Bollywood controversy

Blinkered, insensitive, or merely supportive? Why Bollywood won't stop loving Salman Khan

The fans adore the burly actor so much they are willing to forgive his excesses. That in turn is used by the movie business to justify their support for him.

Salman Khan’s career has had its fair share of highs and lows, hits and flops. But his involvement in two crimes has not made him a social pariah in his fraternity nor has it turned away movie-goers.

Khan was sentenced today to five years in prison for drunk driving and running over a pavement dweller on September 28, 2002. The string of emotional and sorrowful tweets in his favour indicates that the leading lights of the Hindi film industry believe in the supertstar’s innocence and buy his argument that he was neither drunk nor driving his Toyota Landcruiser that night in 2002. Priya Dutt and Milind Deora from the Congress Party and Hema Malini from the Bharatiya Janata Party – all Members of Parliament with connections with the entertainment industry – told journalists or tweeted before the sentencing that they hoped that the actor would not be punished too harshly.

Blinkered, insensitive, or merely supportive? The reaction to Khan’s sentencing has to do with the fact that show business is considered to be a planet unto itself, made up of unique and exceptional creatures who have slipped off restrictions that bind normal people. When a celebrity, especially somebody as adored and imitated as Salman Khan, is dragged into the same muck in which the rest of us wallow, the general response is one of dismay, consternation and deep sympathy that they too must now suffer, just like we do.

Lesser beings who exist on the fringes of this special ethical zone don’t experience the same levels of curiosity over their misdeeds. On December 17, 1993, Raaj Kumar’s son, Puru, a struggling actor, ran over eight people sleeping on a pavement in Bandra, killing three. It was alleged at the time that Puru Raajkumar was drunk. The lack of interest in Puru’s fate (he got away far more lightly than Khan) may have a lot to do with the fact that he never made a dent on critics, the trade or audiences. Nor did Shiney Ahuja, the actor accused of raping his maid in 2009, suffer very much for his crime.

Gargantuan popularity

Khan, on the hand, is the master of his own universe. He became a star in 1989 itself with Maine Pyar Kiya. His box-office brilliance has dimmed and brightened over the years even as he made the tabloid headlines for a string of romantic dalliances (some accompanied by rumours of partner abuse), was accused of shooting two blackbuck in 1998, and then killing a pavement dweller in 2002 while allegedly driving under the influence. The trade as well as the public have been extremely forgiving of his excesses. Bollywood trade pundits will point to Khan’s gargantuan popularity as proof that he deserves a second chance, while fans will cite Bollywood’s silent and not-so-silent backing of Khan’s ways as evidence of his virtue.

It’s not as though filmmakers have been shoving Khan down our throats. Khan has lakhs of fans who ensure that “Bhai”, as they fondly call him, always gets an enthusiastic reception at the box office. In fact, Khan’s increasing popularity in recent years seems to be an unregulated expression of comradeship and an act of protectiveness by his devotees, who believe that he has been victimised by the Mumbai police and the legal system. As he falls, his following swells. That says as much about our society as it does about Bollywood.

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When intrapreneurship can lead to patient centric innovation

Hospitals can also encourage a culture of intrapreneurship within the organization. According to Meena Ganesh, this would mean building a ‘listening organization’ because as she says, listening and being open to new ideas leads to innovation. Santosh Desai, MD& CEO - Future Brands Ltd, who was also part of the panel discussion, feels that most innovations are a result of looking at “large cultural shifts, outside the frame of narrow business”. So hospitals will need to encourage enterprising professionals in the organization to observe behavior trends as part of the ideation process. Also, as Dr Ram Narain, Executive Director, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, points out, they will need to tell the employees who have the potential to drive innovative initiatives, “Do not fail, but if you fail, we still back you.” Innovative companies such as Google actively follow this practice, allowing employees to pick projects they are passionate about and work on them to deliver fresh solutions.

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Another example is Penn Medicine in Philadelphia which launched an ‘innovation tournament’ across the organization as part of its efforts to improve patient care. Participants worked with professors from Wharton Business School to prepare for the ideas challenge. More than 1,750 ideas were submitted by 1,400 participants, out of which 10 were selected. The focus was on getting ideas around the front end and some of the submitted ideas included:

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As Arlen Meyers, MD, President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs, says in a report, although many good ideas come from the front line, physicians must also be encouraged to think innovatively about patient experience. An academic study also builds a strong case to encourage intrapreneurship among nurses. Given they comprise a large part of the front-line staff for healthcare delivery, nurses should also be given the freedom to create and design innovative systems for improving patient experience.

According to a Harvard Business Review article quoted in a university study, employees who have the potential to be intrapreneurs, show some marked characteristics. These include a sense of ownership, perseverance, emotional intelligence and the ability to look at the big picture along with the desire, and ideas, to improve it. But trust and support of the management is essential to bringing out and taking the ideas forward.

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To read more content on best practices for hospital leaders, visit Abbott’s Bringing Health to Life portal here.

This article was produced on behalf of Abbott by the Scroll.in marketing team and not by the Scroll.in editorial staff.