By Subhash K. Jha
Mumbai, Oct 9 (IANS) Troubled Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt is keen to follow his illustrious father Sunil Dutt and sister Namrata into the realm of politics. He is willing to contest the next elections and says he wants to be a responsible people's representative, and not be a "sleeper politician".
"Yes, if I get a ticket, I'll stand for the next elections. But not without making sure that I can devote enough time to my constituency. I don't want to be a sleeper politician," Sanjay told IANS.
"There's no point in taking on more responsibility unless I've the time. Nowadays, I'm so busy with my film assignments, I hardly get the time to sleep properly. This is the best phase of my career and I'm thankful to god for giving me another chance to rebuild my life."
Sanjay says if he is given a ticket, he will cut down his film assignments to do justice to his new responsibilities as a leader.
"But to do that I've to make sure I'm not a sleeper constituent. I don't want the people who elect me to turn around and say, 'Arrey yaar kuch kar nahin rahe ho (nothing is happening).
"If I'm given a ticket to contest elections, I'll have to do a complete re-think about it because an opportunity like that won't come to me repeatedly. And yes, if I've to, I'll cut down on my assignments to accommodate my political career."
At the moment Sanjay is booked till the end of 2010 with assignments at the going rate of Rs.120 million per film, thanks to his dear friend Suneil Shetty, who set the trend by paying him the price.
"I've never been happier both personally and professionally. I'm doing great work. I work only with the people I'm comfortable with. I've wonderful friends like Anna (Suniel Shetty) and a truly amazing wife (Maanyata) to go back to at the end of the day. What more can I ask for?"
Afer "Kidnap", his next releas is "EMI".
"'Kidnap' and 'EMI' give me a chance to move completely away from the gangster's role that I've been doing repeatedly. Honestly, I was getting bored of that.
"In 'Kidnap', for the first time I got to work with Sanjay Gadhvi - he is a wonderful director. But what I really enjoyed in 'Kidnap' was working with Imran Khan. He's so confident before the camera. I really wish him well. I know he'll be a big star.
"'EMI' is a comedy and yet very relevant to today's lifestyle. Quite like my 'Munnabhai'. The director Saurav Kabra is new, but so sure of what he wants. I like working with all this new talent that has come into the industry. I think, this is one of Hindi cinema's best phases."
Sanjay was supposed to sing on stage at the music release of Suneil and Ekta Kapoor's "EMI".
"I really enjoy singing and playing the guitar. In fact, I'd love to do a film like 'Rock On'. But I don't think I'm ready to sing on stage. If you see I never perform at awards functions. I'm not comfortable doing it. I can't dance. But I like to sing. Yes, I do enjoy playback singing. And I've sung in films. But I can't sing live," said Sanjay, who is busty shooting "Blue" right now.
"In fact, I flew back to Bhatinda a fortnight ago to honour the boxers from Haryana who got us the bronze from the Olympics. When they asked me to be their brand ambassador for boxing, I was deeply honoured. I met our boys and told them it's a big responsibility to be an ambassador for their sport."
One of the boxers Akhil Kumar is a huge Sanjay fan. "This kind of love and adulation puts a big responsibility on my shoulders. I've to be very careful about my public image. But I'm not going into politics to improve my image. I want to make a difference in my own little way."
Sanjay intends to take his job as a sports ambassador seriously.
"Except for cricket and tennis, all games are neglected in India. Even football…. we don't come anywhere on the world map. Our game is played so slowly compared with international football."