With his tweets, Salman Khan has, at one level, seems to have made an appeal to Nawaz Sharif that Tiger Memon needs to be sent back to India and tried. I have no objection to that. But the part that is objectionable is his tweet that if the innocent are sent to the gallows, it will be a murder of humanity. That's highly objectionable. He has undermined the image of the Indian judiciary with this and it is act of contempt of court.
I find this particularly objectionable on two counts - Who is he to certify Yakub Memon as innocent? Does it mean that Salman knew of the conspiracy and the perpetrators to say that Yakub is innocent? If he knows, then why isn't he disclosing the names of the perpetrators and why didn't he mention their names earlier?
Even though he doesn't mention Yakub in his tweet, the tenor and tone clearly makes a reference to Yakub Memon. When the courts have held him guilty, who is Salman to certify his innocence? With this, Salman Khan has insulted the departed souls of 257 people and created doubt in the minds of the people about the judicial system that the judiciary has not been impartial.
The stability of every nation depends on two factors - the absolute faith of the people in the currency of that country and secondly, the absolute faith of the people in the judiciary of that nation. By trying to shake the latter, he has said something highly objectionable. As a matinee idol, he has a large fan following, which he has tried to influence. His next tweet after his father corrected him is merely an eyewash.
There are two types of people: those who make a mistake and when it is pointed out, they try to rectify it. The other category is of people who, even after noticing the mistake, ratify it and then pretend that they had no intention of saying it. Salman falls into the second category; there is no regret and repentance.
In India, matinee idols are taking very seriously by their followers. Therefore, such statements can shake people's faith.
(As told to Aditi Pai.)