Maintaining that the “power of pen can be more destructive than an atom bomb”, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has said that the film Sanju has shown “how certain perception in the media, police and judiciary, can adversely affect someone”.
He was speaking at a programme to felicitate 30 singers in Nagpur on Sunday. Speaking about contribution of art and artists to the society, Gadkari described Sanju as a beautiful film.
“I have seen the film. It’s a beautiful film. It shows how certain perception in the media, police and judiciary can adversely affect someone. It had severely disturbed the lives of both Sunil Dutt and his son Sanjay.”
“Late Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray had once told me that Sanjay Dutt was completely innocent. I always say that the media should be extra careful when it is writing about any bank or any individual. It takes a lot of effort and hardship to shape up a life of distinction, but it takes little to destroy it. The power of pen can be more destructive than an atom bomb,” he added.
The comments come in the backdrop of several people describing Sanjay Dutt as a “traitor” and questioning the propriety of making a film on him. Many among them, including some from right wing groups, have also called for boycotting the film.
Sanjay Dutt was arrested in 1993 for possessing an AK-56 rifle and charged under Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act and Arms Act. It was alleged that the AK-56 rifle was a part of a large consignment of arms connected to the terrorists who executed the 1993 Mumbai blasts. While the charge under TADA was qushed by the court, he was sentenced to six years under the Arms Act. In 2013, the Supreme Court reduced the sentence to five years and Dutt had walked out of jail in 2016.
Gadkari had raised eyebrows earlier as well, when he had supported fugitive industrialist Vijay Mallya. “…We must take a considerate view of genuine failures in business…,” he had said.