Pune docs to Dutt’s rescue…Munnabhai way

By V. Vijayalakshmi, IANS

Pune : Even as Sanjay Dutt gets busy doing carpentry in the Yerawada Jail here, his hardcore fans outside are planning on a novel approach to help…the Munnabhai way.

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The philosophy of persuasion with love and patience – as preached by Dutt’s character in the film “Munnabhai M.B.B.S.” and called Gandhigiri – is what they have in mind. And guess what? These fans are doctors themselves.

Bhalchandar Gaikwad, an administrative director at a pharmaceutical company in Pune, has decided not to sit back and watch the law take its own course. He and a group of his friends are going from door to door gathering public opinion about the TADA court judgement giving Dutt six years of rigorous imprisonment for illegal possession of arms during the Mumbai blasts of 1993.

Bhalchandar and his 165 friends on weekends organise meetings of student groups, IT professionals, office goers, businessmen and people from various backgrounds gathering their perspective about the case.

“The campaign is definitely not going to be the usual protest march, slogan shouting or placards. It’s going to be done through Gandhigiri,” says Bhalchandran.

The meetings offer a discussion forum for the common man to express his opinion about the TADA judgement on Dutt and about the actor himself.

According to Bhalchandar, people feel the court has taken too long to come to a decision.

“The judicial system should first take care of the people who supply these arms and ammunition. The court has taken 13 years to come to a decision on this case and in the process spent millions of rupees. Ironically, the main culprits are still not behind bars,” retorted Bhalchandar.

“If the judicial and police system does not catch people like Dawood Ibrahim, blasts such as the ones in Mumbai will and can happen in any city in the country.”

Harshal Mhaske of Nobal Hospital in Pune, also a part of the group, feels Dutt is being made a scapegoat.

“Put restrictions on him, do not let him leave the country, so on and so forth, but do not put him behind bars. He has already suffered enough for the crime he committed 14 years back,” Mhaske said.

The doctors also clarify that they are not pro-crime but feel the Indian judiciary should not make Dutt pay too heavy a price in the name of justice.

These Pune doctors are also planning to go to Delhi and demonstrate Gandhigiri outside the Supreme Court where a petition has been filed for Dutt’s bail.

And the way they will do so is by offering a rose to all lawyers…Munnabhai style.