Sanjay Dutt is a reformed man; a rigorous jail term has made him a well-read, well-experienced person and a Shiv bhakt.
At a conclave in New Delhi, Sanjay Dutt shared with the attendees what jail did to him. “A jail term does not only take away your physical freedom, it imprisons your thought processes — you are no longer free to sit how you want, stand how you want...” Dutt revealed in broken sentences.
This was a broken but healing man who had seen life at its cruelest level. But nothing embarrassed him — not even the references to toilet habits or the unpalatable food in jail.
“The best place to lose weight is jail,” joked Dutt, adding he had gone to prison with a potbelly but came out as fit as a fiddle. Not that he was allowed exercise equipment. Dumb-bells were forbidden since prison authorities felt he would use them to kill himself.
However, Dutt wasn’t recommending jail as a substitute to the gym. What he recommends for prisoners is reading of the holy scriptures. He had read the Mahabharat, the Gita, the Ramayan and everything he could on Lord Shiva. He came out of prison a Shiva bhakt and a diehard champion of prison reforms.
Dutt feels very strongly about the archaic laws going back to the British days that govern prison conduct. As an example of how demeaning some rules are, he says that every time a prison authority made his rounds, the prisoners had to squat on the floor like bonded labourers were known to do before zamindars.
According to him, space is the biggest problem in prison. During sleeping hours, brawls broke out among inmates for changing their sleeping positions.
What he seriously recommended were drastic reforms in prison protocol; and he is working towards those. Dutt has shown a keen interest in working towards prison reforms with the government. Talks are going on regarding a book on his prison experiences too.