Rajkumar Hirani’s ‘Sanju’ is all set to enter the coveted 200 crore club within just a week of its release. Since the movie has hit the screens, it has received mixed responses.
While some still can’t get over the complexities of Sanjay’s life journey shown in the movie, some think that Hirani has tried to whitewash the controversial actor’s character, using this film as nothing more than propaganda to remake the actor’s image.
In the movie, the media is blatantly blamed for twisting Sanjay’s involvement in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case. It gives the impression that the media was on a witch-hunt of sorts, and that Sanjay was actually not involved with the underworld and neither were any guns recovered from his home.
There are hundreds of stories dangling around Dutt’s life, and every chapter of his life makes up for a brilliant script. There are incidents that can leave you stunned. But as expected, the major chapters from his life were left untouched by the makers.
There is no doubt that Hirani has tried to present a dark and twisted tale in a hysterical manner, but it is still disappointing, to say the least.
So, here are 11 controversial facts about the actor and his life, that were not shown in ‘Sanju’:
1. Marriage with Richa Sharma – A Tragic Ending
We understand that a biopic cannot show every aspect of a person’s life but it’s surprising when it doesn’t talk about some important events.
The movie directly introduces us to his third wife Maanyata and his two kids. But not even once, did it bring up the first two marriages of the actor. The movie presents Sanjay as the perfect family man, but that wasn’t always the case.
He married Richa Sharma, an actress, in 1987. Later, she was diagnosed with a brain tumour and was being treated in New York. Soon, the news of his affair with Madhuri Dixit made way to Richa. She wanted to spend more time with him, however, Sanjay rejected her request.
Even though Richa wanted to make this marriage work, he filed for divorce in early 1993. On December 10, 1996, she died.
In fact, in an interview with CineBlitz, Ena (Richa’s sister) attacked Madhuri and said, “Madhuri is so inhuman . . . I mean Madhuri can get any man she wants. How can she go for a man who’s behaved in such a way with his wife? I know they are good friends because he’s called her from our house and he does talk to her brother and her sister here. But we never looked at it as if “okay the guy’s involved with Madhuri”. We’re very open, we’ve always given Sanjay his space. Where did I go wrong? I just fail to understand what he wants in life. A pretty chick who’s skinny? I believe that’s the reason why he fell for Madhuri . . . Sanju made a great boyfriend. As a husband, it was a different story.”
2. His Infamous Affair With Dhak Dhak Girl Madhuri Dixit
1993 was all about Sanjay Dutt’s affair with Madhuri Dixit. The two were allegedly head over heels in love when his wife Richa was in New York getting treated for her tumour. Sanjay wanted to make things official with Madhuri and decided to end things with Richa.
Following is an excerpt from ‘Sanjay Dutt: The Crazy Untold Story of Bollywood’s Bad Boy’ by Yasser Usman:
“Did Sanjay’s marital status weigh on Madhuri Dixit’s mind? She belonged to a conservative family and had a clean image in the media. There would surely be PR repercussions to marrying the husband of a woman who suffered through cancer only for him to leave her. But Reema Rakesh Nath, scriptwriter-director and wife of Madhuri’s secretary Rikku Rakesh Nath, said, ‘I don’t think Madhuri’s personal choice for Sanjay should come in the way of her career. Look at Hema and Dharamji. Hema has retained her dignity, despite her marriage to a much-married man.’
Things took a drastic turn when Sanjay was arrested under TADA for illegal possession of arms the same year, and Madhuri decided to end things with him.
When he came out on bail he spoke about Madhuri and said, “I didn’t get affected by her statement. I have been her colleague and I have done a lot of films with her. See, I need to establish a proper rapport with all my co-stars; it may be Madhuri or Sridevi. For instance, during the first few days of ‘Gumraah’, I wasn’t comfortable because you know how Sridevi is. She is aloof and I had to get talking to her. So what Madhuri said didn’t bother me that much, in fact, it didn’t bother me at all.”
3. ‘Cheating’ On His Second Wife Rhea Pillai
By the time Madhuri left him, Rhea became the pillar of support for him when he was in jail. In fact, talking about Rhea, he also said, “Love is what Rhea did when I was in jail. The future was bleak, there was no security or commitment. But she did not let the relationship die.”
In 1998, the duo got hitched. But things weren’t going smoothly in their paradise. Following his pattern, Sanjay then apparently got involved with a Pakistani belly dancer called Nadia Durrani.
Nadia wanted to marry Sanjay, and when Rhea got to know about it, Sanjay promised her that this would stop, however, it didn’t. In fact, there were various reports claiming that Sanjay had proposed to Nadia for marriage.
Meanwhile, there were also reports that claimed the marriage broke-up because of Rhea’s materialism and the way she behaved with Sanjay. The two parted ways in 2005 and got divorced officially in 2008.
4. Friendship With Salman Khan
Salman Khan and Sanjay Dutt’s bond needs no introduction, as all of Bollywood knows about the depth of their relationship. However, not many know about the fall out between them.
Things turned sour when Sanjay came out of Yerwada jail after completing his sentence. If reports are to be believed, their strife began after Salman adviced Sanjay to hire Reshma Shetty to handle his work, but she was not able to land him a good project.
Some even say that Sanjay had exceedingly high salary demands, which the makers were unwilling to give. However, setting the record straight once and for all, he said during a promotion “He (Salman Khan) is like a younger brother to me, I really don’t understand why people make this an issue, I can’t meet him and he can’t meet me every day.”
5. His First Born- Trishala Dutt
While we are introduced to his other two kids in ‘Sanju’, the chapter of his firstborn Trishala Dutt remains untouched. Trishala is Sanjay Dutt and Richa Sharma’s daughter. After her mother’s death, things went haywire between the two, but time healed their wounds and their relationship got better.
6. When Bal Thackeray Came To Sanjay’s Rescue
When everyone turned their back on Sanjay during his conviction, Shiv Sena Supremo Bal Thackeray lobbied for Sanjay’s bail in 1995. The moment Sanjay stepped out of jail, he looked nothing like himself. The muscular actor appeared gaunt having lost almost eighteen kilos.
The first place he visited was Siddhivinayak temple at Prabhadevi, and then he went to meet Thackeray.
Here is an excerpt from ‘Sanjay Dutt: The Crazy Untold Story of Bollywood’s Bad Boy’ by Yasser Usman:
“Amidst flashing cameras, Bal Thackeray came to his front door and embraced Sanjay. They smiled and made small talk. The next morning’s papers carried a now-iconic picture of Sanjay Dutt tightly hugging Thackeray, with Sunil Dutt and Rajendra Kumar beaming beside them.”
7. Crazy In Love With Tina Munim (Now Ambani)
Sonam Kapoor’s role in ‘Sanju’ was somewhere was a mix of Tina Munim and Madhuri. In fact, in Rishi Kapoor’s book, ‘Khullam Khulla’, the actor had mentioned about a fist-fight that took place between him and Sanjay over an affair. And, Gulshan Grover was also there.
In the book, Gulshan says, “It’s true, Sanju (Sanjay Dutt) was having an affair with Tina Munim (Ambani) at that time and thought that Chintu (who was unmarried then) was having one with her, too.”
When Tina returned after wrapping up her shoot of ‘Souten‘ she never called Sanjay, which left him heartbroken. He couldn’t deal with the fact that she had left him. It is often said, that Sanjay was way too possessive about Tina and when they broke up, he even fired a few shots at his own house in a fit of rage, smashing the windows, which woke all the neighbours.
8. Before Hirani, There Was Sanjay Gupta
We all know about Sanjay’s friendship with Rajkumar Hirani, but before him, he was very close to filmmaker Sanjay Gupta.
Gupta gave Sanjay some of the best movies of his career like ‘Aatish’, ‘Kaante’, ‘Musafir’, and ‘Zinda’ after he came out of jail. He was the reason behind the spike in his career graph, but everything changed between them due to a misunderstanding.
Gupta, in an interview, revealed that Dutt’s then manager Dharam Oberoi was responsible for the rift between them. You won’t believe this, but the fallout gravely affected Sanjay and he went on a sabbatical for six years.
9. His Relations With The Samajwadi Party
The Dutt family’s loyalty has always been with the Congress. Sanjay’s father, the late Sunil Dutt was even a Congress MP for five terms. Later on, his sister Priya Dutt too joined the Congress. Despite such a strong history, Sanjay teamed up with the Samajwadi Party which created quite a stir across the nation.
At the time, Sanjay was friends with Amar Singh and in 2009, he was also given a ticket to fight for the Lok Sabha elections from Lucknow’s constituency, however, due to the many legal cases against him, he had to back out.
Sanjay hasn’t been a big Congress fan and has been very vocal about his repugnance against them. There also came a point when he blamed the party for his father’s death. Surprising this wasn’t mentioned even once in the biopic.
10. The Rocky Relationship Between His Sisters and Maanyata
How can anyone forget the storm that was created when Sanjay married Maanyata without his sister Priya’s consent? Both Namrata and Priya have played a pivotal role in framing Sanjay’s life through his toughest times. They have always been close, but when Maanyata entered the picture, things changed.
And the biggest issue occurred in 2009 when Sanjay contested for the Lok Sabha elections on a Samajwadi Party ticket. Priya considered it an open betrayal and blamed Sanjay’s third wife for all the problems. Priya also made a statement and said, “For the first time since he (Sunil Dutt) died I am thankful he is no longer alive to see this ignominy.”
Priya further accused Maanyata of influencing and manipulating Sanjay for her own selfish motives. She also went on to say, “She is not the daughter-in-law of Sunil and Nargis Dutt . . . She is just some woman who has trapped my brother.”
Now, their relationship is nothing more than cordial.
11. Sanjay’s Connections With The Underworld
While the movie might blame the media and external factors for everything that Sanjay did wrong, one simply cannot ignore certain facts despite whatever is shown on the silver screen.
His conversation with underworld Don Chhota Shakeel turned everything upside down. In fact, as per a police confession report, he did admit to taking guns from Abu Salem.
Dutt’s stories of toying with the law go way back. Before an AK-56 was found in his house, there were also reports of how he fired shots at his own bungalow in Pali Hill in broad daylight, which disturbed all the neighbours nearby. When the police arrived, he wasn’t found at his house and later admitted that a friend helped him sneak out.
So, there you have it. Do you think ‘Sanju’ would have turned out different if any of these facts were incorporated in the movie?