Wednesday, November 14Information That Matters

Sanju Movies missing in Hirani’s Dutt biopic, from Madhuri Dixit affair to political debut with Samajwadi Party

Sanju Movies missing in Hirani’s Dutt biopic, from Madhuri Dixit affair to political debut with Samajwadi Party
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Sanju Movies missing in Hirani’s Dutt biopic, from Madhuri Dixit affair to political debut with Samajwadi Party

Sanjay Dutt’s difficult relationship with his first two wives and daughter

Sanjay’s first wife Richa Sharma was an actress who was launched by none other than Dev Anand in 1985. When she was diagnosed with brain tumor, she was admitted in the same hospital which had earlier treated Sanjay’s mother Nargis Dutt. It’s said that during this phase, Sanjay tried his best to carve out a balance between nursing his wife in the US and keeping his shooting commitments in Mumbai. But in the end, it took a toll on the relationship. It was during his US rehab phase that Sanjay had met Richa for the first time. Trishala, Sanjay’s daughter with Richa, who was just a year old when her mother succumbed to brain tumor, for many years shared a difficult relationship with his own father. Sanjay Dutt’s relationship with his wife had also suffered some serious dent because of his involvement with Madhuri Dixit. Sanju also finds no mention of his second wife, Rhea Pillai. It is said that Rhea merely used Sanjay to seek a comfortable lifestyle. Her image suffered a serious blot after the alimony details were published in a Mumbai tabloid. A furious Rhea had blamed Manyata for leaking out the alimony details to the press.

Sanjay Dutt’s numerous affairs with his co-stars

Bollywood has completely been sidetracked in Hirani’s Sanju apart from mention of shooting of Munna Bhai MBBS, an inconsequential scene featuring director Mahesh Manjrekar and premiere of Rocky. These certainly don’t define Dutt’s relationship with the film industry. One casualty of the film has also been his numerous dalliances with his co-stars. Rishi Kapoor, in his autobiography Khullam Khulla, had mentioned an episode when Sanjay was having an affair with Tina Munim. An angry Sanjay had come to Neetu Singh’s house at Pali Hill to confront Rishi Kapoor. Thankfully, it was a calm and composed Neetu Kapoor who had then diffused the situation by explaining to him that rumors about Rishi-Tina affair were baseless. Madhuri Dixit was the cause of the rift in the relationship between Sanjay and his first wife. It was only after the news of Sanjay’s involvement in the Mumbai blast that Madhuri alienated herself from the star. Sanju conveniently omits mentioning any of his affairs with his co-stars.

The verdict on the most awaited film of the year is out and sadly, it’s not a unanimous one. While most critics have eulogised Ranbir’s extraordinary performance in the film, there have also been a few who have dubbed Sanju as Rajkumar Hirani’s weakest film in his oeuvre. The film’s narrative of catering to just two episodes (drugs and his involvement in the 1993 Mumbai blasts) from Sanjay Dutt’s life too has been put under the scanner. Truth be told, expectations were sky high from the maverick director but the end result looks diluted to an extent. Here is a list of episodes from Sanjay’s life which could have made the film more interesting but, alas, were missing. The inclusion of these events surely would have stopped naysayers from dubbing Sanju a propaganda film.

End of 20-year-old friendship with director Sanjay Gupta

Before Rajkumar Hirani came into Sanjay’s life, it was Sanjay Gupta who not only revived his career with films like Aatish, Kaante, Musafir and Zinda but also helped Sanjay get the image of a stylish star post his involvement in the Mumbai blasts. The actor and director were thick as thieves. As per Sanjay Gupta, it was Sanjay’s inner coterie led by his the then business manager Dharam Oberoi, which killed their relationship. The cracks appeared in 2007 and did not heal till 2013. Sanjay Gupta, in an earlier interview to a national newspaper, had revealed that while there were no problems between the two, his staff messed things up between the two. The two became close friends during the shoot of Thanedar (Sanjay Gupta was the chief assistant director on the film) and later took the friendship to another level by forming a joint production company. The impact of the broken friendship was so severe on Gupta that he took almost six years to direct his next film.

Sanjay’s fallout with the Congress party and relationship with Bal Thackeray

After the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, Sanjay was inducted into the Samajwadi Party at the behest of Amar Singh. He even was awarded a ticket to run from Lucknow constituency but his conviction came in his way. Sanjay, in an interview to a national magazine in 2009, had said that his father died because of Congress party. The then Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Nirupam, who had earlier tried to tarnish his image by pointing fingers on his Parliament attendance, was inducted into Congress much against his wishes. It’s also said that the day Sharad Pawar made the senior Dutt wait for three hours at his office was also the day when Sanjay lost his respect for his father’s party. The film also steers clear of Bal Thackeray, the Sena supremo, who was instrumental in Sanjay getting his bail after he was arrested for the first time in 1993.

Sanjay’s fallout with the Congress party and relationship with Bal Thackeray

After the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, Sanjay was inducted into the Samajwadi Party at the behest of Amar Singh. He even was awarded a ticket to run from Lucknow constituency but his conviction came in his way. Sanjay, in an interview to a national magazine in 2009, had said that his father died because of Congress party. The then Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Nirupam, who had earlier tried to tarnish his image by pointing fingers on his Parliament attendance, was inducted into Congress much against his wishes. It’s also said that the day Sharad Pawar made the senior Dutt wait for three hours at his office was also the day when Sanjay lost his respect for his father’s party. The film also steers clear of Bal Thackeray, the Sena supremo, who was instrumental in Sanjay getting his bail after he was arrested for the first time in 1993.

Sanjay’s involvement with the underworld and how he got sucked into it

The confession that Sanjay Dutt had given to Mumbai police in 1993 also mentions his brush with Dubai based mafia for the first time. It’s clearly mentioned in the actor’s confession to the police that it was during the shooting of Yalgaar at RK Studios that he was approached by a man whom he had earlier met him in Dubai. He had offered to sell Sanjay a 9 mm pistol for Rs 40,000. This was the beginning of his rendezvous with the underworld. Author Hussain Zaidi in his book My Name is Abu Salem mentions an incident when Abu Salem had issued kill orders against Sanjay. As per the book, Sanjay had tipped off Chhota Shakeel of Abu’s presence at a Bollywood event in 2001 in New Jersey where he was scheduled to perform. After Abu Salem learnt about his assassination plan, he cancelled his planned visit to New Jersey. In return, Abu Salem hatched a plan to kill Sanjay Dutt when he was busy shooting for a film in Goa. It was only after the mediation of Akbar Khan, who had helped Abu cross the border to Nepal after the blast, that the kill order on Sanjay was revoked.

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