Bal Thackeray saved Sanjay Dutt
'Sanju', the Sanjay Dutt biopic, is out. Not many know that Sanjay Dutt's bane is the then Congress politician Sharad Pawar. And who was his saviour? Bal Thackeray, the Shiv Sena supremo.
It all began with the Babri Masjid demolition in Ayodhya on 6 December 1992. During the Mumbai riots, Sunil Dutt (Sanjay's father) took care of Muslim riot victims.
Around this time, Sharad Pawar was a rival of his fellow Congress politician, Murli Deora. But Sunil Dutt was a Deora loyalist and close friend. Out of his political dislike for Deora, Pawar started seeing Sunil Dutt as an enemy. He decided to ensure that Sanjay Dutt, who had done crimes by then, doesn't get any kind of breathing space.
Left with no option, Sunil Dutt went to Hindutva leader Bal Thackeray for help in 1995. Bal's party was now the ruling one in Maharashtra. It's said that Bal was the only big politician of the time who called Sunil Dutt a patriot. Bal then helped the Khalnayak get bail. He even called him a "rising sun"!
In 2012, Sanjay Dutt described Bal as a "father figure".