Renowned actor Sunil Dutt is dead
Veteran actor and Union Sports Minister Sunil Dutt died in Mumbai this morning, sending a wave of shock and grief in the film industry and political circles.
Dutt, who was not well for the past four days, died in his sleep following a heart attack around 11:30 AM, family sources said.
The 75-year-old Dutt, who had been in the public eye for the last five decades including 40 years as a star actor, is survived by his son Sanjay Dutt, a popular actor himself, and two daughters.
A popular star in the 1960s, Dutt, along with his late wife Nargis, made a name for themselves in the social and cultural circles contributing their mite for many causes.
A five-time MP, Dutt contested his first Lok Sabha elections after joining the Congress in 1984. He was a personal choice of the late Rajiv Gandhi. winning the Mumbai North West seat in his maiden attempt. He retained it in the 1989 and 1991 elections.
Dutt did not contest the 1996 and 1998 elections as he was preoccupied with a case against his son Sanjay by the Mumbai police. He won the 1999, 2000 and 2004 elections.
Dutt acted in scores of films including the classic Mother India, which propelled him to stardom, Gumraah, Waqt, Humraaz, Khandaan, Milan and Reshma Aur Shera.
He became a Union minister for the first time when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gave him the Sports and Youth Affairs port folio last year. As a minister, Dutt not only had time to hear the plight of sportspersons, he also made a concerted effort to improve the standard of Indian athletes by taking up several initiatives.
Fate seemed to have meted out a never ending spate of tragedies in Dutt's life, but bitterness and self pity seemed to find no place in his soul, in spite of his receiving one shattering blow after another.
Born in Khurd village in Jhelum district, now in Pakistan on June 6, 1929, he lost his father when he was five and his mother at 23. Life had taken him through the trauma of partition, his wife's untimely death due to cancer, and his son's arrest after the Mumbai bomb blast in 1992.
But all these tragedies failed to deter the man from following his first love -- cinema -- and he served the community through politics. After his wife's death, he lost himself in politics and his involvement in it was complete.
When Dutt spoke about the country, he spoke selflessly from the heart. He can perhaps, best be described in his own words while quoting the philosophy of the Bhagvad Gita. 'You are just expected to perform your duties and not expect any rewards. As a citizen of India, I am concerned with giving my best'.