The cry of the blackbucks in the wild could be heard as the strongman of Bollywood broke free and walked out of the Jodhpur Central Jail, where he was imprisoned for two nights in the 1998 blackbuck poaching case.
Salman Khan was convicted and sentenced to five-year imprisonment by the Jodhpur session court on April 5, while five other accused were acquitted. He, however, was granted bail and released on Saturday after paying a bond of Rs.50,000 and two sureties of like amount.
After spending only 48 hours in the jail, the actor romped home amid great rejoicing as Bollywood and his fans celebrate his return. His release is, indeed, an answered prayer to family, friends and thousands of his fans worldwide.
Amid the din of the big news that was highlighted by all media channels, a different prayer on the other side of the fence went unheard. The cry of the blackbucks in the wild and that of their protectors far away was blown away by the gong of the gavel. The Bishnois in Rajasthan, who strongly believe in conservation of the blackbucks and other animals in the region, are left heartbroken and saddened.
Justice to Salman in the form of a bail is now seen as injustice to the Bishnois by many others. And the animal rights group PETA condemns the Jodhpur court decision of granting bail to the actor.
"While Salman Khan gets to go back home to his movie star life for now, blackbucks were made to pay the highest price, with their lives," PETA India CEO Manilal Valliyate said in a statement.
Salman was found guilty by the court for killing two blackbucks while shooting a film 20 years ago. While his co-stars, who were also accused in the case were set free, the Dabangg star, being the strongman, had to pay the pay the price for the crime. But the blackbucks were made to pay the highest price, with their lives.
"If animal abusers now expect to get bail easily or to have their cases dragged out, they are in for a major surprise," Valliyate said.
While it is to be seen what move the animal rights would take, the blood of the blackbucks will continue to cry out from the ground and haunt Kane in the case. Or, may be not.
But the actor believes in ‘Being Human’ and so do his supporters. So, as the guilty walks free and returns to his life of stardom and charity work while the blackbucks and their protectors cry in the wild, need we ask who is being human?