Over the last few days I have been seeing Sanjay Dutt being flashed all over the news after his conviction in the Mumbai Blasts Case, however yesterday i had the opportunity to see him in another role, a Hindi comedy “Lage Raho Munnabhai” . This movie is a sequel to its earlier version “Munnabhai M.B.B.S.”. The movie stars Sanjay Dutt in the role of Munnabhai who is a goon indulging in what is known in Hindi as “Dadagiri” or hooliganism.
Munna is in love with a radio jockey and in order to impress her he participates in a telephonic quiz on Mahatma Gandhi. He naturally cheats using the help of Gandhian experts to win the quiz. On meeting his lady love he decides to knowmore about the Mahatma and thus ends up going to a Gandhi library. As he is reading about the Father of the nation he is confronted with the soul of the great man. Gandhi promises to help Munna win the love of his life if he agrees to follow the Gandhian principles of truth and non-violence.
What follows in an extremely interesting and entertaining series of events. Munna wins his lady love and in the process realizes that the power of “Gandhigiri” is much more than that of “Dadagiri”, which he had indulged in for so long.
The movie has not gone unnoticed with it being discussed even in the Congress working committee and subsequently the movie was exempted from the entertainment tax in Delhi.
Over the last fifty years we have managed to reduce the Mahatma as a man who was against modernization and progress. It was believed that he was for an old dying generation which wanted to live in the past. The appealing part about the movie, apart from its comedy, is that it makes the principles and ideologies of Mahatma Gandhi relevant to the context of modern India.
Lately Indian film-makers have experimented with issues like patriotism and Gandhi in a more modern light, making it contemporary to the India of today. The efforts have been hugely successful with films like “Rang de Basanti” and “Lage Raho Munnabhai” doing very well at the box office. The success of these movies proves that the Indian audience is willing to accept and appreciate serious issues like these, if presented in the right manner.
With his performance in “Lage Raho Munnabhai” Sanjay Dutt surely generated interest towards the gandhian approach in the youth of today’s India. If that happens then India would definitely be better off with “Gandhigiri” replacing “Dadagiri”. As far as Sanjay Dutt is concerned all I can say is that the country will miss him and that I on a personal front can’t wait to see him back in action. All the best Sanjay! Good Luck!