RSS flays ‘Sanju’, Gadkari calls it a beautiful film

Films glorifying mafia links, says Sangh

Actor Sanjay Dutt’s biopic Sanju has divided opinion within the Sangh Parivar and the BJP, with the RSS-affiliated publication Panchajanya carrying a cover story criticising what it terms as attempts to whitewash a crime and Union Roads and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari reportedly calling it a “beautiful film.”

The Panchajanya in its cover story, entitled “Kirdaar, daaghdaar” (a stained character), has not minced its words and terms it a film that glorifies Mr. Dutt and his links with those behind the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts. “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.

“We decided to do a cover story on the film as we felt that, as a news outlet, we had a duty to flag the point that these kind of films were not only whitewashing what Sanjay Dutt did but were also glorifying those values,” Panchajanya editor Hitesh Shankar said.

He added that the magazine had also expressed concern that this was not a one-off thing. “There seem to be a plethora of such films that glorify links with crime and underworld, recently we had Haseena Parker (based on mafia don Dawood Ibrahim’s sister’s life), Raees (on a well known Mafioso from Gujarat) and films on Arun Gawli, Chhota Rajan et al,” he said.

“These are worrying aspects of having such movies and as a magazine we felt we had to articulate it,” added Mr. Shankar.

On being asked about Mr. Gadkari’s view, he responded that it was the Minister’s personal view.

Mr. Gadkari had, while felicitating 30 artists in Nagpur, reportedly said that not only was Sanju a “beautiful film” but that late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray had told him that the actor was “completely innocent.”

Mr. Dutt was arrested in 1993 for possessing an AK-56 and charged under the Terrorists and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act and the Arms Act.

He was later convicted under the Arms Act for six years, and in 2013, the Supreme Court reduced his term to five years.

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