Wednesday, March 27, 2013

iS HE GUILTY?

IS HE GUILTY?

The question is a very simple one: is Sanjay Dutt guilty of accumulating an arsenal of illegally acquired arms?  If yes, he needs to go through the sentence handed down. 
and not all the caterwauling  of  the film fraternity and its producers should change that.
At the time of signing those contracts that total over 500 crores, it was Sanjay's duty to warn them of the impending judgement. If he did not, should that let him off the hook? 
Then why not so many others, with more or less equal claims of innocence who also have young or elderly dependents, most without the money to fall back on that Sanjay's family has.
All of us have grown with this man's story.  As a teenager, ladla beta of one of the best known and respected couples on the social scene, both of them MPs, Sanjay repeatedly let down his family with his tyrsts with drugs. The family always rallied round to help wash them out of his system and ease his return into the Bollywood family. Always the Return of the Prodigal Son.
Finally it was the arms episode that proved the last straw on father Sunil Dutt's parliamentary career.  Then a disastrous marriage, an abandoned wife, years later a second happier marriage, estrangement from sisters, finallly  forgive and forget as once again the family has rallied around Sanjay.  
One is tempted to wonder: were those glam don roles in Vaastav and Munnabhai meant to create images which are proving so useful in raising public sympathy now?
The question remains:
Should he be let off the hook because he has 500 crores in others' pipelines ?
Should he be given the leeway that will not be given to so many others who may or may not be equally at fault?
If we accept that a middle aged man should not pay for a mistake he made as a young man,  what of that 17 year old who was the kingpin of the Nirbhaya rape case?
If Sanjay is not guilty for acquiring that arsenal, then every young kashmiri pandit who hears of humiliating episodes in Shrinagar, every young tamil getting news from Sri Lanka or every young muslim in any of the pandemic riots that continue to plague us,  should be held to be justified in acquiring illegally procured arms "to protect" their families.
In a democracy, the same law applies to all.  Should that law be different for the offspring of not one but two former MPs of this democracy?

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