Saturday, 4 August 2007

Don't shed tears for Sanjay Dutt, think about Lalung who spent 50 yrs without trial

Sanjay Dutt has barely spent a few nights in jail, after conviction and the nation is shocked. The television channels are getting crazy and when he was shifted from Arthur Road Jail to Pune, there was a media cavalcade behind.

Millions of Indians appear sad and 'shaken' at the judgment. The star would continue to get support, he will surely get better food and facilities. Even at a slight chest pain, he would be referred to private hospital. And in contrast I see the condition of poor inmates who battle the worst ailments without having the luxury of getting even a pill.

What about Lalung? He was arrested in 1951 for causing grievous hurt to a person. Spent 50-years in jail without any trial and was released at the age of 77. And there are millions of under-trials in Indian jails, waiting for the court to hear their cases. Any tear for them? You can read about the plight of Machang Lalung, who hailed from a village near Guwahati in Assam, at the BBC website here.

Meanwhile, coming back to Sanjay Dutt and his chest pain, which was a flash for all news channels today. Just the other day a pregnant prisoner lost her child because the 15-day old baby girl was not 'sick enough' in the eyes of jail authorities that they could have admitted her to a hospital. This man, Sanjay Dutt, was born with the silver spoon in his mouth. His father and mother were celebrities.

Still, he got friendly with the likes of Dawood Ibrahim, Abu Salem and all sorts of goons. Got AK 47, later tried to dispose it off, lied to courts and still managed to get out of jail in the first stint because of connections. Now terror charges were dropped and has got just a bit more than the minimum sentence. Still, everybody is so sad. Rarely the high-profile guys in India are made to pay. Politicians guilty of corruption, killings in riots and all sorts of crimes, get off.

Now Sanjay has got cash and connections, stardom and a sister like Priya Dutt, battery of best lawyers and what not. Still for us, Indians, he is a 'be-chaara', a victim. What hypocrisy. We want the system to be twisted and when we are victimised, we cry foul. Again Indian hypocrisy at its best.

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