When fame gets you ahead
From Yerawada to Vaishno Devi is not a standard route for travellers even of the likes of Sanjay Dutt.Updated: Sep 04, 2007, 23:06 IST
From Yerawada to Vaishno Devi is not a standard route for travellers even of the likes of Sanjay Dutt. But if divine intervention is what he sought after his stint at Pune’s Yerawada Jail, a little too much official attention has made his pilgrimage to the shrine in Jammu & Kashmir’s Trikuta Hills that much less akin to the proverbial Road to Damascus. A VIP car, special security and ‘special arrangements’ (read: jump-the-queue protocol) has got Mr Dutt in the headlines again, so what if it’s the inside pages this time.
It’s interesting to note the degree of discomfiture such ‘special treatment’ has begun to cause the masses. After all, till a few years ago, the Indian middle-class was most generous about being out-of-the-way servile to celebrityhood. But the bhajan has changed somewhat. The new kirtan is all about equality. We all want VIP status. In popular places of worship, what one really hankers for is several extra minutes in front of the deity after having jumped the queue. Similar dissent followed Abhishek Bachchan’s post-marriage sojourn to the Tirupati temple, with wife Aishwarya in tow. And, of course, there was the pre-nup ostentatious outing that Bachchan Sr, Anil Ambani and Amar Singh embarked upon.
So even as officials valiantly claim that the VIP car and assorted paraphernalia were organised for MP Priya Dutt, frankly, no one’s buying that. Sanju is the one who got the treatment. Which sort of now makes it crystal clear to all of us why being famous is such a great thing.