When incarcerated Bollywood Sanjay Dutt walked out a free man last week after being convicted, jailed and served his sentence for possession of illegal arms, the first thing that actor did was kiss the ground beneath. It was a very poignant moment for the actor who has had a turbulent life having been a drug addict once and touted as a bad boy for a while.
“I love this country. India is my mother and I have been born here and I will die here. I am an Indian citizen and I am proud to be one. That is the reason why I kissed the ground after getting out of jail and saluted the Indian national flag,” says Dutt, tears welling up in his eyes.
But then the truth of being a free bird now hasn’t still dawned on the brawny actor who is still being sought after by the media and the movie industry.
“I have been thirsting for this freedom for the past 23 years and I have done everything possible for that and that moment has finally come. Having said that, I am still under the impression that I am out on parole. It has not seeped into me as yet that I am a free man today and I feel it will take me a while to convince myself that I am not in jail,” says the actor.
Sanjay Dutt, born to film stars Sunil and Nargis Dutt had surrendered to the Indian police after he was originally named in the bomb blasts case and then freed from it even though he was convicted for illegal possession of arms.
“I am still thinking about my father (late Sunil Dutt – actor and politician) after getting out. He had fought so much to make sure that I was not billed a terrorist,” says Dutt.
The moment came a few years before when the judge Pramod Dattatreya Kode told Dutt the words he wanted to desperately hear. “Judge Kode said that I know that you want to hear that you are not a terrorist and the court is telling you that you are not a terrorist. And that for me was the best thing in my life. My father was desperate to hear that too. I wish he would have been alive as well to hear those words. The Supreme Court endorsed the opinion and gave me a sentence which I have served,” says Dutt.
There was a feeling that a film sequence was being shot with special cameras when Sanjay Dutt came out from jail. But Dutt is unaware, “I have not been signed or paid any signing amount for any such film,” he claims.
The actor now has only one plea to the media which he keeps reiterating. “Please do not link me to the 1993 Bomb Blasts case of Mumbai or of any conspiracy therein. I have only been accused and convicted of illegal possession of arms,” he signs off.