He went to IIM, Sanjay went to jail – So ?

So Sanjay Dutt went to jail for his wrong doing – on a really big scale. It wasn’t a small “mistake” even if he didn’t know the consequences. This boy who funded his education by selling newspapers from when he was 10 years old has got admission to IIM Kolkatta.

The reason I write about these two seemingly unrelated incidents will be apparent soon. These events happened on the same day. One is inspiring, the other a warning. Our TV channels and newspapers and every media channel had a crying Sanjay Dutt, with every Tom, Dick, Harry, known and unknown friends of his giving various opinions about why he should not spend time in jail and why he should be pardoned. A cursory mention was made about this boy’s achievement. I know his name, but the mention was so fleeting, it’s easy to forget his name.

Schools have holidays and children are glued to the television if their parents didnt go out on a “fancy” vacation – even then they would be glued to the TV in a different place ! Think of the impact of the day’s events on a young child. As parents you would want your child to take after the newspaper boy who made it to IIM, and not after Sanjay Dutt who is in jail. The child keeps watching the various news bulletins and flashing banner news even if he is watching Cartoon Network or a movie, showing Sanjay Dutt hugging his wife, the motorcade of fancy imported cars that follow him, everyone feeling sorry for him, making a martyr out of an idiot and it seems far more interesting than some poor cycle riding boy who had to work his butt off to get into IIM. The impressionable minds of our children are being impressed with images of an idiot who made it good as a movie star and then just made the mistake of keeping guns at home !! Oh by the way, he also was a drug addict, didnt go to school, behaves as a “goonda” many times on the sets, but supposedly has a heart of gold – so sweet. My heart melts and so does your child’s and then don’t feel bad if he doesn’t think it’s bad to keep guns. A lie often repeated becomes the truth – and just imagine what we are repeatedly showing our children.

I neither like nor dislike Sanjay Dutt – I just don’t think he deserves any special treatment because he is a star. He is just an actor who caught the imagination of the public, good for him and the movie producers who pay him crores. Am sure he worked hard at building those muscles and act under harsh conditions, but he has been more than fairly compensated for that. I don’t wish him pain, but I really don’t think his going to jail is anything more than a foot note.

Think of the same news channels behaving differently for a change – constantly flashing the IIM’s newest student’s life and struggle. That is the reality of India, and that boy is the true star. No one gave him opportunities on a platter, he wasn’t born with any spoon, and he didn’t have the time to go to a drug rehabilitation centre 🙁 he could have just let things be and wallowed in self pity or taken to crime, but no, he works hard, studies harder and gets help along the way to complete his education. How inspiring is that…

News channel anchors and owners need to rethink what they dole out as news and focus on important issues. They played their role when Nirbhaya happened, didn’t let go till the outrage atleast got the perpetrators into jail, but no strong anti-rape law has come about yet. But please don’t waste time on news that can damage and just has entertainment value to build viewership. We know how poor Sanjay Dutt fared on day one in jail, please spare us details of the rest of the days he spends there, but can you cover the first day at IIM for the newspaper boy ? And maybe his first day at a job after he completes his MBA ? Both the events will happen while Sanjay Dutt cools his heels and learns some life lessons through the jail routine.

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