You’ve probably heard of Sanjay Dutt, one of Bollywood’s most famous actors known for his troubled personal life as much as his memorable on-screen roles. For over 30 years, Dutt’s life has been splashed across tabloids and gossip rags in India. From his debut as a lanky 20-something in Rocky to his recent release from prison at age 56, Dutt’s life has been a rollercoaster of fame, addiction, loss, and redemption. His story is as dramatic as any of his masala films, full of plot twists even the best Bollywood screenwriters couldn’t make up. Love him or hate him, you have to admit Dutt’s life has been anything but ordinary. This is the turbulent story of Sanjay Dutt, told in his own words for the first time. Buckle up – it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Sanjay Dutt’s Early Life and Acting Roots
Sanjay Dutt comes from a family of actors, so it’s no surprise he ended up in the film industry. His parents, Sunil Dutt and Nargis, were popular Hindi film stars in the 1950s and 60s. Sanjay made his acting debut at age 12 in his father’s film Reshma Aur Shera in 1972.
In the 1980s, Sanjay starred in numerous hit films and became a star in his own right. Some of his most well-known films from this era include Naam, Kabzaa, and the blockbuster Sadak. With his rebellious image and off-screen antics, Sanjay became something of a “bad boy” in Bollywood.
Sanjay’s life took a dark turn in 1993 when he was linked to the Mumbai bomb blasts. He was eventually acquitted of terrorism charges but convicted of illegal weapons possession. Sanjay served five years in prison before returning to acting.
After his release, Sanjay re-launched his career and went on to star in many successful films in the 2000s and 2010s, including the Munna Bhai series, Agneepath, and PK. He earned several awards and nominations for his performances during this period in a remarkable comeback.
Despite his troubled past, Sanjay remains one of India’s most well-known actors. Now in his early 60s, he continues to star in major films and has an enduring popularity and fan following. His life story is a turbulent one, but Sanjay Dutt’s passion for acting and ability to overcome adversity have allowed him to achieve an unparalleled career in Bollywood.
Sanjay’s Film Career Takes Off in the 1980s
Sanjay’s acting career took off in the 1980s with roles in blockbusters like Rocky and Khal Nayak. His charismatic personality and “bad boy” image made him a star.
Sanjay’s first major hit was Rocky in 1981, where he played a rebel who has a change of heart. Audiences loved his performance, and the songs and fight scenes became hugely popular. Riding high, Sanjay starred in another hit, Khal Nayak, in ’93 playing a wanted criminal with a heart of gold. His fans couldn’t get enough of his “angry young man” roles.
During this time, Sanjay also made news for the wrong reasons. His relationship with actress Tina Ambani and his drug addiction were frequent tabloid fodder. Still, the hits kept coming. In ’97, he starred in the comedy flick Haseena Maan Jaayegi, showing his range as an actor.
The late ’80s and ’90s were truly Sanjay’s golden era. He delivered one blockbuster after another and became almost as well known for his off-screen escapades and relationships as for his movies. Though a controversial figure, Sanjay was undeniably one of Bollywood’s biggest stars and most bankable leading men of his generation. His life seemed charmed. Little did he know the struggles that lay ahead.
Sanjay’s meteoric rise and troubled personal life in the ’80s made him a household name in India and defined an era in Bollywood. Though his stardom was short-lived, Sanjay remains an icon of 1980s excess and success.
The 1993 Mumbai Blasts and Jail Sentence
In 1993, Sanjay Dutt’s life took a turbulent turn that would haunt him for decades. ###The Mumbai Blasts and Arrest
On March 12, 1993, Mumbai was rocked by 13 explosions across the city, killing over 250 people and injuring more than 700 others. The blasts were linked to the Mumbai underworld and terrorist groups seeking to avenge the demolition of the Babri Masjid mosque.
A few days after the blasts, Sanjay was linked to the terrorists. It emerged that he had met some of the conspirators beforehand and had in his possession an AK-56 assault rifle given to him by Abu Salem, a member of the D-Company criminal group. Even though Sanjay insisted the gun was only meant for self-defense due to threats received during the Mumbai riots, he was arrested under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act.
The Trial and Sentencing
Sanjay’s trial was long and complex. His brother Mukesh tried to destroy evidence to protect him. Sanjay claimed he did not know the people who gave him the gun were linked to the blasts. After 6 years, he was finally found guilty of illegal possession of weapons, but cleared of conspiracy charges in the blasts. In 2007, the TADA court in Mumbai sentenced him to 6 years’ rigorous imprisonment.
Imprisonment and Release
Sanjay served his sentence, first at Yerwada jail in Pune, then at high-security Arthur Road jail and finally Nashik Road jail. His time in prison was difficult, but he received visits from family and friends, as well as parole at times. In February 2016, the Supreme Court reduced his conviction to 5 years, and he was released after having served the full sentence.
Though a free man again, the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts and his troubled past continue to haunt Sanjay Dutt. His turbulent story is a reminder of the human propensity for error and redemption.
Comeback and Recent Success
After spending 3 years in jail for illegal possession of arms, Sanjay’s acting career seemed all but over. However, in 2006 he made a successful comeback with the drama film ‘Lage Raho Munna Bhai’. The film was a critical and commercial success, winning several Filmfare awards. This comedic role showcased a lighter, funnier side of Sanjay and rejuvenated his career.
Following the success of ‘Lage Raho Munna Bhai’, Sanjay starred in several other hit films like ‘Shootout at Lokhandwala’ (2007), ‘All the Best’ (2009) and ‘Double Dhamaal’ (2011). His role as the menacing villain Kancha Cheena in ‘Agneepath’ (2012) earned him widespread critical acclaim. In recent years, Sanjay has focused on more serious, impactful roles in films like ‘PK’ (2014), ‘Bhoomi’ (2017) and ‘Kalank’ (2019) which aim to highlight social issues.
Sanjay has several films lined up for release in the next couple of years. These include ‘KGF Chapter 2’, ‘Shamshera’, ‘Toolsidas Junior’ and ‘Sadak 2’ – a sequel to his 1991 hit film. At 61, Sanjay shows no signs of slowing down. His turbulent life, charismatic personality and ability to portray a wide range of roles with ease have made him an enduring icon of Indian cinema. Though controversy has followed him, the affection of his fans remains unchanged. Sanjay Dutt’s story is a testimony to the age-old adage that truth is stranger than fiction. His life on and off screen continues to fascinate audiences and keep them coming back for more.
FAQ: The Controversial Life of Sanjay Dutt
Sanjay Dutt’s life has been filled with controversy and complications. As one of Bollywood’s biggest stars, his every move has been under intense public scrutiny. Here are some frequently asked questions about Sanjay Dutt’s controversial life.
What legal troubles has Sanjay Dutt faced?
In 1993, Sanjay Dutt was arrested for illegal possession of arms under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act. He was accused of having connections with those responsible for the 1993 Mumbai bombings. Dutt claimed the arms were for self-defense during the Mumbai riots. He was convicted and sentenced to 5 years in prison, though he was released on bail pending appeals. After multiple appeals, his conviction was upheld but his sentence was reduced to 5 years. He served his sentence from 2013 to 2016.
Why was Sanjay Dutt given early release from prison?
Dutt was released early for good behavior after serving about half of his 5-year sentence. His release was controversial, with critics arguing his celebrity status earned him special treatment. However, prison officials stated that Dutt’s conduct and work during his incarceration warranted early release under prison guidelines.
What happened to Sanjay Dutt’s movie career during this time?
Dutt’s legal troubles and imprisonment stalled his film career for over a decade during its peak. However, the public remained fascinated by his life story, and he was offered several film roles upon his release, restarting his career. His biopic Sanju was one of 2018’s highest-grossing Bollywood films.
What is Sanjay Dutt’s life like today?
Today, Sanjay Dutt lives a relatively quiet life with his wife Maanayata and their twins, Shahraan and Iqra. He continues to act, though at a slower pace, in films like Kalank (2019) and Sadak 2 (2020). Though controversial, Dutt remains an icon and his life story is one of resilience, redemption, and the human ability to persevere despite difficulties. His turbulent life and career stand as a testament that there can be life after scandal.
So there you have it, the rollercoaster story of Sanjay Dutt. For all his controversies and struggles, he remains an enigma in Bollywood. His life has been full of twists and turns, many of his own making. But through it all, he has endured and come out the other side. His life is a cautionary tale of how our actions can have unforeseen consequences, especially in the public eye. But it’s also a story of second chances and redemption. Love him or hate him, you have to admit Sanjay Dutt has led an extraordinary life. His story is one that will live on in the annals of film history.