Salman Khan Conviction Unjust. Blood-Money in Islamic Law

Salman Khan´s case is a classic example where the victims rights for compensation was usurped by an unfair legal system. I am talking about the legal system not the judiciary. There is a big difference. In my opinion the judge in this case proved himself rightfully non-biased towards the super star fighting against a poor old homeless unimportant person whose death did not make much difference to most ordinary people. Judge´s neutrality in this case was admirable. That’s great, but what it does not tell us is that the legal system itself is faulty.

The question is not whether Salman was guilty or innocent, because that has already been decided by the court. The question is much more than that. lets try to understand them one by one.

First of all, the state has not opened its eyes to the cruel reality that there are men (and women) who are homeless and so poor that despite being citizens of a rising super power people are living on the streets without a roof over their heads. The glitter of Bollywood ends in the theaters, for after the show is over people go back to their dreadful states. Its a society controlled by few billionaires by the sweat of millions of dirt poor workers. The mask is very, very, deceptive. All is not at all well.

The working class have to put up back breaking work while the super rich drive around in cars that could be the income of an entire neighborhood´s lifelong earnings. Don’t believe me, ask those stars who drive around in Rolls Royce and Ferraris. The state has forgotten to look at the real condition of the society. The old saying, money cant buy happiness is true at both micro as well as macro levels.

The state just doesn’t want to talk about it anymore because it doesn’t sound quite correct in the global capitalist, money-ist, materialistic order. `Besides, what would the Americans think about such obsolete things such as inner-peace, tranquility, harmony and other philosophical stuff from the past` would be the common thinking among many policy makers. The root of the problem is here. Blindness of the state towards the actual sufferings of peoples´ conditions.

Second point, alcohol is harmful for many reasons. Why legalize alcohol when we know it does more harm than good? Its too sad that its harmful effect had to be understood by the death of an individual. But, we knew about it already, it says in the Islamic law that all kinds of alcoholic drinks are haram and we should have obeyed that command. You can argue that India is not an Islamic country so why should it submit to that restriction. Well, alcohol does not change its properties according to its consumer. India is home to the second largest Muslim population, and it used to be an Islamic country under the Mughals and the Delhi Sultans. Islamic law has been researched and published out of India possibly more than any other country in the world. Islamic connection to Hindustan is 1000 year old and it is an integral part of the Indian civilization. Of-course India can adopt Islamic laws.

Third point, probably my most important one, is this. The right to retribution should remain with the victim, not with any one else. The surviving victims were disappointed at this whole episode. They said, `this conviction against Salman has done no harm or any good to me. What is it to me whether Salman is convicted or not, I don’t get anything`. How true and how cruel at the same time. Salman spends millions of US Dollars on charity. he would have been very happy to give his entire 5 years charity budget roughly 7 million US Dollars (estimate) to the victims for their rehabilitation. I bet, other homeless men would have lined up outside Salman´s house dreaming of being run over by him!!

But that did not happen. Salman will spend next 5 years in jail, no money, no charity. Victims will live in poverty in their villages starving most of the time along with their families. Nobody will benefit from this judgment. You guessed it, I am once again talking about the Islamic system where the victims have the right to accept blood money in return for a pardon. Forgiveness is a lofty virtue and it comes with lots of material benefit as well. Only if the system had opened its eyes to it. The system of blood money existed in Hindustan before the British replaced it with their secular unforgiving codes.

Lets call a spade a spade. Salman was found guilty. He was tried as per law and that was the right thing. Trial was non biased and for that the judge must be honored. The judgment was given as per law, and that was also correct. What was wrong was that Salman was being tried fairly under an unfair legal system. Salman is guilty but the state is more worthy of being blamed for enforcing unjust legal system.

I know my Hindu friends might raise issues with this post. That is understandable. But I must also state my opinion as a free man, and my opinion is this. Islamic legal system is not blind, it takes into account the right of the victim to receive compensation. Islamic system allows forgiveness, mercy and pardon only by the victims. I feel sorry for both Salman and also for the affected ones.