’s behalf. In one tweet, he said, “Undoubtedly what Salman said is wrong, the simili, example and the context. The intention was not wrong.” He followed it up with, “Nevertheless I apologise on behalf of his family his fans & his friends. Forgiveness is to pardon the unpardonable or it is no virtue at all.”
While the film industry has maintained a silence on the issue, social media is divided. Academic Madhu Kishwar, for instance, said over a series of tweets, “Appalled at the hungama over @BeingSalmanKhan statement. I find nothing objectionable in it. Such expressions commonly used even by women. Fact that @BeingSalmanKhan statement being blown out of proportion shows the vehlapanti of feminists breasbeating over flimsy issues.”
Khan has previously been accused of physically abusing his then girlfriend Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan. The actor is also an accused in a case of hunting the endangered black buck. His biggest controversy has been the hit-and-run case where he was accused of running over people sleeping on a pavement in Bandra, in a drunk state. The High Court has given him a clean chit in the case.