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'Who says I am a bad boy off screen?'

Is he? Why do celebrity kids like Salman Khan and Sanjay Dutt run into trouble with the law? Diganta Guha takes stock.

entertainment Updated: Aug 28, 2007 18:40 IST
Diganta Guha
Diganta Guha
Hindustan Times

Salman Khan, Nicole Richie and Lindsay Lohan all made it to the newspapers on Friday morning for appearing in jail or being on their way to one. Paris Hilton, Sanjay Dutt, Fardeen Khan, Aamir Khan and Saif Ali Khan have also in the recent past run into trouble with the law.

These days, it's difficult to flip a channel or a news page without spotting some celebrity wild child or the other being reprimanded for misconduct. Strangely, all the names above are used to the good life, products of affluent families - in other words - children of influential people, even stars.

So, in the end, is it all about spoilt children who have grown up into spoilt adults? Pampered star kids existed in the past surely. What about the star kids from the '60s and '70s be it brothers Rishi and Randhir Kapoor or sisters Tanuja and Nutan?

Blame the society
Director Onir feels that it's all a reflection of a changing society. "Dutt and Khan are the products of a time when society was going through a transitional phase. In the 1980s, unlike the post-Independence years, children were raised less rigidly - not just star kids but any one - and naturally it was easier for them to go out of hand. There are, however, star kids who are quite disciplined."

<b1>Greater freedom is not the only reason for a wild child to thrive. Many feel it is about the company one keeps. Filmmaker Raj Kaushal, who has worked with Dutt, says, "You have to also see the company they keep. There are often people who just live off them and in most cases the star kids are misguided."

Industry insiders point out a don't-care attitude. "The general notion is ‘who can stop us?' In fact, brawls involving stars are common, so why blame the kids?" asks an insider. Power corrupts, adds Kaushal, and in most cases there is a tendency to get carried away .

Examples are rife. Dutt has battled drug abuse and has been arrested for illegal possession of arms. Salman has been in the news for his violent love affairs, a hit-and-run case and shooting black buck. Fardeen Khan was arrested for possession of cocaine. Saif Ali Khan was a co-accused in the black buck case with Salman.

Then we even had Sunny Deol who was allegedly involved in a cheating case and Puru Rajkumar, who also allegedly ran over a few slum dwellers with his vehicle.

Parents rapped
"There are multiple reasons. It could be that eminent parents sometimes have little time to spend with their children and this results in them going astray. Even the parent himself not taking the law seriously could lead to the child thinking that what he does is above the law," says Vidisha Ghosh, a counsellor who works on personality development of children.

And, of course, being in the public eye makes the wild child grab media attention, especially when it's unsavoury .

"Who says I am a bad boy off screen? This is the creation of the media. You guys love to create controversies…. Sometimes I feel I'm doing charity You guys write lies about me, draw salaries and feed your children and take care of your parents. It must actually be difficult," said Salman in a recent interview before the release of Partner.

First Published: Aug 28, 2007 11:51 IST

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