When Women ‘Belong’ To Salman Khan, Is The Industry Afraid To Speak Up?

Posted: November 13, 2018

Rumours abound that Arjun Kapoor’s family was afraid of the ‘wrath of Salman Khan’ due to his dating Malaika Arora. Here’s a look into Khan’s troubling past when it comes to women. 

It is not uncommon to see female actors disappearing from the silver screen after they are married, or when their male family members decide it’s time for them wrap up their careers. Even if the celebrities say it’s their decision to get off the limelight, the influence of patriarchy in their decision-making is too obvious to ignore.

It’s not just professional life that’s hit by the patriarchy. The personal lives of women, especially their relationships with men, are also hit by the power hungry men keen on making women live by their rules.




One such news that’s floating around the tabloids recently is how Arjun Kapoor, rumoured to be dating Malaika Arora was cautioned by the people around him to not the ‘invite the wrath’ of Salman Khan.

Before we examine how the lives of these three people are possibly intertwined in a patriarchal mess, let’s have a little background on them.

A successful actor for close to 30 years now, Salman Khan is also famous for his charity ‘Being Human’ that funds his humanitarian efforts, primarily by selling merchandise.

Salman is equally notorious for his brush with criminal activities. He was found guilty and later not, for a culpable homicide case where he was accused of drunken driving, running his car over homeless people, killing one and injuring three. He’s a convict in a blackbuck poaching case and currently is on bail pending appeal.

Malaika Arora is an actress, model, dancer, producer, VJ and television presenter, who’s been in the industry for a little over 20 years. Currently one of the panel of judges on the 8th season of the show – India’s Got Talent, she was previously married to Arbaaz Khan, Salman Khan’s brother.

Arjun Kapoor is an actor who has acted in some commercially successful films. Before acting, he had worked as an assistant director and associate producer on several films. His parents are producers and some of his family members are familiar names in the film industry.

Malaika and Arbaaz announced their separation in 2015 due to personal reasons and in 2017, they divorced, ending a marriage of almost 20 years. They maintain ties with each other due to their son, Arhaan.

Arbaaz had confirmed in October 2018 the rumours floating around, that he was dating an Italian model named Giorgia Adriani, something that was not taken badly by anyone. Malaika’s sister Amrita even liked a picture of the rumoured couple on Instagram.

At the same time, his former wife Malaika was rumoured to be dating someone as well; that someone being, actor Arjun Kapoor. However, their rumoured relationship was seen as something that would be a problem for Khan (not Arbaaz Khan but his elder brother and more influential celebrity, Salman Khan) – so much so that it was said Arjun Kapoor’s family wanted him to keep away from Malaika.

What does the wrath of Khan have to do with two adults in a relationship?

The possible answer lies in the violent history that Salman Khan carries. In the late nineties, Salman was dating Aishwarya Rai and their relationship met an abrupt end in the year 2002, when Aishwarya decided she’d put an end to the abusive relationship she was in.

According to Aishwarya and her family, she was going through a cycle of verbal, emotional and physical abuse during her relationship with Khan.

It was alleged that Khan was seen banging the door of the actress’ flat to ask her for her hand in marriage, threatening to jump off the building if he was not let in. Finally Aishwarya let him in after his hand had begun to bleed from the violent banging.

Aishwarya’s father filed a complaint against Salman and later in an interview, Salman admitted to the door-banging incident, though he denied he physically hurt Aishwarya. He also admitted to treating her parents badly.

“They never stopped me from meeting with Aishwarya despite the fact that I treated them badly. Aishwarya did not like my behavior towards them just as I would not appreciate anybody misbehaving with my father. Aishwarya’s father is completely justified in complaining against me.”

In another relationship with actor Somy Ali too, similar abusive behavior surfaced. Being in a relationship with a woman doesn’t give Salman the free pass to abuse her and harass her family. His stardom, the craze that the film industry had for him let his abuse fly past them as he was and still is rolling in fame, power, and money. Aishwarya received very little support at the time, or even later.

This past of his is appalling and the ‘harassing the family’ part in the relationship would definitely ignite fear in anyone who’s being close with the women that Salman thinks belong to him.

While we do not know the truth of the matter, it is plausible that Arjun Kapoor’s family does not want him to go through the same hassle.

His controlling behavior didn’t pop up out of nowhere.

There have been claims that Malaika was ‘encouraged’ by Salman Khan to continue the marriage to his brother but that she refused to give into his encouragement. She was not sharing a bond with Salman Khan in the first place to give into the sudden encouragement that was conjured out of thin air.

The divorce was Malaika’s decision to make. Not anyone else’s. If a woman who has spent 18 years with a man in a marriage decides to split up, it’s apparent that she had thought it well in advance to take that decision.

Just the term ‘family’ doesn’t mean everyone who falls into that umbrella gets to influence whether a couple stays together or not.

Who gave Salman Khan the power for him to think that he can control the women in his life?

Starting from Aishwarya’s abuse, to the blackbuck killings, it has been society as a whole that fed his ego.

This society accepted him despite his abuse. Every blockbuster that he had on the screens, created thousands of fans in the country and abroad, dismissing the fact that he was an abuser.

Take the blackbuck case. While the trial was still going on, ‘Being Human’ was created. His fans and society was in awe of the great humanitarian that Salman had become, not forgetting, but dismissing the fact that he was an abuser.

No, the word ‘abuser’ is not going anywhere because he admitted that he had disagreements with Aishwarya and had harassed her family.

An artist is not just the art that he is making and a humanitarian is not just the humanitarian works he’s been doing.

We cannot forget the culpable homicide case either. From 2002, the case was on and off for a long time until finally the court decided that Salman was not guilty because there was no evidence that Salman ran his car over homeless people who were sleeping on the sidewalk.

From him not pleading guilty, to his driver pleading guilty, the court acquitting him of the charges after a decade and few years, and finally his being let off as not guilty due to the lack of evidence, his fans, many people from the film industry, and the fans of his humanitarian works supported him blindly whether or not there was evidence supporting the charges.

A police constable named Ravindra Patil, a prime witness in this case was abducted and murdered. To this day, Patil’s case remains a mystery. One can believe that this mysterious death surrounding Salman Khan would instill fear among people who feel they are intruding in Salman’s life and in the lives of women around him or who once were around him.

Among the many instances of violence that Salman was convicted of, accused of, rumored to be involved in, and has admitted to, the dire need of a man who wants to run the lives of women looks lush and green.

Reads a lot on anthropology, political and economic theories.

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