RSS-Affiliated Panchjanya tears ‘Sanju’ apart

An editorial in ‘Panchajanya’ accused Bollywood of glorifying the underworld and questioned if Sanjay Dutt’s life merits a biopic.

New Delhi July 12: The RSS-affiliated weekly Panchajanya is the latest to hit out at Ranbir Kapoor-starrer Sanju, saying the biopic on Sanjay Dutt’s life “glorifies” the underworld and the actor’s “vices”.

Comparing the Hindi film industry with Hollywood, the editorial said, “How ironical it is, on one hand Hollywood has made films like The Man Who Knew Infinity based on Ramanujan, and on the other hand Bollywood celebrates underworld.”

It also brought up Dutt’s conviction under the Arms Act, his arrest following the 1993 Mumbai blasts and his strenuous equation with his daughter from his first marriage.

“Sanjay Dutt is a man of many vices: He was involved in the 1993 bomb blasts and communal riots, he kept weapons in his house and didn’t let the police know about it. He married thrice and didn’t meet his daughter for years. According to the film, he was in a relationship with 308 women. ‘Sanju’ didn’t keep the honour of his parents. This is Sanjay Dutt,” it said.

Questioning if Dutt’s life merits a biopic, the write-up also slammed director Rajkumar Hirani, saying his last film PK was “anti-Hindu”. “Do these traits qualify for a glorious hero? Is the Bollywood trying to serve him as an ideal? This film has been made by Rajkumar Hirani, the same director who was involved in the film PK and made fun of Hindu faith. Now with Sanju, Hirani wants to present a new role model to the youth… What extraordinary work has Sanjay Dutt done in his life that Bollywood made a biopic?”

Taking on the film fraternity, the RSS-leaning weekly questioned Bollywood’s “obsession” with the underworld, questioning if such ventures were being funded from the Gulf.

“This is not the first time that Bollywood has made a film with underworld characters. In past few years, we have had a film on Dawood Ibrahim, his sister Haseena, Chhota Rajan, Arun Gawli, Gujarat’s Abdul. Social media is abuzz with questions: If this is happening on someone’s direction? Has the money from Khadi (Gulf) has been used?”

Sanju, starring Ranbir Kapoor, Paresh Rawal, Vicky Kaushal, Manisha Koirala and Dia Mirza, released to rave reviews for the performances but was panned heavily for “white-washing” Dutt’s character and blaming his life’s troubles on the media.

Hirani was also criticized for leaving Dutt’s first two wives and daughter Trishala from the narrative.

Following the film’s success — it has amassed over Rs. 250 crore at the box office — Dutt is set to come out with his autobiography next year.

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