Sanjay Dutt: No sister gets along with her brother’s wife
What was your reaction to a part of your family going against your wife, Manyata, publicly?
My sister Priya (Dutt) has denied that she is against my wife. Being the eldest member of the family, along with manyata, I forgive Priya
even if she has any anger towards us. Priya is my blood, nothing can change that. However, Manyata is Sunil Dutt and Nargis’ daughter-in-law, and there are no two ways about that. There’s only one Mr and Mrs Dutt in Pali Hill (in Mumbai), and that’s Manyata and I. Girls who become part of a new family after marriage must assume their new surname and all the responsibilities that come with it.
Is that a message to Priya ?
That’s a message not just to my sisters, but to all girls who hang on to their parents’ surname. It’s become fashionable these days. But I strongly feel that doing so disrespects the person they’ve married.
Those are strong words.
This may sound harsh, but if Manyata had said that she wanted to retain her father’s surname, I would’ve felt offended.
How do you manage to pull off a balancing act between your wife and sisters?
There is no balancing act. My wife is my wife. She’s the topmost priority of my life. Any spouse feels the same way. For Priya, her husband Owen (Roncon) is of utmost importance.
It’s now more than a year since your marriage, yet your sisters haven’t accepted Manyata?
Look, do you have a sister? Because if you do, then you’ll also know that no sister gets along with her brother’s wife. Had my mother been alive, she would’ve happily accepted Manyata. Manyata is a homemaker, just like my mother was.
So why can’t your sisters see that?
But there’s no feud in the family. It is really sad to read about family differences in the newspapers. We do have differences of opinion, but that’s like any other family. Manyata doesn’t speak about my family to the media out of love and respect for my feelings. God willing, my sisters too will see things the same way soon.
Lucknow welcomed you with banners displaying AK-47s …
These are just a handful of people with vested interests seeking publicity. They can’t hurt me. I know politics won’t be easy for me. But I’ve been facing brickbats for 20 years now. I’m used to it. I’ll prove to these detractors that my past isn’t going to colour my future.
Did Amar Singh approach you after 26/11?
Yes. Amar Singhji, who is like an older brother to me, spoke to me about joining politics when I went to meet him in Delhi. He thought I should enter politics because I’m capable of helping people.
There’s panic in the industry about your unfinished projects?
I don’t understand why. Politics won’t affect my film career. I’ll only take on less work. This new responsibility will force me to become more quality conscious. I’ve been doing too many films and film appearances for friendship’s sake. Politics is a golden opportunity to put an end to unwanted films.