Former actor-turned-politician, Shatrughan Sinha, recently discomfited the Government by signing a petition to the President against the execution of Yakub Memon. By doing so, the ‘Bihari Babu’ deliberately went against the party line.
Shatrughan Sinha was among a group of several luminaries – ex-judges, politicians, Bollywood celebrities, etc. – who had submitted an appeal to President Pranab Mukherjee, urging him to grant mercy to 1993 Mumbai bomb blast accused, Yakub Memon.
Earlier, the BJP leader had expressed solidarity with controversy’s favourite child, Salman Khan. The ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ superstar had tweeted in defence of death-row convict, Yakub Memon, and Shatrughan Sinha wasted no time in coming out in his support: “supporting anybody’s mercy petition is not a bad thing.”
No it isn’t, but Shatru is not a common man. He is affiliated to a political party which has transparently maintained its stand on Yakub Memon from day one. The Government’s ideology has been against any mercy being shown to perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks in 1993, or the 26/11 attacks. Over 250 innocent Indians lost their lives! If the BJP MP still felt for Yakub, he could have resigned from his position and spoken like you and I.
India’s robust democracy accorded Yakub Memon his due rights, and only after exhausting all his options, did he meet his fate.
As is evident now, Shatrughan Sinha had a soft corner for the terrorist and he didn’t care about the party sentiment and protocol. He embarrassed the party and its fundamental principles. Arun Jaitley has already slammed his comments.
As far as his unconditional support for Salman Khan is concerned, I’d like to hazard a theory here.
Salman Khan has been human to many aspiring actresses in the film industry. From Katrina Kaif, Zarine Khan, Jacqueline Fernandes to Sonakshi Sinha, Salman bhai has launched them all.
It wasn’t the actor-politician ‘Pappa’, but Salman bhai, who helped Sonakshi Sinha make her mark in Bollywood. She can never thank Salman enough for giving her ‘Dabangg’. She is significant in the industry today and Shatrughan Sinha, the father, owes him one! He knows that but for Salman, Sonakshi would have still been struggling to find her niche.
Shatrughan Sinha, before irresponsibly opening his mouth, ignored the sons and daughters killed in the blast. Shatrughan and his likes are not representing any human rights stand. They are simply making the most of the platform built around Yakub’s death. He didn’t think of that little girl who looks for her parents in the stars!
I feel Shatrughan Sinha’s appeal for leniency for a terrorist shows his lack of sensitivity towards the number of people who suffered at the hands of Yakub and his allies. As a serving politician, the common man hopes to see him as a man of integrity and sensitivity towards the people of his own country, especially the victims of terrorism.