Sanjay Dutt is no kachcha khiladi. Remember, he sneaked in a cache of guns and bombs right under the nose of the police posted outside his house in 1993, so let’s not take him lightly.
He brought shouting angrily back into vogue. After Amitabh Bachchan moved out of his angry young man phase, it was Sanjay who made it cool all over again, all fiery eyes and baritone. Cases in point, Vidhaata, Thanedaar (remember the scene where he threatens to take Amrish Puri’s eyes out if he ever looks a Madhuri Dixit again?), right up to Mission Kashmir — in which he yells at his wife, his adoptive son and his superior. Try yelling at your boss. Might not work out too well.
Then he made being a criminal look cool. He started playing a thief or robber and moved onto playing underworld dons who rule the city. From Khalnayak, Daud and Vaastav, to Kaante and Luck. ‘Khalnayak’ became his nickname.
To which he adds a twist: the gangster with a golden heart. Munnabhai who is a dreaded don but also someone who weeps at the sight of slightest suffering. It was a subtle attempt to break away from his bad boy image and to create a place in people’s sympathies — not just on the posters in their bedrooms. Suddenly, he wasn’t ‘Khalnayak’ anymore. He was ‘Munnabhai’. We see what you did there, Mr Dutt.
He took it one step further by adding the ultimate adarsh to his character in the sequel: Gandhigiri. People wept at the sight of him swaggering down the corridor to the recording studio with that set jaw, determined to get Janhvi’s bungalow back from the evil Lucky Singh, with ‘bande mein tha dum’ playing in the background.
And there you have his secret. The man convinced an evil land shark to give up a sprawling bungalow in Andheri through his ‘Gandhigiri’.
He convinced a father to refrain from yelling at his son after the said son lost Rs 7 lakh of his hard-earned money on the stock market. Let’s take a minute to consider what our respective fathers would’ve done.
So all those paroles and furloughs are not being given to a bomb blast accused: they’re being given to the man who made ‘Gandhigiri’ cool again. They’re being granted to the man with the golden heart who has gone through so much in his life already and is a hot favourite of the masses. Perhaps we should file an RTI to find out how many jadoo ki jhappis he’s given the jailers.
Dutt was brought to the Yerawada central jail in May 2013 after he surrendered before the TADA court. In October 2013, he was granted the furlough which was extended by another 14 days.
In January 2014, he was granted parole for 30 days which was extended to 60 days. He was again granted a furlough of 14 days in December 2014. In total, he’d spent 90 days on parole in 2014.
Parole, on being applied for, can be granted and extended at the discretion of the authorities. Out of his three-and-a-half year sentence, he’s completed a little over two years. And spent 132 days out of jail.
Now he’s come out again. People will collect in hordes outside his house and go crazy when he flashes his abs.
Policemen will jostle each other to be in the frame with him, accidentally, of course. Half of Bollywood will speak out in his favour and tell us he’s not a terrorist. The other half won’t speak at all.
And who noticed that the last cinematic memory we have of him – his role in PK – is of a character that dies in…..hold your breath…in a bomb blast? Again, we see what you did there, Mr Dutt.
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