The one lesson that Sanjay Dutt’s stunning Supreme Court verdict serves up is, the rich, the powerful and especially those in the limelight won’t be spared if found guilty.
For weeks now Sanjay Dutt had been dreading the sentence.
“Please pray for me,” was Dutt’s plea to all his friends.
“Well, obviously his well-wishers’ prayers were not heard,”says producer T P. Aggarwal in whose Policegiri Sanjay Dutt was supposed to be in a full-on action mode. Now some portions of the film remain to be completed.
Says Aggarwal, “I am not bothered about my film right now. Over the past year when he has been working with me Sanjay and I shared a father-son relationship. I never thought this (the Supreme Court verdict) would happen to him. It comes as complete blow to us who love him.”
However what surprises Aggarwal is the lack of support for Dutt’s judicial predicament within the industry.
“No one cares, there is no support for him. That is what truly scares me,” says Aggarwal sadly, adding he is willing to go out of his way to do anything for Dutt.
“I was there throughout in the court on Thursday. Sanjay has taken it very badly. We all who care for him have taken it very badly. Now the lawyers are looking into the next step.”
There is a growing feeling in the industry that the verdict on Sanjay Dutt would be followed by an equally unsparing verdict in Salman Khan’s hit-and-run case.
“We feel high-profile celebrities are prone to specially harsh sentences,” says a friend of Dutt and Salman.
The film that gets directly hit by the Supreme Court verdict on Dutt is Zanjeer which has been beleaguered from the beginning with several legal hurdles. First it was scriptwriters Salim-Javed who went to court regarding the remake. Now Dutt who plays the key role of the Pathan Sher Khan must also succumb to the legal procedure. Actor Sonu Sood who plays Sher Khan in the Telugu version of Zanjeer recently injured himself and had to be replaced.
Close friends and family of Sanjay Dutt requested privacy after the verdict.
In earlier interviews to us Sanjay Dutt had over the last decade confessed that the legal charges hung over his head like a sword.
Said Dutt in the course of several interviews , “I still have to take official permission before I travel outside the country. When I land on airports abroad and my passport shows a special permission for travelling the immigration people wonder what’s happening. They start asking me questions suspiciously. Now it’s up to the Indian authorities whether they want to do something about the situation or not.
...I just want to be a free man again. With the legal hassles happening I can’t concentrate completely on my work. The case is constantly at the back of my mind.
But I must say the courts have been truly generous. They’ve allowed me to go on working. God willing, I’ll soon be acquitted . Then I can make a fresh start and focus completely on my work....My entirely family is anxious. There are 40,000 pages of evidence to go through. The pressure is killing. But it’s amazing that filmmakers have so much faith on me in spite of everything. To an extent my Dad’s goodwill in the industry counts. I’ve been running in and out of courtrooms for so long I’ve forgotten what a normal life is like. Someday I’d like to write a book on what I’ve gone through. It will be far more interesting than any film I’ve done. I’ve been damaged so much I don’t know why I haven’t broken down.”
And once when we had asked him about Salman Khan modeling his life on him, Sanjay replied, “I wish he would model himself on my better qualities. I do have many good qualities. Salman should keep a low profile and work hard and get serious in life.
All the playing around isn’t finally worth it. Ultimately all of us want to be remembered as a good hardworking human beings. The hit-and-run incident wouldn’t have made such a media splash if it wasn’t Salman Khan. But because he has been constantly in the news he went to jail and had to suffer.”
Films To Be Completed by Sanjay
Policegiri, directed K S Ravikumar (the one project to get most directly affected since the plot revolves around Dutt).
Zanjeer, directed Apoorva Lakhia (Dutt has shot one schedule, likely to be replaced)
Raj Kumar Hirani’s P.K (role’s fate undecided)
Resil d’Silva’s Unglee (film not complete, but Sanjay Dutt’s work is done)
Subhash Kapoor’s Munnabhai 3. Says Kapoor, “The project will be discussed once Vinod Chopra returns from the US.”
Add new comment