Life of Sanjay Dutt
Which Sanjay Dutt has been punished?
The Mumbai blasts of 1993 left 257 people dead with its diverse cast of characters from film, crime and media had all the makings of a Russian novel. But it is time — the spans of time spent waiting for the verdict — that makes for the true protagonist of this story.
Twenty years ago, Mumbai was still Bombay, and Sanjay Dutt was somewhere in his early thirties. He was a Bollywood brat then and now he is a middle aged man with three children.
One of my friends remarked, the day after the judgment was passed against him, “While he is being punished on page one, he is pardoned on page three.” That made me think, like many Bollywood ...view middle of the document...
He took time to settle down but controversy hung onto him, like an obsessive fan. He fought and hammed his way through life and yet like Salman, was loved by his friends. His sister Priya, a MP, was a perfect foil to his high spirits.
The third Sanjay was an ambivalent man without any tie-ups of his identity. He was neither Hindu nor Muslim — unlike Sunil and Priya Dutt who were securely Hindu and Congress loyalists. His Muslim identity outside the film industry became a burden that he had to bear.
As a young man, the riots and blast must have created a slightly suspicious world of terror, where the guns provided a false security. During the Mumbai blast, his house looked like an armed fortress.
Twenty years later, Sanjay paid a heavy price for that misplaced machismo. He was found guilty of possession and guilt by association, as his guns were a part of a consignment smuggled in by Dawood Ibrahim and his associates in the year 1983.
I realize the law is impersonal, and one must respect the law as we see at the end of almost all the...