By Nidhi Khurana:
As more and more film personalities express moral support for Sanjay Dutt, convicted for possession of illegal arms from a source involved in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts, the very fact of him being a celebrity is being questioned. The wave of sympathy is growing stronger each day and indeed, one of Dutt’s strongest sympathisers has been the former Supreme Court judge and Press Council of India chief, Justice Markandey Katju. Katju feels that Dutt seems to have suffered a lot and should be pardoned. We must also keep in mind that Jaya Prada and Amar Singh have also joined the league now.
Initially, Dutt had been given a six year jail term by the TADA court. However, the Supreme Cort reduced it to five years. He had already served 18 months in prison and will now have to serve the remaining three and a half years in jail.
The case which was pending for the past 20 years is certainly an indication of the failure of our judicial system. But it has come to me as a shock that none of the politicians or Bollywood celebrities cared to express any contempt over the system. All are sympathetic towards Mr Dutt being a victim, as if he happened to be the only one who suffered because of this failure of the modern day law. Let us not forget that there are more than 30 million cases pending in the various courts of India.
Bollywood stars are already given too much attention by us because of our ever growing love and obsession for glamour. But where has all the reason and wisdom gone? Why are we acting like we are blind, deaf and mute? The confessional statement of Dutt clearly indicates that Dutt’s crime was grave as stated by the Supreme Court. No normal man, under any circumstances, keeps illegal arms for security reasons, especially the guns that are bought from the sources unknown to him. I pity him if he is really happens to be so naÃ¯ve. But he certainly is not. A felony like supporting and being accomplices to terrorism (even in its most subtle forms) cannot be a matter of coincidence. There is no way you can do justice to the hundreds of families who had suffered due to the Mumbai Bomb Blasts.
And on what humanitarian grounds should he be pardoned? Did Bollywood really care when Afzal Guru was hanged? Did it ever raise its voice when so many tribal women were raped and beaten to death? Its silence over such issues says a lot about the film industry. For the tinsel town, only the things that glitter are gold and the rest does not really affect the elitist sections of our society. Blinded by this Bollywood manifesto, the common man is also ignoring such grey shades. All that matters is the stardom and the flashy life that these stars lead.