Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Munna turns out to be a bhai after all

At last, the trial for the worst terrorist act in this country has come to an end with Sanjay Dutt's sentencing sealing the proceedings. Many are arguing that the verdict was too harsh, but hey, since when did justice and sympathy for the convict go hand in hand? It's not as if the case against Sanjay Dutt was circumstantial; it was proven beyond doubt and Mr. Dutt himself pleaded guilty to the charges, so isn't this now much ado about nothing?

To state that he has already suffered all these years and hence should be let off is a crime in itself. What about those who were victims of the 93 blasts, aren't they still suffering the after effects of it, don't they still have to go through all the red tape our bureaucracy throws up in front of them for their compensation, etc? In what way exactly has Sanjay Duttt suffered apart from having to attend the trial whenever it was scheduled? He's been in the thick of things in Bollywood, rolling out some memorable hits during the past 14 years, which somehow doesn't come across as 'suffering'.

Is plain repentance enough to atone for the sin? Would the hue and cry raised over the verdict been the same if the accused wasn't a celebrity? The answer to both is an emphatic no and we all know that when you have powerful and/or well known friends, this sort of backlash from the rich and famous is but obvious. Even the I&B minister, Mr. Priya Ranjan Das Munshi came out against the verdict in milder words, but again, it begs to be asked, would the Congress led government have done this if Sanjay's father, the late Sunil Dutt, wasn't an ardent Congressman and his sister Priya, a sitting Congress MP? My guess is if his family members had affiliations with other political parties, the government would have parroted the line of 'law taking it's own course and nothing must come in the way of justice'.

So at the end of the day (actually, the end of 14 years), dear Munna turned out to be a bhai after all, and congratulations to judge Kode for not getting swayed by public sentiments and altering his judgement. Hats off to you, my good sir, may we have many more like you.

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