Sunday, 9 August 2020

The Life And Times Of Sanjay Dutt

Updated: April 20, 2013 5:53 pm

The Number 3 seems to be jinxed for film star Sanjay Dutt who has acted in around 150 released and un-released Hindi movies over three decades.

His mother Nargis Dutt, an ace actress of yesteryears, died 3 days before the release of his first movie Rocky in 1981; 3 weeks before the release of his box office hit movie Khal Nayak in April 1993, Sanjay was arrested on charges of being involved in the 1993 Bombay serial bomb blasts and on March 21 (2+1= 3), 2013 which is the third month of the calendar year, the Supreme Court (SC) ordered him to go to back to jail abruptly disrupting his happy family life and partly shadowing his rising acting career.

A very good actor who has fan following from across age groups, Sanjay is far from being the same great guy in real life. He preferred to lead a highly controversial and dangerous life style, something very abnormal and blindly believed whatever he did and has been doing is perfectly alright yielding dangerous consequences.

A multi faceted personality actor, producer, bodybuilder, politician, entrepreneur, TV host, convict, drug addict, serial groomSanjay is possibly the most contentious film personality Bollywood has ever produced.

Born to noted film actors Sunil Dutt and Nargis Dutt on July 29, 1959, Sanjay Dutt, may be was destined to be a fallen guy. He did his schooling at Lawrence School, Sanawar near Kasauli and soon after got into acting and leading a fast life.

Though he made his acting debut in 1981 with Rocky, he had appeared in the 1972 film Reshma Aur Sheraand as a child actor. Despite being staying in the wrong side of the law very often, he has been dominating Bollywood for over three decades ever since he started acting.

An initial flop actor but an all rounder in acting, Sanjay had delivered hugely successful movies on romance and comedy but his roles in movies as gangster, ruffian and police inspector have made an instant hit among movie goers.

Married thrice, the 53 year old Sanjay has three children. His eldest daughter Trishala born in 1987 from his first marriage with actor Richa Sharma, is staying with her grandparents in the US. He had married Richa in 1987 and she died in 1996 in New York.

In 1998, eleven years of the first marriage, Sanjay married model Rhea Pillai who used to visit the actor at jails when he was arrested under Terrorist And Disruptive Act (TADA). This marriage could not last and she divorced in 2005. There were allegations that Rhea had got into a terrible marriage.

For the third time Sanjay got married to small time actress, an already married Dilnawaz Sheikh in 2008 after a two years of courtship. Dilnawaz assumed the new name of Manyata Dutt and took control of her actor husband’s shattered life.

Sanjay had to disown his sisters Namrata (married to former actor Kumar Gaurav) and Congress MP Priya Dutt, who had objected to this marriage. In 2010 Manyata gave birth to twins Shahraan and Iqra who are now growing up steadily.

Though Sanjay is well known for his arrest in connection with the 1993 bomb blast case, he had spent five months in jail in late 1982 on charges of possessing illegal drugs. A confirmed drug addict, he was sent to the US for two years for de-addiction so that he could resume acting.

Actually, he did. Soon he acted in many movies including Jaan Ki Baazi, Main Awara Hoon, Jeeva, Mera Haque, Immandaar, Inaam Dus Hazaar, Jeete Hain Shaan Se, Mardon Wali Baat, Ilaaka, Hum Bhi Insaan Hain, Kanoon Apna Apna and Taaqatwar.

As he went on acing, he delivered hit movies such as Naam, Kabzaa, Hathyar, Khoon ka Karz,Yalgaar, Gumrah, Sahibaan, Kroadh thus establishing himself as a force to reckon with.

With movies such as Sadak, Saajan and Khal Nayak, Sanjay proved his skeptics wrong and made a special position for himself among the public. Daud was another super hit movie.

In recent years movies such as Munna Bhai M.B.B.S., Parineeta, Dus, Shabd, Zinda, Lage Raho Munna Bhai got him universal acclaim. He is currently working on the third Munnabhai sequel Munnabhai Chale Delhi. When everything was going good the bolt from the blue came obviously to punish the actor for his past follies.

On March 21, 2013, the SC while upholding Sanjay conviction by a special TADA count in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case sentenced him five years of imprisonment. The court said that the circumstances and nature of the offence was so serious that Sanjay cannot be released on probation. Sanjay, who has already served 18 months in jail, will now have to spend another 3 years and 6 months in prison. The actor needs to surrender before April 21, 2013.

Sanjay was arrested on 19 April 1993 on charges of association with terrorists and illegal possession of dangerous assault weapons.

When the Bombay police was investigating the March 12, 1993 serial bomb blast, it was revealed that Sanjay had procured an AK-56 assault rifle and a 9mm pistol from members of the underworld connected to Dawood Ibrahim, the prime suspect of the Bombay serial bombings.

Then Sanjay was shooting in Mauritius and from there he ordered for the destruction of these illegal arms to plead innocence. But on his return he was arrested under the stringent TADA. Sanjay had to stay in jail for 18 months till October 1995 during which period his father Sunil Dutt, a big time film star and sitting Congress MP had to run from pillar to post actually crying in public to release his son from custody.

In his confession to police Sanjay had claimed that he procured these arms for the protection of self and his family as members of the rightwing Shiv Sena goons had threatened to harm them for their leaning towards Muslims. Sunil Dutt had stood by the Muslim community during the Mumbai riots on the aftermath of Babri Masjid demolition in December 1992.

After 18 months of in jail he was granted bail in October 1995. He was later re-arrested and re-released in April 1997.

In 2006 the case opened for sentencing and in 2006 and 2007 Sanjay had to spend 7 months in jails in Mumbai and Pune.

He was finally acquitted of any TADA-related offenses in 2006 but was charged under the illegal possession of arms act for which he has now been sentenced five years jail by the SC. In fact on 31 July 2007, Sanjay was sentenced to six years rigorous imprisonment by the TADA court and this term been reduced it to five years jail by the SC.

After released on bail and having successfully resuming his acting, Sanjay soon after his marriage to Manyata decided to make a plunge into politics. By that time Sunil Dutt had died and Sanjay made a bid to replace his father as the Congress nominee to represent his parliamentary constituency in Mumbai. But his sister Priya Dutt inherited her father’s legacy as the Congress bosses were not comfortable to be associated with a highly controversial Sanjay.

This forced Sanjay to join the Samajwadi Party under the tutelage of Amar Singh who promised him a ticket. Sanjay in fact announced plans to contest the 2009 Lok Sabha polls from UP and along with his wife even campaigned vigorously for the Samajwadi Party but he had to withdraw his candidature after the SC refused to suspend his conviction. The party absorbed him as General Secretary to regret later as Sanjay ran into several controversies to the discomfort of his party colleagues.

Recently, he started a joint venture with Shilpa Shetty’s husband businessman Raj Kundra to start Super Fight League, based on the IPL model in his effort to turn entrepreneur.

The Supreme Court’s order has definitely dealt a severe blow to the Hindi film industry where Sanjay is a big star. Currently Rs 250 crore is riding on him in various movies which are yet to be released.

Some of the big budget movies where Sanjay is acting include Peekay, Policegiri, Zanjeer and Ungli. Among these shooting of Policegiri has been completed but the dubbing has to be done.

Many directors and producers who had planned movies with Sanjay in mind have postponed their projects though they have been seeking pardon for Sanjay.

Sanjay who stays at Imperial Heights building at Pali Hill, Mumbai recently said that he had not applied for pardon and would surrender as a law abiding citizen even though he tried to cry on his sister MP Priya Dutt’s shoulder to possibly gain sympathy. Sanjay is a good actor and this time Manyata was not there by his side when the actor appealed to the media to be left alone and repeatedly said he loved India and its people.

Press Council of India chairman Justice Markandey Katju and many from Bollywood have no doubt appealed for pardon, which may place a wrong precedent as famous people would get away lightly for their clout. Where the script will move, no one knows.

You have not heard the last word on Sanjay Dutt yet. Picture abhi baki hai.

By Jully Mishra from Mumbai

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