Sanjeev Kotnala: So where did Salman Bhai go wrong?

29 Jul,2015

By Sanjeev Kotnala


We all know Salman Bhai and his hyped flawless heart. Salman Bhai carries many tags planted by media. ‘Being Human’, ‘Bajranagi Bhaijaan’,  ‘Giver’, ‘Helper’, ‘Most-safe-bachelor’, ‘Bhai ka Bhai, ‘Bakery run over’, ‘Black Buck’ are a few of these polarity tags. There are no prizes for guessing that Bhai is yet again in news for obviously the wrong reasons.


He is someone who has been desperately trying his acts to be taken seriously. He has remarkable influence on people who do not exercise cerebral parts to infer, refer or empathise. Yet, it is the people claiming to be rational, logical and somewhat intellectual who are the one who easily get instigated by his nonsensical experimentation and ‘tweet-into-you-know-where’.


Their reaction is volcanic. They very subtly and silently pass on the flaming baton of unquestionable hatred to the people down in the chain.  Result: a not-so-peaceful protest that needs large police bandobast to contain.


May be his father failed to share with him the story of the king and two astrologers.


The first astrologer, after having done all his calculation with absolute surety, told the king: ‘King, all your relatives will die before your eyes’. Hearing this the king was furious, he immediately got the astrologer arrested and asked the guards to make arrangements to hang him before the sun sets.


Now it was the turn of the second astrologer. He too read the horoscope and did his calculation. He knew that the learned astrologer before him has said truly what the stars foretell. And he could not lie. But this guy was smart and he did not want to die. He said: ‘King, there is a good news for you; you have the longest life among all your relatives’. The king was happy. He presented the second astrologer with precious stones as gifts.


Now, we know that both the astrologers were saying the same thing. Yet, one was punished and the other rewarded. That’s how fickle the mind is and how subtle the language.


May be there is learning for celebrity like Salman Khan, the ever-favourite punching bag of the media. On the one side, we have people protesting against him and on the other, he is being lauded for being pragmatic and sensible.


I do not subscribe to his perceived intent of his tweet. Or the way they have been interpreted.


We are a nation that is slow in its justice. We are definitely late. We have followed a procedure and now the verdict been pronounced. The accused had a long time to prove his innocence. Most of us will agree that there is no harm in allowing every other possible opportunity to the accused to prove his innocence.  But the public sentiments are loud and clear.  They want the blood. They want Yakub to be hanged. It is no simple case. It is a case of treason and terrorism.


Other than Salman, no one can be sure what he really meant to say. One would believe he never meant that we should let Yakub go free. May be he wanted to say that Yakub should be given life imprisonment. May be like many others he opposes death penalty. May be he believes that Yakub surrendered and hence deserves a different treatment. May be he was trying to make a valid point and asking us not to celebrate this legal victory till we get Tiger in the net.  None of the above if expressed properly with the right context and build-up would have elicited the response he is getting.


He has the same right of expression and freedom to voice his views like us. He is in that way no different from the political leaders voicing similar thoughts and not being challenged.


Yet, Bhai should have noted that unlike the common man discussing it at a paan-chai stall or at a kitty party, he is a celebrity. And that comes with responsibility to behave and accountability for the words that expression thoughts and emotions. ‘Thinking before tweeting’ is something that will definitely help him.


Salman Bhai needs to watch his steps. More so when his emotional, nifty fingers not accustomed to resistance tends to fly under external influence. He is known to think and act from heart.  And I am sure that in spite of repeated lessons and tutorials from his father, this is not the last controversial or  ‘I am sorry for it’ tweet from his side.


Here are few things Bhai and people like Bhai can consider doing in future.

1. Keep away from controversial subjects. More so if they challenge his feelings and intellect.
2. Keep thinking and keep those views and reactions to himself.
3. Only share with a close set of people who are known not to get offended.
4. Realise the importance of building context and foundation for a statement.
5. Value time and right representation over speed an action.
6. Get tweets checked by dad every time he wants to tweet
7. Take classes from Amitabh Baccchan , Deepika and Priyanak in how to use tweet to advantage.
8. And if anyone from his team advises him that his movie will do across border with the utterances, he should sack that person.


Till that time, let’s not hang Salman till we understand his point of view


Sanjeev Kotnala is Founder and Head Catalyst at Intradia. A Brand, Marketing and Management Advisor. He conducts specialised workshops in the area of IDEATION (Harvest and Liberate) and Innovation (InNoWait). His focus energy in enhancing client’s internal team’s potential and capabilities. In process decreasing their dependence  on external resources. To contact email  or tweet at s_kotnala visit


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