Straight Answers

India Times Oct 25, 2002
Salim Khan, Salman Khanfs father, on the starfs ordeal in jail and his getting bail.
How did the family deal with the situation while Salman was in jail?
Itfs been a mourning period for the family. Life changed terribly. The house, which used to buzz all the while, went into depression. Neighbours and wellwishers would drop by to inquire about us; all this made it seem as if somebody had died. Salmanfs return has brought back those lost smiles. We are indebted to those who stood by us.
What about statements that Salman was victimised?
Ifve got to be careful because the case is subjudice. There were immense distortions of facts. For example, talk of finding white powder in the car, that the car was a smuggled one, Sohail (Salmanfs brother) removing the tape recorder from the car, Salmanfs driving in a drunken state at 90 kmh... Even Michael Schumacher cannot drive at that speed on that narrow stretch. Salman stayed at the accident spot for 15 minutes before the crowd turned hostile. His friend took the victims to hospital. Yes, Salman did have drinks, but he wasnft drunk.
Is it possible for you to look at the situation objectively?
Itfs a tricky situation. If I try to take Salmanfs side, I will be accused of bias and if I detach myself, Ifm an unconcerned father. Itfs not possible for a father to leave his son, especially at times of crisis. Itfs at such times that they need the family and its support. Ifm not justifying Salmanfs actions, but moral support is crucial for anybody in such a situation. Why, even Sunil Dutt tried helping his son and stood by Sanjay.
How has Salman taken this?
Hefs sad for the victims. I am not saying this because I am his father. None of us have gone to meet the victimfs family because wefll be accused of tampering with evidence. I know, people will accuse us of being insensitive because of this. Itfs a no-win situation for us. But we did give the victimsf families Rs 20 lakh immediately. Salman has turned very quiet. The only problem with him is that he doesnft have control over his good and bad emotions. He reacts spontaneously.