Politics / Social Issues

Does Sanjay Dutt’s conviction highlight an attempt to make quick amends by India’s legal system?

dutt(Credit : http://www.indianexpress.com)

A couple of weeks ago, Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt cut a forlorn figure sitting next to his sister Priya Dutt, MP of the Indian National Congress Party.

‘I will surrender.’

It was his first press conference to the media, following his conviction of the illegal possession of arms in relation to the 1993 Mumbai terrorist bomb blasts, by the Supreme Court of India. As he folded his hands to plea for forgiveness from the public, he broke down in tears, conveying acceptance and defeat. Yet why has it taken such a long time for the Supreme Court to wrap things up and finally convict him? The case has been running since 1993, with Sanjay Dutt serving four years before being released in 1997. Opinions are divided as to whether he should be pardoned or whether he should go and serve the sentence. With his political connections and celebrity status, the Bollywood film fraternity, of whom some are politicians, feel that he should be pardoned and allowed to continue with his life as normal. Why? Is it because he has been involved in starring in movies which promoted ‘Gandhism’ and awakened the Mahatma Gandhi in every Indian, even if temporarily? Or is it because serving time in jail, would result in a massive loss of money for those producers who are filming with Dutt?

Maybe those who sympathise with him do so because they believe he deserves a chance, especially as he has attempted to reform his image. I believe he should have served his sentence a long time ago, simply because it’s how things should have proceeded. Verdict given and sentenced completed. Done and dusted. What I also find intriguing, is how there has been a flurry of pending cases being opened up and relevant parties summoned to the court, with links to Bollywood. Overall, there has been a sudden rush to put such cases in the spotlight, as if to make a point to the public, that celebrities aren’t immune to punishment. It remains to be seen, what the outcome of such recent developments are overall.

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