Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Sanjay Dutt’s adversity

by Remigius de Souza

Sanjay Dutt’s adversity

Adversities also bring new or unknown opportunities. Sanjay Dutt has been acting and entertaining Bollywood box-office and masses. He also has been providing spicy stories to media time to time.

I wouldn’t judge his Bollywood career in virtual reality; it is judged by the box-office bottom-line, which is reality. As for his TADA, or whatever, case, the judgment has been delivered, or is awaited further hearing. Hence no Bollywood-style sentimental melodrama needed.

As an actor, I suppose, he is an artist in his own right. Many artists are rotting in jails, in many countries, even without trial, for their work of art which has humanitarian value. There are many instances of prisoners, from M.N. Roy to Sane Guruji, who turned out literature from the jails. A criminal such as Jean Genet, who is also called Saint Genet, became an acclaimed writer. Remember Sage Valmiki!

In the jail, Dutt will be provided with work, wages, food and shelter; which are denied to the millions of people outside, here in India – either by fate or by the state. Dutt is lucky.

How to turn the adversity – an imprisonment – into an opportunity? It is in the Dutt’s hands.

So far, Sanjubaba has been acting according to direction and talking the script. If accessible, Dutt may have an advantage of first hand experience by real contact of various criminals, from petty to hardcore, and witness their dispositions. Besides the jail may offer him some time to reflect or contemplate.

Hopefully it may be an opportunity for Sanjubaba to grow up in real whorl, and grow beyond acting “Bhaigiri” and “Gandhigiri” in virtual world, where even Gandhibaba speaks Munnabhai’s dialect. Indeed who or how any of the casts of “Lage raho Munnabai” is touched by Gandhi?

We all know that Dutt’s mother was Muslim. Hence, it is possible that all Muslims could be “Mamus” and Hindus be his “Chachus”. In real life, with his resources, his celebrity status, his fan-following, Dutt could become a great bridge to achieve communal amity between Hindus and Muslims. It is time, rather than brand Gandhigiri, by his own “Sanjugiri”, we are sure, Sanjay Dutt might work wonders. Of course, to be oneself is harder than imitation or role-playing because one is answerable to oneself in the first place.

I reflect for a moment

With my statement above, indeed, I am exposed!
What if I, whoever, whatever, vanish from the face of the earth?
What if Gandhi – Nehru are no more?
What if the billionaire become paupers overnight in the Depression of 1930s?
What if several villages flattened in the earthquake of Bhuj?
What if two lakhs mill workers and eight lakhs of their dependants deprived of their livelihood by the closure of textile mills in Mumbai?
What if Harappa - Mohenjo-Daro are buried several times in the Earth?
What if the megalometropolis Angkor Wat vanishes?
What if a few hundred die in terrorist attacks?
So on and on and on…
What if Bollywood vanishes from the face of the earth? People wouldn’t loose a moment of wink. They shall find their own alternatives for much needed leisure – not the elitist pop-art but the revival of folk-arts, once relieved from costly entertainment market!!!

A Gond poem, from Central India

What is man’s body? It is a spark from the fire
It meets water and it is put out.
What is man’s body? It is a bit of straw
It meets fire and it is burnt out.
What is man’s body? It is a bubble of water
Broken by the wind.
(Re: Jaffrey Wainwrite, “The Basics: Poetry, Routledge, 2004)


Remigius de Souza
Post Mail: 69-243, S. B.Marg, Mumbai 400028 India

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