The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bollywood smarts from Salman arrest blow
- question mark on hollywood film

Out of the five films Salman Khan was working on, at least four will be affected badly following his arrest yesterday.

Khan was working on Dil Churake Chal Diye with Shilpa Shetty, Satish Kaushik’s Tere Naam, Atul Agnihotri’s Dil Ne Jise Apna Kaha, a yet untitled film to be directed by Puneet Issar, and Marigold, a Hollywood venture.

Only Dil Churake Chal Diye, produced by Bubby Kent, is complete. But its release date may now be rescheduled. “Only 50 per cent of the work has been done for Tere Naam, while Dil Ne Jise Apna Kaha and Puneet Issar’s film are yet to go on the floor,” said Taran Adarsh of Trade Guide.

Hyperion Studio, the producers of Marigold, said they will confirm whether Khan will be dropped from the project.

“It may be only a handful of films, but it reflects badly on Bollywood,” said Adarsh.

The industry, however, while condemning Khan’s act, feels that while he deserves his punishment, the publicity is undeserved.

“I feel sad for Salman,” said director Hansal Mehta, who made Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar. “The hype has been unfair. Why should drunken driving and the loss of one life make it to the headlines every day when there are so many people dying in Jammu and Kashmir every day'” he asked.

“When the media takes up a case, political pressure builds up. But law should take its course, a public spectacle need not have been made out of this incident. He could have been spared this publicity,” he added.

“The reaction is mixed in the industry. Some people are of the opinion that he had it coming, because he had been in the headlines for a number of times, all for the wrong reasons,” said Rauf Ahmad, editor of a film magazine.

“He could have possibly got away if he were someone else. So many rich kids in hit-and-run cases have got away in the past.

“But Salman’s case happened at an unfortunate time. For many reasons, like the Sunjay Dutt case, Bollywood has been in the media glare recently. Things became tougher for Salman Khan because of this,” Ahmad added.

Director Vivek Vaswani, who directed Salman in one of his first films, Patthar Ke Phool, feels there is no question of sympathising with a person who has killed another. “But I am surprised at the way he has turned out. On the sets of Patthar Ke Phool, he was a very shy and quiet young man.”

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