Vinod Khanna: A stylish man who challenged the biggest

Vinod Khanna: A stylish man who challenged the biggest

Vinod Khanna: A stylish man who challenged the biggest
Veteran Bollywood actor Vinod Khanna passed away at a hospital in Mumbai this morning.  Khanna was admitted to the Sir HN Reliance Foundation hospital on March 31 with severe dehydration.

Known for his style, Vinod Khanna, the tall, handsome, suave and debonair imposing star, carved a niche for himself and went by his own rules - whether it is his style of acting or being a minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-government of for that matter joining the mystic spiritual guru Osho.

The 70-year-old four-time MP from Gurudaspur, passed away after prolonged illness, leaving behind a repertoire of films which include superhits like Mere Apne, Mera Gaon Mera Desh, Imitihaan, Inkaar, Amar Akbar Anthony, Lahu ke Do Rang, Qurbani, Dayavan, Jurm and Chandni. At one point of time, he was one of the highest paid stars of Bollywood. 

He was born on October 6, 1946, to Kamla and Kishanchand Khanna, in Peshawar (now in Pakistan), however, after partition, the family moved to Mumbai. He attended St. Mary's School, Mumbai until class II and then transferred to St. Xavier's High School. In 1957, the family moved to Delhi where he attended Delhi Public School, Mathura Road. Although the family moved back to Mumbai in 1960, he was sent to Barnes School in Deolali, near Nashik. He graduated with a commerce degree from Sydenham College, Mumbai.

Dev Anand-Starrer Solva Saal and K Asif's magnum opus Mughal-e-Azam did magic on him and he decided what he has to do.  Vinod Khanna debuted in Sunil Dutt's 1968 film Man Ka Meet as a villain and did supporting roles in several films like  Mera Gaon Mera Desh.

He came at a time when the troika of Dev Anand, Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor were there and so as Dharmendra, Rajesh Khanna and Shammi Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor. He gave the toughest competition to Amitabh Bachchan, his contemporary. In fact, both Vinod Khanna and Shatrughan Sinha, started as heroes and became villains - were big time contemporates of Bachchan - but later chose to take up roles of villian. Both Khanna and Sinha joined BJP and became ministers in Vajpayee government.

The Qurbani phenomenon

Vinod Khanna played the role of  Kawas Nanavati in Achanak.Between 1973 and 1982, Khanna played the lead role in solo hero movies which include Farebi with Moushumi Chatterjee; Qaid in 1975 and Zalim in 1980, both with Leena Chandavarkar; and Inkaar in 1978 opposite Vidya Sinha. He did successful movies like Aap Ki Khatir and Raajmahal opposite Rekha, Hatyara with Moushmi Chaterjee, Main Tulsi Tere Angan Ki with Neeta Mehta, Khoon Ki Pukar with Shabana Azmi, Taaqat with Rakhee and Parveen Babi, Jail Yatra opposite Reena Roy. In 1980, he starred in Feroz Khan's Qurbani which became the highest-grossing film of that year and not to forget The Burning Train.

Joining Osho

When he was at the top, Khanna became a follower of the spiritual teacher Osho (Bhagwan Rajneesh) and left the film industry in 1982 for five years.

Return to stardom

In 1987, he returned to Bollywood, with Insaaf against Dimple Kapadia. In 1987, he delivered a hit in Dayavan, the role of an anti-hero. In the 1990s, Khanna worked in films including Muqaddar Ka Badshaah, CID, Jurm, Rihaee, Lekin, and Humshakal. He appeared in multi-hero casts in films such as Khoon Ka Karz, Police Aur Mujrim, Kshatriya, Insaaniyat Ke Devta, Ekka Raja Rani and Eena Meena Deeka. In Yash Chopra's Chandani (1989) he left an impression among the cinelovers.

Last appearances

He was last seen in Salman Khan-starrer Dabangg and Dabaang 2 and Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Dilwale. In 2014, he played lead role in Koyelaanchal, where he played the role of a Godfather and was the face of the coal mafia.

With the Big B

Vinod Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan had acted together in 10 films and most of them were hits. Hera Pheri (1976), Khoon Pasina (1977), Amar Akbar Anthony (1977) Parvarish (1977) and Muqaddar Ka Sikander (1978) are some of them.  He was the only actor who ever came close to  Bachchan top position and, at one point, people were almost certain that he would replace Big B.  They both played roles in 1971 film Reshma aur Shera of Sunil Dutt.


In 1997, he joined the BJP and had won the Lok Sabha elections four times from Gurudaspur. The suave Khanna was the Minister of State for External Affairs in the Vajpayee government. He had also served the Culture and Tourism ministries as a junior minister.
Personal life

Khanna married Geetanjali in 1971 and had two sons with her, Rahul Khanna and Akshaye Khanna. After he became a monk and disciple of Osho, his absence from his family, who remained in India, caused friction and the marriage ended.  In 1990, he married Kavita and they have a son, Sakshi and a daughter, Shraddha.