Hindi Film 101: Sanjay Dutt, A Timeline of His Life

I’ve been writing sort of “theme” posts on Sanjay, pulling together the threads of his life into coherent stories.  But that doesn’t help figure out what happened when and in what order.  So I’m going to pause here and give you a straight timeline of the happenings of Sanjay’s life. (full index of Hindi Film 101 posts, including other posts on Sanjay, here)

11 March 1958: Sunil Dutt and Nargisji are married

29 June 1959: Sanjay Dutt is born

11 July 1960: Namrata Dutt is born

28 August 1966: Priya Dutt is born

1969: Sanjay is sent to boarding school

1971: Reshma Aur Shera releases, is a critical hit but commercial flop, the Dutts mortgage their home and Sunil starts riding buses to work

1973: The tide turns, Sunil has a series of hits and the lean period ends

1975: Sanjay is an upperclassman at the Lawrence School, already drinking hard country liquor

1977: Sanjay graduates and moves back home and starts at Elphinstone College

1977: Sanjay moves from country liquor to drugs

1979: Sanjay drops out of school and starts training to be an actor

1 January 1980: Filming for Sanjay’s debut film Rocky begins

1980: Sanjay and Tina Munim fall in love and start dating

August 1980: Nargis is diagnosed with cancer and immediately moved to Sloan-Kettering in New York

March 1981: Nargis miraculously is well enough to come home to Bombay

3 May 1981: Nargis dies

8 May 1981: Rocky premieres

22 May 1982: Sanjay shoots a gun off inside the house, distressed by his break-up with Tina and is arrested and held overnight

Summer 1982: Sanjay rebounds in a brief relationship with Rati Agnihotri

January 1984: Sanjay flies to America for rehab

September 1984: Sanjay arrives back home in Bombay

1984: Namrata and Kumar Gaurav get married, Sunil runs for office

1985: Sanjay’s first film back, Jaan Ki Baazi, releases

1985: Sanjay meets 22 year old Richa Sharma at Hotel Sea Rock

12 September 1986: Naam comes out, Sanjay’s career is reborn

October 1987: Sanjay and Richa are married at her parent’s house

10 August 1988: Trishala Dutt is born

December 1988: Richa starts having headaches, finally goes to a clinic and is diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor

1989: Richa is in the hospital in New York, Priya Dutt is at school there, Sanjay signs 40 movies in hopes that one will hit so he can support his family

December 1991: Sanjay is introduced to Dawood Ibrahim by Feroze Khan

1992: Madhuri and Sanjay are widely accepted as a couple within the industry

October 1992: Richa, rejecting rumors of the affair, arrives back in India

November 1992: Richa returns to New York

7-27 December 1992: First phase Bombay riots, spontaneous protest by the Muslim community

7-15 January 1993: Second phase, coordinated pogrom by Shiv Sena against Bombay Muslims

16 January 1993: Sanjay accepts delivery of AK-56 rifles and grenades

18 January 1993: Sanjay returns all but one gun

February 1993: Sanjay files for divorce from Richa, a bitter custody battle begins over 4 year old Trishala

12 March 1993: 11 bombs explode in Bombay killing 257 people

19 April 1993: Sanjay is arrested under TADA

????: Madhuri refuses Sanjay’s calls, ends their relationship

5 May 1993: Sanjay is released on bail

6 November 1993: 6 months after his arrest, charges are finally filed against Sanjay and 187 others

????: Sanjay begins dating 30 year old model/actress Rhea Pillai

4 July 1994: Sanjay is re-arrested

February 1995 (approx.): Sunil Dutt begs Bal Thackeray for help

March 1995: Shiv Sena wins the municipal elections with Sunil Dutt’s support

July 1995: Bal Thackeray publicly calls the judge in Sanjay’s case biased

July 22 1995: Sanjay is granted a furlough

18 October 1995: Sanjay is finally granted bail

Spring 1996: Sanjay’s divorce put on hold, as Richa begins to deteriorate rapidly

10 December 1996: Richa Sharma dies, with Sanjay by her side

1997: Sanjay moves in with Rhea

14 February 1998 (Valentine’s Day): Rhea Pillai and Sanjay elope

1999: Sunil returns to politics

2001: Rumors begin of Sanjay seeing Pakistani belly dancer Nadia Durrani

2003: Rhea begins seeing tennis player Leander Paees

27 November 2003: Priya marries Owen Roncon against Sanjay’s wishes

19 December 2003: Munna Bhai MBBS comes out, Sanjay’s career is reborn again, father and son make peace onscreen and off once and for all

2004: Priya’s first child is born, Sanjay reconciles with her and Owen

2005: Rhea moves in with Leander Paees

2005: Sanjay starts seeing 27 year old item dancer Manyata

25 May 2005: Sunil Dutt dies, Priya takes over his elected office continuing the family connection with the Congress party

2006: Rhea and Leander have a baby girl

November 2006: The TADA court declares Sanjay innocent of TADA charges, but guilty of weapons charges

July 2007: Sanjay is sentenced to 6 years on the weapons charge

2 August 2007: Sanjay is arrested

20 August 2007: Sanjay is granted bail

2008: Rhea and Sanjay’s divorce is finalized

7 February 2008: Sanjay marries Manyaata against his sisters’ wishes

2009: Sanjay runs for office under the Samajwadi ticket, not Congress, further widening the breach in the family.  He withdraws his candidacy because of his legal issues but remains tied to the party.

21 October 2010: Sanjay and Manyaata’s twins Iqra and Sharaan are born and he and his sisters reconcile

21 March 2013: Sanjay’s sentence is upheld by the Supreme Court

16 May 2013: Sanjay surrenders himself

25 Feb 2016: Sanjay is released from jail, a free man, visits his mother’s grave upon arrival in Bombay, then takes blessings of his father’s portrait, and finally is greeted at his home by sisters, nieces and nephew, brothers-in-law, wife, and all 3 of his children.

Image result for sanjay iqra

(Sanjay and five year old Iqra and Sharaan the day he was released)



13 thoughts on “Hindi Film 101: Sanjay Dutt, A Timeline of His Life

    • Ah, that’s what makes his story, and himself, so fascinating! With a lot of starts and stops and slow changes, Sanjay has turned into something kind of like his father in the past 20 years. That’s what was so tragic about him going to jail, he was a different man than he had been when he was first convicted. He is a rock that supports his family, and the film industry, and anyone else who asks him for help. One thing I hope Sanju does well is the contrast between the first and second jail terms, the first was an unjust torturous (literally) experience. The second, just punishment which was accepted and endured. It took him longer than most people, but he really did grow up in the end.

      On Fri, Jun 1, 2018 at 6:31 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



    • It seems like he has, since about 2010 when his kids were born.

      On Fri, Jun 1, 2018 at 10:33 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  1. Two more events for your timeline

    1 Jan 1961. Baby Sanjay gives the muhurat shot for his father’s maiden production venture ‘Mujhe jeene do.’ Film was a super-duper hit and fetched Sunil Dutt his first Filmfare award.

    1971. Sanjay’s unofficial debut as one of the background singers of a qawwali song in his father’s film Reshma aur Shera.


    • YES! THANK YOU!!!!! I tried about five different spellings, and none of them were even close enough for spellcheck to help me. English is stupid.

      On Tue, Jun 5, 2018 at 10:39 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  2. Amazing .Loved the way u’ve presented Sanjay’s whole life ,unbiased and covering every aspect of his life in detail.Even his biopic “Sanju” fails to cover everything related to his life.After watching Sanju I was interested in knowing every detail of his life,and after days of search came across your article.Thanks for enlightening,Sanjay is indeed a good soul.He could not become as great a person as his father but he doesn’t fail to inspire us.It’s not easy to live a life he has lived ,it’s tough when your life is an open book in public domain but he never gave up.


    • I am so glad you liked the series! This is exactly why I wrote it, to provide a detailed careful view of his life, hopefully with empathy for him.


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