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Worshipping Criminal Heroes

Several Freedom Fighters like Veer Savarkar, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, and Rajguru languished in Andaman Cellular jail and elsewhere, but the generation today may not be aware about what they ate or how badly they were treated. How wonderful it is that we are now briefed in detail the case of a convicted criminal Sanjay Dutt by our National media!

Live TV coverage of send off given to Sanjay Dutt by National media channels leave us to wonder our National Priorities since other news items were totally absent or blurred. None from the roll of Freedom Fighters of pre partition era ever received such prominence as Sanjay Dutt.

The loud drum beating in favor of Sanjay forces us to introspect if TADA Court and Supreme Court have erred and have done injustice to this innocent criminal. The arguments advanced are that convict has already obliged us by spending some time in Jail. He has small children to look after. He is known for his Gandhigiri in films. Several Crores of rupees have been invested on him by Bollywood producers.

There could be many under trials in Jails whose children are without any earning member. But through the din of sympathy noise created by Media for Sanjay Dutt’s children we tend to forget that he earned more money than required bringing up hundreds of orphans in the country. While Sanjay Dutt was on bail pursuing his appeal against TADA Court Conviction, he was working in films as well as trying his luck in politics.

Several Bollywood Friends and producers also made a beeline to escort the impressive cavalcade of this convicted criminal from Home to TADA Court. Some of them have already reaped fortunes from his films while there may be some whose films are in the production line. Some of them seem to be contemplating relief from Court once again. The straight question is, weren’t those producers aware of his pending Jail Term and the reasons behind?

Many legal experts are now busy pondering over alternative to rescue this convicted criminal. Discussions are going on the TV Channels. One of the alternatives being suggested are to file review petition to seek pardon, or remission of sentence. The other alternative is to seek early release through political pressure subsequently on account of good behavior. Sister Priya Dutt has already been mustering support from concerned sources.

This sordid environment raises many mind boggling questions for law abiding citizens:

  • Has our Judicial System from trial court to Apex court has blundered while punishing Sanjay?
  • Do we have any duty towards the law abiding citizens who lost their lives, families and livelihood due to the acts omission and commission of Sanjay Dutt?
  • Isn’t drumming up in favor of a convicted criminal by Media a contempt of Court?
  • To what extent powers should be available to politicians and executives to grant pardons and remissions when such powers can be misused by influential criminals?   

Surely we have not behaved like a mature nation and are making a mockery of our system.

Chand K Sharma

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