A Tribute to Rajesh Khanna (1942-2012)


By Himanshu Guru: India’s first Superstar Rajesh Khanna is no more. The legendary actor of Hindi film industry passed away on Wednesday afternoon at his residence ‘Aashirwad’ in Mumbai at the age of 69. Khanna, father-in-law of leading Bollywood actor Akshya Kumar, is survived by his estranged wife, actress Dimple Kapadia and two daughters, Twinkle and Rinke.

Rajesh Khanna is referred to as the “First Superstar” of Hindi cinema. He made his debut in 1966 with the film ‘Aakhri Khat’ and rose to eminence with films like Raaz, Haathi Mere Saathi, Ittefaq and Aradhana.

Khanna acted in 106 films as the solo lead hero and in 128 as the lead protagonist. In this way he appeared in 163 feature films. He won the Filmfare Best Actor Awards three times and was nominated for the same for fourteen times. The actor also received the maximum BFJA Awards as Best Actor (Hindi) for four times and got nominated 25 times. Khanna was awarded the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.

Rajesh Khanna was born as Jatin Khanna on 29 December 1942 in Amritsar and attended St. Sebastian’s Goan High School in Girgaum, along with actor Jeetendra. He started his acting career from theatre and then entered to filmdom.

Rajesh Khanna’s uncle changed his first name to Rajesh as the screen name and the actor Jatin Khanna earned utmost popularity with the new name Rajesh Khanna. However, Rajesh is also known as ‘Kaka’ as some of his close friends and his wife Dimple Kapadia call him in this name.

Khanna married to Dimple Kapadia in March 1973, six months before Dimple’s debut film Bobby released and has two daughters from the marriage – Twinkle and Rinke. However,Khanna and Dimple separated in 1984 without any formal legal divorce. But during his last days Dimple was utterly with her ailing husband and served her best.

Besides Dimple Kapadia, Rajesh Khanna’s name is also attached to two other women, Anju Mahendru and Tina Munim.

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Khanna was a life member of the International Film And Television Research Centre, the International Film And Television Club and the Asian Academy of Film & Television. He was the Guest Faculty of ‘Specialized Cinema Courses At Asian School Of Media Studies’.

Apart from acting, Rajesh Khanna has also sung in the films like  Baharon Ke Sapne, safar, Raja Rani, Shehzada, Amar Prem, Daag, Ajnabee and Souten.

Rajesh Khanna was a MP for the Congress Party, from the New Delhi constituency, where he won the 1992 by-election, retaining his seat until the 1996 election.

Khanna and a group of foreign investors had bought land in Shirdi on which they plan to build a religious resort for disciples of Sai Baba of Shirdi.

Rajesh Khanna has acted in a huge number of films including Kati Patang, Amar Prem, Shehzada, Apna Desh, Mere Jeevan Saathi, Aap Ki Kasam, Ajnabee, Namak Haraam, Maha Chor, Karm, Phir Wohi Raat, Aanchal, Kudrat, Ashanti, Agar Tum Na Hote, Awaaz, Hum Dono, Alag Alag, Amardeep, Phir Wohi Raat, Bandish, Thodisi Bewafaii, Dard, Kudrat, Dhanwan, Ashanti, Avtaar, Agar Tum Na Hote, Souten, Jaanwar, Asha Jyoti, Awaaz, Naya Kadam, Hum Dono, Babu, Aaj Ka M.L.A. Ram Avtar, Shatru, Insaaf Main Karoonga, Anokha Rishta, Nazrana, Angaarey,Amrit, Awam.

Rajesh Khanna was the cherished actor for crores of his fans across the world. During his peak period in films he would be mobbed during public appearances. Even fans were kissing his car, which would be covered with lipstick marks, and lined the road, cheering his name. Reports say that Female fans sent him letters written in their blood.

Rajesh Khanna was an Actor, Singer, Producer and Politician in one line. ‘The News Insight’ pays tribute to this great soul and wish his soul to rest in peace.

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