Anil Thakraney: The Sanjay Dutt road show

22 Mar,2013

By Anil Thakraney


I know it sounds a bit harsh to say this, but I am glad the Sanjay Dutt crime saga has come to an end. It has been going on for twenty long years, and frankly, it’s gotten really boring now. The star must take the Supreme Court verdict on the chin, and prepare himself for some jail time. Crime was committed (it’s irrelevant whether Dutt was involved innocently or otherwise), and therefore there must be punishment. And who knows, he could be let off much sooner than three and a half years on account of ‘good behaviour’, and there’s always his sweet MP sister around to keep the Dutt family flag flying.


As for the hectic media coverage yesterday, the same, established template came into operation: TV reporters dutifully parked themselves outside the star’s Pali Hill residence, all busy speculating, as the man wouldn’t speak to them. Some Hindi channels gladly fished out eerie footage of the 1993 blasts. Any legal mind who was willing to speak was chased for a sound byte. Entertainment journos were consulted on the likely losses to Bollywood. And of course, movie people queued up to express their intense grief. These days these bleeding hearts vent on Twitter as well, which is the only real change that’s happened in twenty years. I write this post in the evening, and am sure the 9PM TV debates will also work on the same template. The usual bunch of TV suspects will be called to shower us with pearls of wisdom. It’s the Sanjay Dutt script we are all so familiar with.


And to be fair, one really can’t blame the TV channels. What else can you do but follow the set diagram? Nothing has changed in terms of the facts of the case, so you can’t possibly invent a new angle, even if you tried. Am quite certain that secretly, all the journalists must be happy this is finally done and dusted, regurgitating the same stuff over and over again can get very tedious.


Before I sign off, I must state for the record that I have spent some time with Sanjay Dutt, and I can tell you he has a good heart. But that’s of no consequence when it comes to law and order. All his fans must accept this and move on.




PS: Incidentally, here’s the column I wrote for Mumbai Mirror when Dutt was convicted by the TADA court, back in the year 2007. Six years later, I have EXACTLY the same things to say to the convicted star. Yes, I am part of the same media template, this story’s gone on for so damn long!




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One response to “Anil Thakraney: The Sanjay Dutt road show”

  1. Guest says:

    Many shades of grey in the story of Sanjay Dutt’s life but one still hopes it will have a happy ending.

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