Sanju divides Sangh Parivar: RSS attacks Sanju, Gadkari calls it “beautiful”

RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat with Union Minister Nitin Gadkari (file photo)

While the film on Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt is creating waves at the box office and is being well-received by fans, the RSS seemed to be divided over the film

The recently released biopic of Sanjay Dutt, Sanju, has created cracks within the saffron family. While Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari showered praise on the film, the mouthpiece of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Panchjanya, bashed the movie, saying it glorified the Bollywood-underworld link, and whitewashed Sanjay Dutt’s role in 1993 Mumbai bomb blast case.

In its July 15 issue, the Panchajanya carried a cover story, titled Kirdaar, daaghdaar (a stained character) featuring Ranbir Kapoor as Sanjay Dutt on the cover. “The Mumbai film industry captured by the mafia is making films that not only impart dubious values, but are also against the country,” says the cover story.

“What is the intention of those who idealise films such as Raees and Sanju?” questioned the story.

The July 15 issue of Panchjanya

The July 15 issue of Panchjanya

In its July 15 issue, the Panchajanya carried a cover story, titled Kirdaar, daaghdaar (a stained character) featuring Ranbir Kapoor as Sanjay Dutt on the cover. “The Mumbai film industry captured by the mafia is making films that not only impart dubious values, but are also against the country,” says the cover story

Contrary to the RSS’ line of thinking, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari called it a “beautiful film.”

Addressing a programme to facilitate 30 singers in Nagpur on July 10, he said that the film Sanju had shown “how certain perception in the media, police and judiciary, could adversely affect someone.”

Speaking about the contribution of art and artists to the society at the programme, Gadkari had remarked that the “power of pen can be more destructive than an atom bomb.”

“I have seen the film. It’s a beautiful film. It shows how certain perception in the media, police and judiciary can adversely affect someone. It had severely disturbed the lives of both Sunil Dutt and his son Sanjay,” said the minister.

“Late Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray had once told me that Sanjay Dutt was completely innocent. I always say that the media should be extra careful when it is writing about any bank or any individual. It takes a lot of effort and hardship to shape up a life of distinction, but it takes little to destroy it,” said the minister.

Gadkari’s comment has come in the backdrop of several right-wing people describing Sanjay Dutt as a “traitor” and questioning the propriety of making a biopic on him. Many of them, have also called for boycotting the film.

Important to recall that Sanjay Dutt was arrested in 1993 for possessing an AK-56 rifle and was charged under Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act and Arms Act.

It was alleged that the AK-56 rifle was part of a large consignment of arms bound for terrorists who carried out the 1993 Mumbai blasts. While the charge under TADA was quashed by the court, the actor was sentenced to six years under the Arms Act.

In 2013, the Supreme Court reduced the sentence to five years and Dutt was released from jail in 2016.

This story was updated to change the lead picture.

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