New Delhi: Sanjay Dutt is a free man on paper but he says that the feeling has not quite sunk in yet.
The 56-year-old actor, who was convicted in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, served a 42-month sentence at Pune’s Yerwada jail. He was released on February 25, 103 days ahead of his prison term.
“I was in solitary confinement. It will take a bit longer for me to feel free. The feeling of freedom is yet to sink in. I have been in and out of jail for the last 23 years. There were so many restrictions, permissions to be taken. I am getting used to live life like a free man. The feeling is yet to hit me.“They imprison you mentally more than physically. They tell you what to do and what not do in prison,”
Dutt said at a conclave recently.
He said contrary to people’s perception he did not receive any special treatment during his jail term and was given the same food to eat and same clothes as any other inmate.
“I did not get any VIP treatment. In fact I was treated worse than normal inmates as everyone thought I was getting special treatment. The worse thing about jail was the food, it was terrible and not edible at all.”
The Munnabhai MBBS star said the sentence and the imprisonment always haunted him and his family. He assured that he loves his country and is a patriot.
“It has haunted me all these years. It has haunted my family and especially my father. I am a patriot, my family is patriotic. I cannot think of harming my country. It did affect me a lot. But I thank people that they didn’t lose their faith in me and believed in me.” “I don’t have any regrets. I have learnt a lot in these years. It has taught me not to be brash. I have learnt to respect the law about our country and also have learnt about it. I think every citizen should know about the law of the country. But yes I do regret the day those weapons came into my house.”
The actor also opened up about his drug problem which he said began after the death of his mother, actor Nargis Dutt.
“I am quite a shy person in real life. I got into the habit of drugs after my mother died and then it became chronic. I have done every drug there is.
“My dad didn’t understand what was wrong with me, he is from Punjab. But then one day I couldn’t handle anymore and my dad took me to hospital. From there I went to a rehab in the US. And it has been 40 years since that incident and I haven’t looked back.”