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Since 1st March, 1999
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Salman’s still a ‘real nice chap’

Mumbai, July 15: Salman Khan may think abusing a woman is cool, as transcripts of his alleged conversation with Aishwarya Rai suggest. Still, the film industry thinks he’s a man more sinned against than sinning.

Even after the second round of the contents of the purported chat became known today, his film colleagues stuck by him.

Sections of the BJP raised a voice of protest, though. About 100 activists were arrested from near his house; and his latest film Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya was pulled from some theatres in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra after angry demonstrations.

“We protested against Salman’s behaviour on moral grounds,” said BJP leader Sanjay Upadhyay, who added that 400 activists from his party and its youth wing had collected in front of the actor’s residence.

If the BJP as a party registered its protest, not all its members did. Actor and MP Shatrughan Sinha came out strongly in support of Salman, dismissing the charges implicit in the alleged tapes, where he allegedly claims to be an underworld man close to Dawood Ibrahim. “People can brag about a lot of things when intoxicated,” he told a television channel. “Aishwarya Rai has not made a complaint either.”

In today’s revelations, true or not, Salman brags in a language not spoken in drawing rooms of gratuitous sexual acts performed on him by his co-star in Chori Chori Chupke Chupke.

Like Aishwarya, who had to bear with compliments such as “bitch” in the alleged tete-a-tete ' or what passes as such in Bollywood ' from her then lover boy, this lady has not complained yet either.

Nor has a fellow actor, to whom Aishwarya is sexually linked by Salman in what could come to be known as the SalAshacious Tapes.

Aishwarya’s lawyer Girish Kulkarni said it was not necessary for her to take any action.

Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya ' a question that has a philosophical ring to it now ' opened to full houses in Mumbai today. Bookings of the film, released in 20-odd screens in the city, are full till Monday.

Half of Bollywood ' including the other big bad boy, Sunjay Dutt, who is forever forgiven, too ' is Salman’s “family”. The other half ' including Amitabh Bachchan ' likes him for his “large heart”.

Producer Sawan Kumar Tak is raving about Salman’s latest burst of generosity. He acted for long and for free in Tak’s latest venture, Sawan, The Love Season.

An aspiring actor said it is good that Aishwarya has been smart in the tapes. “But Salmanbhai is a real nice chap, otherwise,” he said.

Sallu bhai remains Sallu bhai in Bollywood, give or take a bad word here and there.

Is it a coincidence that Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya has Salman playing the role of a person with a woman problem, or a problem of too many women' There are other similarities with life: it features Katrina Kaif as his heroine, who is his love interest in real life, too ' and everything turns out for the best!

In the film, that is, despite the “why, oh why”.

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