Sunday, May 9, 2021
Home Editor's picks When the entire film fraternity came out in support of Sanjay Dutt, who was...

When the entire film fraternity came out in support of Sanjay Dutt, who was accused under TADA in connection with 1993 Mumbai Bomb Blasts

With his hopes dwindling of getting his son out of the jail, the long-time Congress MP Sunil Dutt, who had been a fierce critic of Shiv Sena and it ideology, decided to visit Sena chief Bal Thackeray in 1995, to request him to extricate his son, who had been languishing in jail for the last 13 months.

Every time a catastrophic tragedy befalls Bollywood, members of the fraternity unite to ward off the threat that appears to upend the industry, even if that means siding with someone who is accused of serious crimes. Yesterday, a legion of Bollywood celebrities took to social media to extend their support and express their solidarity with actor Rhea Chakraborty after she was arrested by Narcotics Control Bureau for her possible involvement in procurement and consumption of drugs related to Sushant Singh Rajput death probe.

Scores of Bollywood celebrities, who would otherwise indulge in bitching or making gossipy claims about each other, came together, to defend the embattled actor, notwithstanding the grievous charges levelled against her. In a show of support to the actor, prominent Bollywood personalities took to social media, uploading posts in which they asked their followers to “smash the patriarchy”.

Some of them even went on to normalise drug peddling, its procurement and consumption, claiming that Rhea’s arrest is unfair because she was accused in the alleged suicide case of actor Sushant Singh Rajput but has been apprehended in connection with a drug case. Others, reluctant of openly supporting an accused arrested in the drug case, questioned the spectacle of media trial to extenuate the actor and paint her as a victim.

Bollywood supported Sanjay Dutt, who was accused under Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA)

However, this is not the first time that the Bollywood personalities have come out in support of one of their own. About 26 years back, the entire Bollywood industry pulled together in support of actor Sanjay Dutt, who was arrested for keeping illegal weapons at his house given to him by Abu Salem, one of the gangsters responsible for orchestrating the gruesome Mumbai Bomb blasts in 1993.

On July 4, 1994, Sanjay Dutt was remanded to judicial custody for his alleged involvement in the Mumbai Bomb blasts. He was arrested under the provisions laid down by the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act(TADA). By evening, the news trickled in throughout the industry. Shah Rukh Khan, who was shooting for a commercial shoot, hurried to the Dutt residence at midnight. Director Ramgopal Verma and actors Jackie Shroff and Gulshan Grover hightailed it to Mumbai from Hyderabad.

A meeting was convened by the Cine Artistes’ Association at chief Asha Parekh’s house the next day. The shock of Sanjay’s arrest had sent ripples across the movie industry. By next morning, i.e July 6, the entire Bollywood industry was mobilised to extend their support for the actor.

Shootings of the ongoing movies, commercials were cancelled forthright. Artistes and technicians from the industry gathered at a suburban hotel and from their went to Thane Jail, where Dutt was held, to hand over a letter to the jailor. The turnout was astonishing as several top Bollywood personalities, from Dilip Kumar to Yash Chopra and Salman Khan, Shahrukh Khan, to Saif Ali Khan, Mahesh Bhatt, Saira Banu, Karishma Kapoor, Amrish Puri, Randhir Kapoor and several others had come to the Thane Jail as a mark of solidarity for Sanjay Dutt.

Film director Mukul Anand had printed 1,000 posters overnight declaring “Sanju, we’re with u.” Controversial Film producer and director, Mahesh Bhatt, went on to slam the law for jailing Sanjay Dutt. “How can a law that applies to Dawood Ibrahim apply to Sanjay Dutt?” Bhatt had then asked.

Shah Rukh Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar(from left to right) (Source: DNA India)

The Bollywood solidarity at Thane Jail was just the start. Industry stalwarts had planned several strategies to evoke public sympathy for the actor. About Rs 7 lakh were raised to print posters and media campaign in support of Sanjay Dutt. Music companies gave their hoarding space while theatres agreed to interrupt shows with slides in support of the actor. A well-coordinated campaign was run to enhance the battered image of Sanjay Dutt by focusing on the social causes he had been associated with in the past.

Sunil Dutt pleaded with Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray for release of his son

With his hopes dwindling of getting his son out of the jail, the long-time Congress MP Sunil Dutt, who had been a fierce critic of Shiv Sena and it ideology, decided to visit Sena chief Bal Thackeray in 1995, to request him to extricate his son, who had been languishing in jail for the last 13 months.

While Maharashtra had traditionally been a Congress stronghold, Hindutva and right-leaning ideologies were beginning to take root in the state in the early 90s. Though Congress had its government at the centre, Maharashtra was ruled by the coalition of BJP and Shiv Sena in 1995 when Sunil Dutt approached Bal Thackeray to get his son released.

Later in the Rajat Sharma show, when Dutt was asked why he had chose to visit Balasaheb Thackeray even though he had strongly opposed him in the past, Dutt replied, “During that time Shiv Sena was in power in the state and Bal Thackeray often used to proclaim that he had the keys of the government in his hands. So naturally anyone will reach out to the person who has the key to the government,” Dutt had said.

It is being alleged that Sunil Dutt had visited Bal Thackeray and pleaded with him to get his son released from the jail. After Bal Thackeray’s alleged intervention, Sanjay Dutt was released in 1995 after spending 18 months in the jail.

Sanjay Dutt with Balasaheb Thackeray(Source: Indian Express)

It was reported that soon after his release from the jail, Sanjay Dutt’s first stop was at the residence of Bal Thackeray to thank him and take his blessings. Dutt has since then expressed his gratitude for the Shiv Sena chief for his intervention and getting him out of jail. In November 2012, at the time when Bal Thackeray was in critical condition, Sanjay Dutt was quoted by the Times of India as saying, “Balasaheb is a father figure to me. He stood by me at a time when no one else came forward to support me.”

In 2006, the TADA court found Sanjay Dutt guilty of Arms Act but acquitted him under TADA. Later, he was sentenced for 5 years in jail for illegal weapons possession in a case linked to the 1993 serial blasts that killed 257 people in Mumbai.

Bollywood made a hagiography on Sanjay Dutt to whitewash his past crimes

However, Bollywood’s long-drawn attempt to scrub Sanjay Dutt’s image clean continued with a biopic made on the controversial actor. A hagiographic movie based on the life of Sanjay Dutt was made, which tried to pass off the actor’s wrongdoings as his impetuous and thoughtless caprices. The movie was branded as a tear-jerker that was significantly economical with the truth, often misrepresenting and in some instances omitting the actual turn of events, made with the express desire of minimising the vices of Sanjay Dutt and exaggerating his somewhat modest virtues.

While the critics close to the Bollywood industry hailed the movie and acting of Ranbir Kapoor, who played the character of Sanjay Dutt, the biopic received severely critical reviews from the audiences, who claimed that the movie was a shoddy attempt at whitewashing the image of Sanjay Dutt and exculpating him of being involved in any way with the ghastly Mumbai Bomb Blasts 1993.

It is, therefore, not very surprising, that the entire Bollywood industry, has swung into action, to defend actor Rhea Chakraborty in the wake of her arrest in the drugs case linked with the Sushant Singh Rajput’s death. When the Bollywood had no qualms in being associated with an accused, who was at the time, charged of as serious crime as supporting Terror activities, then supporting Rhea Chakraborty for a piddly little crime as alleged involvement in drugs procurement is a no brainer.

And today again it is Shiv Sena that is in power along with Congress and NCP.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

Hemkunt Foundation, Rana Ayyub and Jignesh Mevani: How Covid-19 fundraisers could possibly be violating FCRA laws

A deep dive into fundraisers for Covid relief with questionable management which may be violating FCRA laws.

Chinese state media Editor accuses Subramanian Swamy of being ‘ungrateful’ over ‘war on COVID’, it doesn’t go down well for him

Chinese state media Global Times Editor Hu Xijin on Sunday accused BJP leader Subramanian Swamy of being 'ungrateful' after he tweeted that India is...

Patanjali was the first Indian company to publish a research paper on the new Covid-19 drug approved by DCGI: Read details

Patanjali had published a research paper on use of the drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose for Covid-19 treatment in March 2020

West Bengal: BJP leader Swapan Dasgupta files a complaint with the police on targeted persecution of its party workers

Dasgupta in his complaint to the police mentioned on record the names of all 260 victims, some of whom have been unable to return home after the TMC goons unleashed violence post their victory in the state.

Netizens call out actor Sonu Sood’s claims of arranging for plasma, bed for COVID patients

After multiple media reports and social media posts on how Sonu Sood was helping out migrants go back home last year amid the nationwide lockdown, Sood had written an autobiography, 'I am no no messiah'.

Here is how The Lancet used dubious sources to blame Modi Govt for the Covid crisis

Following the abrogation of Article 370, The Lancet had issued a strong condemnation of the Indian Government.

Recently Popular

Meet AAP’s ‘Delhi ke Nirmata’: Who is Navneet Kalra, the businessman on the run after oxygen hoarding scandal was busted

Oxygen Concentrators have been found at Khan Chacha, Nege & Ju bar and Town Hall restaurants in Delhi, all owned by Navneet Kalra

Arvind Kejriwal govt expels 7 journalists from Whatsapp group after report critical of govt handling of oxygen crisis, senior journalists keep mum

The Arvind Kejriwal government has been the darling of the media for a long time but it seems to want absolute devotion

Comedian Sanket Bhosale who had featured in ad mocking Rahul Gandhi booked for violating Covid-19 norms in Punjab

A week after the vandalism by the Congress workers in Mumbai, the Congress-led Punjab government has now booked comedian Sanket Bhosale, the actor featured in the advertisement, on the pretext of violating Covid-19 regulations during his wedding.

‘Dominance of one religious group cannot prevent religious celebrations of other’, says Madras HC after local Muslims object to Hindu procession

The Madras High court concluded that similar acts of 'resistance' by other religious groups would result in loss of lives, destruction of properties, riots, religious fights and chaos.

Chinese research paper, published 6 years ago by Chinese military backed authors, discussed weaponising Coronavirus: Reports

A 2015 research paper by Chinese scientists reveals nefarious plans to weaponise the SARS Coronavirus against the world.

Call girl from Thailand passes away in Lucknow due to Covid-19, had come to India recently with help from agent Salman

A call girl from Thailand has passed away in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh at the Lohia Hospital due to Covid-19.
- Advertisement -

 

Connect with us

254,885FansLike
540,465FollowersFollow
24,300SubscribersSubscribe