Advertisement
Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
Outlook.com

Terms Of Atonement

We need our Munnabhai, a conviction is no bar. His sins are washed away.

Terms Of Atonement
Terms Of Atonement
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

We are a strange people. We dress up young children as gods and then start worshipping them. We pour milk on idols of gods and are then convinced they're drinking it up; we're convinced the ocean is suddenly brimming with sweet water so we flock to it and fill bottlefuls, hoping for further miracles.... And we have another kind of madness: we love Bollywood stars, and when they play a role in which they have to enact Gandhigiri, we take our love to fairly worshipful extremes, imagining that the Mahatma has returned, reincarnated as a strapping fellow on a motorbike, and we set about loving him, honouring him, chasing him, asking him for quotes. Indeed, we do everything short of falling at the person's feet and actually praying.

But it's a mixed kind of worship: the person in question—in this case, Sanjay Dutt, a decidedly grown-up man in his late forties—is turned into Sanju, the affectionate diminutive providing both familiarity and tolerance, and transforming his middle-aged persona to disarming youthfulness. And then the man becomes his film personality, Munnabhai, to be admired and marvelled at. So that when he's convicted for doing something illegal—notwithstanding the fact that there were exonerating circumstances—we admire the court for doing what is right, but we admire the man too, not so much for his regret at having done the wrong thing, but because he's that precious thing, a Bollywood celebrity.

But look at where all this lands us. Last week, at a book launch to beat all launches, the Dutt family children presented the first copy of Mr and Mrs Dutt, their memoir about their parents, to the prime minister. The glittering, packed event, held at the prime minister's estate, had Sonia Gandhi as chief guest. Both Dr Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi made speeches about the book, and about Nargis...

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Bombay High Court Adjourns Aryan Khan's Bail Application Till Tomorrow

Bombay High Court Adjourns Aryan Khan's Bail Application Till Tomorrow

Former Attorney General of India (AGI) Mukul Rohatgi appeared for Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan, along with his existing legal counsel comprising Satish Manishinde and Amit Desai.

Explainer | Why A Lawyer Is Seeking FIR Against NCB's Wankhede For 'Extortion' In Aryan Khan Drugs Case

Explainer | Why A Lawyer Is Seeking FIR Against NCB's Wankhede For 'Extortion' In Aryan Khan Drugs Case

On Monday, a lawyer approached the Mumbai police with a complaint seeking registration of an FIR against Sameer Wankhede and five others for extortion in the drugs-on-cruise case.

IPL Controversy: CVC Capital Under BCCI Scanner

IPL Controversy: CVC Capital Under BCCI Scanner

The BCCI on Monday named RPSG Ventures Limited and Irelia Company Pte Ltd. (CVC Capital Partners) as owners of the new IPL teams from 2022.

'TMC & AAP On A Mission To Split Congress Votes And Help BJP In Goa': State Congress Chief

'TMC & AAP On A Mission To Split Congress Votes And Help BJP In Goa': State Congress Chief

Goa Congress president Girish Chodankar strongly asserted that the voters cannot be wooed with false promises and money as people are deeply rooted in the Congress.

Advertisement