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Sanjay DuttSanjay Dutt recalls his traumatic days in jail
07th Sept 2007  09.00 IST
By Agencies  


Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt and his sisters Priya and Namrata recall the traumatic days after Sanjay's arrest in 1994 in connection with the 1993 bomb blasts in a forthcoming book titled Mr. and Mrs. Dutt, Memories of our Parents.

Sanjay, currently out on bail after having been sentenced for six years of RI had nothing but jail coupons to offer to his sisters when they visited him in the jail on Rakshabandhan.




"I have nothing to give you both, but I have saved these coupons for you. This is all I have," Sanjay said. "It was an extremely emotional moment and it was the first time we saw Dad break down and cry," Congress MP and Dutt's sister Priya recalls in the book.

Jointly written by Priya, Namrata and some contribution by Dutt also, the book, 'Mr. and Mrs. Dutt, Memories of our Parents' is scheduled to be released by Roli Books later this month.

Recalling the traumatic days after Sanjay's arrest in 1994 in connection with the 1993 bomb blasts, the book says while he was in prison, "we had some support at first, and then slowly people started drifting away. We were on our own till help came to us from an unlikely quarter. Balasaheb Thackeray made a public declaration saying he didn't believe any member of the Dutt family could be anti-national."

The sisters recall the days when on his return from Mauritius Sanjay was whisked away by the police from the airport and how a devastated Sunil Dutt ran from pillar to post worrying how the situation could be resolved.

On his days inside the jail in 1994, Sanjay says "Inside the prison it was crushing to look outside and see people walking about free. The cell was small. I shared it with someone. I slept on the floor and read a lot. I couldn't exercise because I wasn't in the right frame of mind to do any thing. I read the Gita and the Ramayana. I also read Mandela's book which really inspired me," he says.

The Dutt sisters recall Sanjay saying that he was being accused of being anti-national and a terrorist. "What a terrible blow to my family. I hated Dad seeing me in such conditions and constantly asked, when am I coming out? One day when Dad came to meet me, he held my shoulders and said I can't do anything," they quote Sanjay telling them.

"Until that point in time, our family held a kind of record in as much as we never had an income tax raid, a frequent occurrence in the lives of movie stars. And now warrant had been issued to search our home. A battalion of policemen arrived with search dogs it was deeply humiliating experience". We watched as they combed every room, every cupboard.

As Mumbai burned and Sanjay was put behind the bars, Thackeray made a public declaration that he did not believe any member of the Dutt family could be anti-national.

"Balasaheb Thackeray had high regard for Mom and Dad and his statement made a huge difference in public perception. Dad and Sanjay were so grateful for his support which came at time when it was needed the most," the sisters say.

In the days that followed Dad kept trying to get Sanjay released from prison. He met every possible person who could help to explain the legalities involved, the book says. "Dad was a broken man. This was the first time we saw such helplessness in his eyes. A man who was a pillar of strength to us seemed to be collapsing on top of that we had many financial problems, we had no money coming in and the legal expenses were mounting," the sisters say.

Dad had become obsessed with Sanjay's situation and his behaviour became increasingly erratic. He did not sleep and would get up at four in the morning and say how could he sleep when he knew his son was in the same city, a few miles away from him, lying on a cold stone floor?

On events in 1993 after the demolition of the Babri Masjid, Priya Dutt says, "Papa, Sanju and I would fill trucks with food and medicines and drive to the slum areas. People claimed Dad was helping only Muslims; this was in order to give his work a communal slant but it was not true."

"We started getting threatening calls. The situation got worse by the hour." One day Dilip Kumar and Saira Banu called and said, "Priya, we have news that both our homes are going to be attacked. Why don't you come over here now?"

The book also tells how Nargis and Sunil Dutt fell in love.

"While shooting a scene for Mother India, mom was trapped in a circle of fire, and when the wind changed direction, she was unable to escape. Without a moment's hesitation, dad ran into the raging fire and rescued her at great risk to his own life", says the book.

"His hands and face were badly burnt and mom's hands too suffered serious injuries. They were then sent to recuperate in the nearby village of Bilimora in Gujarat. Mom spent day and night looking after Dad, as he was in acute pain. The fortnight they spent together was a turning point for them. It was during this time they fell in love," the sisters say in the book.

Nargis had told Sunil Dutt what kind of funeral she wanted. She reminded him how scared he was of fire and didn't want to be cremated. "He could have ignored her wishes, but he followed her instructions as he had deep regard for her beliefs and faith," the book says.

Related
Sanjay Dutt
Sunil Dutt
Dilip Kumar
Saira Banu
Nargis





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