By: Keyur Seta
The phenomenon of hero worshipping is very old among Hindi cinema lovers. There is nothing wrong with it since these actors have entertained us and helped us escape from our stressful routine. But when hero worshipping goes onto a level that people turn a blind eye to the high level of crime their onscreen ‘hero’ commits, be rest assured we are living in dangerous times.
I have always found it questionable and even disturbing to see people demanding forgiveness for Sanjay Dutt despite him being convicted in an utterly dangerous crime of storing arms in connection with the 1993 bomb blasts. But my disturbance scaled higher levels recently when I saw the actor being surrounded and cheered by his fans when he was about to surrender at the Tada Jail. It’s so funny to see people supporting a criminal just because he is a big Bollywood superstar!
All these disturbing scenes have given rise to a single question in my mind – Suppose if a common man like me was convicted under the arms act in connection to a crime as serious as 1993 bomb blasts, how many people would have supported me and demanded forgiveness for me? Nobody would have simply because I am not a superstar! The public would have burnt my effigies in fact! So how can the law be different for a common man and a filmstar?
It is been argued that Dutt has already spent some time in jail but is it enough for a crime as serious as this? His supporters are also raising the point that he deeply regrets what he did. So suppose if I commit a similar serious crime and then repent my acts, will people demand for my forgiveness too?
In the midst of this madness, Nana Patekar’s brave and bold statement on the issue has come as a pleasant surprise. The fearless way in which Nana has expressed no mercy for Dutt has increased my respect for him manifolds. Perhaps, he is the only one from the film fraternity to have spoken about equality in law.
As for the rest from the industry, they scream about honesty, truth and justice only in their films. Their fans whistle and clap whenever their favorite actors speak about these three issues. In real life, both parties will go all out in supporting a criminal activity.
Watch Nana Patekar giving a fearless opinion against Sanjay Dutt’s mercy: