MUMBAI — Abhijeet Bhattacharya, a Bollywood playback singer who was especially popular in the '90s, found himself at the centre of a swirling controversy on Twitter after he compared homeless people to dogs in a baffling tweet clearly aimed at defending Salman Khan who was convicted today in a 12-year-old hit-and-run case.
As the Mumbai Sessions court sentenced Khan to five years in prison, several celebrities in Bollywood (especially those known to be close to the star) tweeted sympathetically in support.
Among these tweets, the one that stood out most was this one by Bhattacharya:
— abhijeet (@abhijeetsinger) May 6, 2015
Roughly translated (including decoding the SMS-speak towards the end), it means, "If a dog sleeps on the road then he/she will die a dog's death. Roads are not poor people's private property. I was homeless for a year, but I never slept on the road."
He tweeted a few more times to get his point through, just in case people hadn't understood where he was coming from.
Come out fraternity, support @BeingSalmanKhan boldly not hypocriticly Roads footpath r not meant 4 sleeping, not driver's or alcohol's fault— abhijeet (@abhijeetsinger) May 6, 2015
The singer, known for hits like 'Ole Ole' and 'Main Koi Aisa Geet Gaoon' in the '90s, was mauled by Twitter users for his comments.
.@abhijeetsinger Tip: NEVER GO FULL RETARD.— Trendulkar (@Trendulkar) May 6, 2015
.@abhijeetsinger Pls step away from the meth syringe.— Mihir Fadnavis (@mihirfadnavis) May 6, 2015
Wow @abhijeetsinger 's tweets are probably putting even the worst of bhaidiots to shame on the sycophancy scale.— Spaceman Spiff (@atlasdanced) May 6, 2015
Although there really should've been no need to do so, people even explained to him what was obviously wrong with what he was saying.
Never mind the fact that he basically just called all homeless people 'dogs'.
But he wasn't the only one to bring up the 'pavements' issue. Earlier, jewellery designer Farah Khan Ali, who is Salman's friend, blamed the government for not providing housing to people. She also likened the incident, in which Salman Khan's Land Cruiser ran over people sleeping on a footpath (killing one in the process), to a person crossing railway tracks and the train driver getting penalised for it.
It's like penalising a train driver because someone decided to cross the tracks and got killed in the bargain. #salmankhancase— Farah Khan (@FarahKhanAli) May 6, 2015
Hey guys, here's some free advice from Fergie.