Sanjay Dutt, Sreesanth: How India lost its innocence

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Bangalore, May 17: Two men, belonging to two different generations, were somehow brought on the same platform by their fate. Is there a similarity in the story of Sanjay Dutt and S Sreesanth, even though they belong to two entirely different background? Yes, a glaring one as stories of both these ill-fated individuals speak about the reality of a new India, which not many among us are trained to deal with.

Both the stories of Dutt and Sreesanth unfolded in the post-liberalisation era, when the country with a strong population and market was increasingly exposed before the world. The age of innocence, which continued till the 1980s since independence, suddenly started to give way to a new reality and it left a dent in the traditional value systems of a nation which was feeling secure behind protective walls so far.

Dutt’s family claimed that the man was innocent even though he was convicted for illegally possessing weapons during the Mumbai serial blasts. The same happened with Sreesanth as his family alleged that he was made a victim in the entire scheme of things. Both these individuals tasted success at a younger age and there is no denying that both had to pay after their fast rise to fame.

Did the age of innocence prevent us from receiving the training required at home to deal with the hazards that come with professions, particularly if they involve high exposure, glamour and fame? Something like the story of the Lexus and the Olive Tree, the former is crushing the latter without any resistance and we are feeling helpless.

This is a learning curve for us Indians. We live in a volatile time where our traditional thoughts, judgment and sense of morality won’t always help us to come out clean. We need to learn how to differentiate the colours of a rainbow rather than just recognise what’s black and white. The mind needs a fresh orientation.

If we take pride on the fact that we are a youth nation and full of energy, we should also ensure that this energy is preserved and channelised properly. Jailing and banning youngsters do not always help. Dutt made a mistake 20 years ago. Still we have a Sreesanth today. Didn’t we learn anything in the two decades in between?

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