A prostitute or a princess, a wife has certain rights: Manyata Dutt (Interview)January 22nd, 2009 - 2:23 pm ICT by IANS
Mumbai, Jan 22 (IANS) She may be at the centre of all the controversies surrounding Sanjay Dutt’s family feuds and political choices, but the fiery Manyata is unfazed as she hits out at her husband’s “fair-weather friends” and says she is the “barricade between him and those who want to use him”.”Wherever there’s power, there’s bound to be a lot of conspiracy hovering around that source of power. And let’s face it, Sanju is very powerful. There were too many people around him trying to use him. I came like a barricade in Sanju’s life to stand between him and those who want to use him. Naturally, these fair-weather friends resent me. I spoilt their party, you see,” Manyata told IANS in an interview.
Commenting on her rights as Sanjay’s wife, she said: “What I want to say is, I’ve the right to live with my husband the way I want to - it doesn’t matter whether it’s a prostitute or a princess, a wife has certain rights in her husband’s home. I’m not a man living in a woman’s house.”
Apart from others, even Sanjay’s sisters - Namrata and Priya Dutt - haven’t accepted Manyata as their brother’s wife.
“Sanju knows I’ve tried to do as much in my capacity to find acceptance with his sisters. Beyond that he wouldn’t like me to push myself to try any further. Neither would I,” she said.
Excerpts from an interview:
Q: People continue to question your right to take over Sanjay’s life?
A: I know, but what I want to say is that I’ve the right to live with my husband the way I want to. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a prostitute or a princess, a wife has certain rights in her husband’s home. I’m not a man living in a woman’s house.
Q: Sanjay has said girls shouldn’t stick to their father’s name after marriage.
A: That’s his personal opinion. Sanju would’ve been offended and insulted if I had continued using my father’s name. If other wives want to use their maiden names, it’s their choice. He feels it is a fashion to do so these days. He has the right to an opinion.
Q: What’s your take on this?
A: Having a married a man who takes care of all my needs, I’d like to accept his name with full honour and take charge of his home and accept his family as my family. If you can’t accept your husband’s name and family then why marry? Go in for a live-in relationship. Mrs. Indira Gandhi was married to Feroz Gandhi, someone not as famous as the Nehrus. But she didn’t fight all those glorious battles as ‘Indira Nehru’. And now Priyanka calls herself a Vadra after her husband (Robert Vadra), not a Gandhi.
Q: Over a year since your marriage and Sanjay’s sisters haven’t accepted you?
A: I’m not someone to push for acceptance. I have never nagged Sanju for anything. I leave space for options. Sanju knows I’ve tried to do as much in my capacity to find acceptance with his sisters. Beyond that he wouldn’t like me to push myself to try any further. Neither would I.
Q: You’ve been attacked from the time you married Sanjay?
A: I’ll tell you something, wherever there’s power, there’s bound to be a lot of conspiracy hovering around that source of power. And let’s fact it, Sanju is very powerful. Every producer wants to work with him.
Sanjay never understood the nitty-gritty of finances. And if he hasn’t accumulated a huge bank balance, it isn’t because he hasn’t earned money. He did, but he lost all of it. There were too many people around him trying to use him. I came like a barricade in Sanju’s life to stand between him and those who want to use him. Naturally, these fair-weather friends resent me. I spoilt their party, you see.
Q: You refuse to speak against Sanjay’s family although they speak against you?
A: I am a woman and I am Sanju’s wife. It does hurt me. But I keep a dignified silence because firstly, my parents have brought me up to believe it’s undignified to hit out at people publicly. Secondly, it’s my husband’s family and he loves them. So for his sake I wouldn’t like to hurt him by saying anything. Finally, I think keeping quiet under attack is far more courageous than attacking someone.
Q: But how much will you take?
A: At no point of time, no matter what the provocation, I don’t want to wash my dirty linen in public. I’m not that kind of person. People think I’m arrogant and rude. The fact is I’m very reserved by nature. I only open up with people I gel with. I speak straight from my heart.
Q: But silence beyond a point is misconstrued as guilt.
A: Let people draw what conclusion they want. I know what I’m doing in Sanju’s life. I’m a silent observer. I know exactly whom I want in life. I’ll stand by them even when they are disowned by the world. As for the ones I don’t want in my life, I don’t even want to cross their path.
Q: Sanjay had so many girlfriends, but he found a homemaker in you?
A: But it’s not as if I only look after his home. I also look after Sanjay Dutt Productions. We decided he’d produce his own films to make sure the downslide doesn’t take him by surprise. Let’s face it. Sanju is a superstar, but he isn’t Amitabh Bachchan. Even Amitji went through a downslide. Every actor goes through it and then he reappears in smaller roles. I don’t want that to happen to Sanju. As it is, he hasn’t secured his bank balance. We jointly decided to start our production house, so we could generate the kind of work that Sanju deserves. I look after the finances of the production house, Sanju looks after the creative aspects. He has 30 years of experience. The production plans give me a big high.
Q: How have you controlled his finances?
A: I wouldn’t like to name them, but some people for whom Sanju was taking on unnecessary expenses have been stopped. Sanju was implementing financial responsibilities that were not his. That has also made some people hate me. But his finances were being handled by the wrong people. There were so many irregularities in his accounts. If I open my mouth about it, no one will be spared.
Q: Has Sanjay brought stability to your life?
A: Oh yes. I’ve never been happier. Sanju has stood by me through thick and thin. I’ve known him for nine years. We started seeing each other seriously in 2005. But he knew my past. So when ‘friends’ tried to provoke him he just laughed it off. He knew everything about me. When I was going through hell before my marriage, I’d pick up the phone and ask him for help. We’re both very positive people and we like to live and let live. We both believe in forgiving. And we believe every saint can have a past. And every sinner can have a future.
Q: When do you start a family?
A: Please pray hard and tell everyone to pray.
Tags: barricade, brother, conspiracy, controversies, excerpts, fair weather friends, family feuds, fashion, girls, maiden names, manyata, marriage, namrata, personal opinion, political choices, princess, priya dutt, prostitute, sanjay dutt