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Sunil DuttShocked Bollywood mourns Sunil Dutt's death
26th May 2005  09.51 IST
By Agencies  

A shocked Bollywood on Wednesday mourned the death of actor-turned-politician Sunil Dutt , one of its most loved members, describing him as a brilliant actor, good human being and selfless leader.

Describing it as a great shock, filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt said Dutt epitomised the pluralistic culture of India. "His life can be summed up in one sentence -- Together we shall fly and divided we shall fall," he said.

As news of his demise spread, virtually the entire film industry turned up at his residence here to pay homage to the late actor. They included Amitabh Bachchan and his son Abhishek Bachchan , Dilip Kumar , Yash Chopra , Javed Akhtar , Shabana Azmi , Gulzar , Anupam Kher , Govinda , Sanjay Dutt s close buddy Salman Khan , Bipasha Basu , Koena Mitra , Gulshan Grover , Vivek Oberoi and others involved with the film industry.

"I really respected him. He was a really good human being. He was liked so much... He had so much for the people and never wanted anything in return," said actress and Censor Board chief Sharmila Tagore .

"I am really shocked," she said, describing Dutt as one of the good people and a selfless leader.

Making an acting debut in the 1955 film `Railway Platform', Dutt is known for his roles in the films Mother India , Padosan , `Sujata', `Milan', `Waqt' and more recently, Munnabhai MBBS , in which he appeared with his actor-son Sanjay Dutt.

Veteran Bollywood actress Saira Banu , who co-starred with Dutt in `Padosan', expressed shock over his death.

Describing Dutt as "simple and down to earth" person, Saira who acted with Dutt in the 1968 blockbuster, said "it was always a pleasure talking to him".

Bano said even his eating habits were very simple and he seldom diverted from his diet of `dal and chawal'. She also said Dutt was to move into his new home next month.

At a loss for words, filmmaker Yash Chopra said he had no words to explain how pained he was at the passing away of the Dutt.

Character actor and yesteryear's villain Pran said Dutt was a great artiste and a great patriot and recalled that he had performed to bring joy to the jawans in the Indian Army.

Grieving Dutt's death, director Aparna Sen said, "I was full of admiration for him and always found his screen presence very magnetic. It is sad he had to go away so suddenly."

A big fan of Dutt's, Sen said just as his work in films like Sujata had established him as a great actor, his recent foray into filmmaking reflected his interest in making quality cinema.

Lyricist Javed Akhtar said, "we have lost an important leader. He was not only a parliamentarian but a man who believed in secularism."

He described Dutt as a man who dedicated his life to the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi.

Lata Mangeshkar described her relationship with Dutt as that of a sister and brother and said she used to tie him Rakhee.

Shakti Kapoor described Dutt as his father and said it was he who had given him the name Shakti, his name earlier being Sunil Kapoor and as soon as he changed his name, his fortunes changed for the good in Bollywood.

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