Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Lage raho Sanju baba (Carry on little Sanju)

After a 6 hour long plane flight where my entertainment was limited to the first few chapters of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”, and the occasional conversation with the 23 year old pretty nursing school southern belle, I finally reached my hotel room.

It had been nearly 8 hours and I was beginning to feel the withdrawal symptoms already. I know this is may be something of an addiction and vast swaths of population maybe under its influence and not even know it. I felt the itch, the burning need, the slow yet agonizingly increasing impatience and the overpowering need to reacquaint my body and mind with the familiar, pleasurably painful sensation. I wasn’t sure if the hotel would provide me with that or I would be forced to forage for it myself, or worse, do without it for days. Oh! The horror, the horror! For, I’m addicted to checking my email and reading the news on the web.

Fortunately, the hotel had wireless nternet and I was up and running on my laptop in no time. One of the first news stories that popped up on Google News was the sentencing of Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt for his part in the 1993 Mumbai serial bombing and for possession of contraband weaponry.

Sanjay is the son of the famed actor-turned-politician Sunil Dutt and actress Nargis. (Ironically, Sunil played Nargis’ recalcitrant son in Mehboob Khan’s epic Mother India while in real life, they were married shortly after the release of the film)

Sanjay not content with the silver spoon in his mouth, was soon pumping narcotics in his veins. He had a few films as a neophyte (in large measure due to his father’s star influence), such as the plotted-on-toilet-paper-disaster “Reshma or Shera”, but his drug abuse seemed to be in the way, naturally. So Sanju baba disappeared to “America” for re-hab (anyone getting reminded of Rober Downey Jr, or more recently Lindsay “I’m bringing wasted back” Lohan, or Britney “Look Ma, no panties!” Spears?).

Cut to several years and about twice as many mind-fuck films (and a few hits like "Lage Raho Munna Bhai" where he plays a "benign gangster") later, Sanju baba (as he is "affectionately" called) was back in the spotlight living the “hapless victim in a government conspiracy”; for having close business dealings with well known and notorious underworld honchos (Dawood Ibrahim, and the Memon brothers, convicted for perhaps the worst terrorist serial bombings inflicted on Mumbai, India or perhaps the rest of the world). At one point, he was also being investigated for such charming fare as extortion, kidnapping, murder and money laundering (some cases may still be running).

Sanju baba was found guilty (though not of terrorism) and his sentencing happened only now. As soon as I read about this, I did a blog search to see what people were saying. In the 15 or so blogs I came across, almost everyone unequivocally praised Judge P.D. Kode. Knowing the media and my country, and the fact that Sanju baba is a celebrity, I felt the media campaign pleading for leniency was yet to happen. Sure enough, a day later, I read an article proclaiming that bloggers rally around Sanjay. And another one that talked about astrologers and shared birthdays with a reporter. Yet others attest to his benevolence and humane nature. Affidavits from politicians and glitterati aver to his nurturing spirit.

To all these people I say: REALLY?

I believe he is getting what he deserves. Judge P.D. Kode, kudos to you. To the Supreme Court of India, please move expeditiously to strike down his (other convicts’) appeals and uphold judge Kode’s decision.

Some pseudo-journalists, fans and bloggers may plead that Sanjay Dutt is being made an example of by the prosecution and judiciary; to cover up for their inaction and delays. They may point to scores of other cases where similar offenses and criminals are yet to be brought to justice or have been let go due to subversion of the law. They may argue that those offenders be served before Sanju baba.

To them, I say, this is a start. He is clearly guilty and this has been proven beyond doubt in a court of law through an open process. Why should he be awarded special treatment? Should he be excused because he is wealthy and popular enough to muster support while a comparable criminal sans wealth and connections be relegated to suffering the full wrath of the law? Do you want to send criminals the message that it is okay to harm society as long you are wealthy and influential?

I for one have staunchly refused to watch Sanju baba’s movies because I believed him to be undeserving. I refuse to contribute to his influence and wealth and instead pray that his conviction sends shudders down the spines of the one and all, to keep them on the path of good. For justice to work in this world of ours, we must make it economically and socially “unaffordable” to commit crime. We must not rely on wishy-washy, touchy-feely principles of morality and human-goodness. Our processes, judgments, awards and reprimands must be moral and humane, but equal, codified and absolute.

Sanju baba, lest it not be clear thus far, this blog celebrates your conviction and imprisonment. Judge P.D. Kode, I congratulate you on doing what is “right”. But to India’s legislature, judiciary, executive and media, much is yet to accomplish:

Dawood Ibrahim and Memon brothers are still at large
Salman Khan is still free
Umpteen corrupt politicians still win elections
And much much more.

But take heart, keep doing the right thing. We are here to support you. Do the right thing for “Mother India”.

You may find the following articles interesting:

List of accused

Sanjay’s hope Supreme Court

Bloggers rally around Dutt

Manu Sharma / Jessica Lal murder case

Salman Khan / car runover case

Weak law


Thackery praises Sanjay Dutt

Pray for me 29

Mother India

Sanju Baba


Reshma aur Shera


t-hype said...

Why should he be awarded special treatment?

Because we want Munnabhai to come to America?

As it stands, we'll be waiting longer than the break between Rush Hour 2 and 3!

Hmmm. Rocky Balboa did make a comeback after 10 years. I suppose Sanju can hold his own...

kage said...

lol... T, here's what the judge had to say Act till 100, I've taken just 6 yrs

kage said...

more apologists

Anonymous said...

For me, it is no wonder that Sanjay Dutt imbibed criminal tendencies through the silver spoon his famed parents had provided. Like any upstart, he was audacious and reckless and felt he could escape any situation, given the rampant corruption in the legal, enforcement and administrative systems.

I only wish and pray that Supreme Court takes courage in both hands and not only upturns his appeal for bail etc. but also convicts him for the heinous crimes which his cohorts have comitted with his direct / indirect patronage.

kage said...

Indian express article by the editor of the Financial Times asks us to consider him an equal of unprivileged convicts

kanta said...

Sanju baba deseves the treatment he got. Why Indian should sympathise with him? What good has he done for you?
He acted in the movies what Director told him.

kage said...

got forwarded the following email. food for thought

--------- begin email --------
Dear Editors of HT, TOI, IndianExpress and TheHindu, I got the mail below from a friend of mine and following the unwritten code of conduct, I am forwarding it to my friends but all efforts of people who have been forwarding this mail would go waste if this mail doesn't reach YOU......

Something to think about..!!

Shame on Indian Media??? Really what a shame...

By the time u guys read this news, the body of Major Manish Pitambare, who was shot dead at Anantnag, would have been cremated with full military honors.

On Tuesday, this news swept across all the news channels 'Sanjay Dutt relieved by court'. 'Sirf Munna not a bhai' '13 saal ka vanvaas khatam' 'although found guilty for possession of armory, Sanjay can breath sigh of relief as all the TADA charges against him are withdrawn' Then many personalities like Salman Khan said 'He is a good person. We knew he will come out clean'. Mr Big B said "Dutt's family and our family have relations for years he's a good kid. He is like elder brother to Abhishek". His sister Priya Dutt said "we can sleep well tonight. It's a great relief"

In other news, Parliament was mad at Indian team for performing bad; Greg Chappell said something; Shah Rukh Khan replaces Amitabh in KBC and other such stuff. But most of the emphasis was given on Sanjay Dutt's "phoenix like" comeback from the ashes of terrorist charges. Surfing through the channels, one news on BBC startled me. It read "Hisbul Mujahidin's most wanted terrorist 'Sohel Faisal' killed in Anantnag , India . Indian Major leading the operation lost his life in the process. Four others are injured.

It was past midnight , I started visiting the stupid Indian channels, but Sanjay Dutt was still ruling. They were telling how Sanjay pleaded to the court saying 'I'm the sole bread earner for my family', 'I have a daughter who is studying in US' and so on. Then they showed how Sanjay was not wearing his lucky blue shirt while he was hearing the verdict and also how he went to every temple and prayed for the last few months. A suspect in Mumbai bomb blasts, convicted under armory act...was being transformed into a hero.

Sure Sanjay Dutt has a daughter; Sure he did not do any terrorist activity. Possessing an AK47 is considered too elementary in terrorist community and also one who possesses an AK47 has a right to possess a pistol so that again is not such a big crime; Sure Sanjay Dutt went to all the temples;
Sure he did a lot of Gandhigiri but then........ ...

Major Manish H Pitambare got the information from his sources about the terrorists' whereabouts. Wasting no time he attacked the camp, killed Hisbul Mujahidin's supremo and in the process lost his life to the bullets fired from an AK47. He is survived by a wife and daughter (just like Sanjay Dutt) who's only 18 months old.

Major Manish never said 'I have a daughter' before he took the decision to attack the terrorists in the darkest of nights. He never thought about having a family and he being the bread earner. No news channel covered this since they were too busy hyping a former drug addict, a suspect who's linked to bomb blasts which killed hundreds. Their aim was to show how he defied the TADA charges and they were so successful that his conviction in possession of armory had no meaning. They also concluded that his parents in heaven must be happy and proud of him.

Parents of Major Manish are still living and they have to live rest of their lives without their beloved son. His daughter won't ever see her daddy again.

So guys, please forward this message around so that the media knows which news to give importance, as it is a shame for us since this Army Major's death news was given by a foreign TV channel!!!

---------- end email ---------

Seema said...

Well lot of people have a lot of nice things to say about Sanju baba, he is adored by millions and I have to admit, has turned out to be a great actor. But law should be the same for everyone. If Judge Kode is strict with the other criminals in this case, Sanju should get the same treatment, also he should not be targeted because he is a celebrity. fair?unfair?
Anyone remotely connected to the
Bombay blasts of 1993 should be severely punished. Same thing happened again in 2006, I felt the same fear I felt 13 years ago, fear of the unknown until I got through to my folks confirming everyone I know as safe. India has a reputation of a country that lets one get away with anything and that is dangerous. The Indian courts/judges need to assert their power. Manu Sharma...Santosh Kumar Singh and now Sanjay is a start!

kage said...

Salman Khan jailed for chinkara shooting!

Now to find and prosecute the people responsible for the Hyderabad blasts .