The rise of Vinod Khanna in the filmdom went on steadily through the seventies. But when he was soaring high in his profession, Vinod Khanna developed spiritual inclinations. During his spiritual quest, his coming into contact with
Osho the divine master abruptly interrupted his celluloid romance. He renounced the world and went to stay in the Osho's ashram. After a few years, he came back from Rajneeshpuram (US)—disillusioned and distressed, to pick up the lost threads of his profession.
In the recent years, he joined the BJP and has set up an enviable record of beating the Congress heavy weight Sukhbans Kaur Bhinder thrice from the border constituency of Gurdaspur. In the previous NDA government, Khanna served as the Union Minister of State of Tourism and Culture and then as Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Vinod Khanna was born on 6th October in 1946 in Peshawar in a business family. Partition forced the Khanna family to move to India. As a child Vinod Khanna had the opportunity to study in some of the best schools of his times. Later, while he was pursuing his commerce studies at a college in Mumbai, the legendary
Sunil Dutt offered him a role in his forthcoming Man Ka Meet. His decision to do a film invited the wrath of his father, who threatened to throw him out of the house, if he dared to enter the tinsel town. But destiny willed otherwise and he went to act in the film. The film was a success and his family too reconciled with the choice of his profession.
The rave reviews of his first film fetched him fifteen different roles with in a week's time. He donned a villain's mantle in
Mera Gaon Mera Desh, Mere Apne and Reshma Aur Shera. In Mere Apne he had the opportunity of working with the debutant director
Gulzar—an experience, he remembers to this day. Negative roles could not contain satisfy his talent for long. Vinod Khanna's skills and charismatic personality soon fetched him the roles of a hero. His performance in films like
Parvarish, Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, Hera Pheri, Amar Akbar Anthony, Khoon Pasina, Qurbani brought him in league of the likes of
Amitabh, Shashi Kapoor and Rajesh Khanna. Vinod Khanna married Geetanjali and two sons—Akshaye and
Rahul were born from the wedlock. Unfortunately, his marriage ended in a divorce.
And when the career of Vinod Khanna was touching the zenith, Vinod Khanna all at once decided to turn a ‘sanaysi'. He became a disciple of Osho whom he followed to USA. There he did all kinds of jobs from fitter, electrician, and gardener to manual labourer to eke out a living. He stayed in the Oregon headquarters of the Osho's commune for a couple of years. But soon he got disenchanted with the reclusive life of the commune and staged a comeback in Bollywood.
His come back film Insaaf was a runaway success and he was flooded with offers from people like JP Dutta, Yash Chopra and Mukul Anand. Soon he churned out a large number of films like
Batwara, Kshatriya, Suryaa, C.I.D., Rihaee, Pathar Ke Insaan, Parampara, Mahasangram, Khoon Ka Karz,
Dayavan, and Police Aur Mujrim and many others. But the film critics were unanimous on the fact that the best part of Vinod Khanna was far over. In 1990, he again tied the knot with
Kavita Daftry and was blessed with two children – son Sakshi and daughter Shraddha.
In 1997, Vinod Khanna produced a film Himalaya Putra to launch his second son, Akshaye. Himalaya Putra turned out to be damp squib but his later films put Akshaye in the orbit of stars.
Vinod Khanna had the good fortune of acting with female stars of three generations like Saira Bano, Mumtaz, Yogita Bali, Rekha, Hema Malini, Shabana Azmi, Neetu Singh, Meenakhsi Sheshadri, Poonam Dhillon, Karishma Kapoor and Amisha Patel and host of others in a career spanning over thirty years. He has a penchant for owning best cars in the world and has driven around in BMW, Mercedes, Porsche and Cadillac—to name a few.
In 1999, Vinod Khanna, a veteran of over hundred films was given the Filmfare
Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contribution to the Indian cinema.
These days he manages his time between sitting on the opposition benches in the Lok Sabha, attending and redressing the grievances of his constituents and Bollywood. We pray for his long life so that he keeps on serving his people with the same zeal.