Govinda is a veteran Indian actor, comedian, dancer, and former politician. He is famous for his Hindi comedy films in the 90s era. In an online poll organised by BBC News in June 1999, Govinda was voted as the 10th greatest star on stage/screen in the millennium. BBC News
Govinda aka Govind Arun Ahuja Mid-Day was born on Saturday, 21 December 1963 (age 58 years; as of 2022) in Virar, Bombay, Maharashtra. His zodiac sign is Capricorn. He did his schooling at Annasaheb Vartak Smarak Vidyamandir Primary School, Virar, Maharashtra.
He pursued a Bachelor of Commerce from Annasaheb Vartak College of Arts, Kedarnath Malhotra College of Commerce, E. S. Andrades College of Science, Dist- Palghar, Maharashtra. My Neta While he was in college, he used to participate in various theatre plays.
Weight (approx.): 80 kg
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Brown
Parents & Siblings
His father, Aroon aka Arun Kumar Ahuja, was an Indian actor and producer. His mother, Nirmala Devi, was an actress and Carnatic singer. Govinda’s mother was a Muslim, and after her marriage to Arun Kumar Ahuja, she changed her name from Nazim to Nirmala Devi. Patrika Govinda’s elder brother, Kirti Kumar Ahuja, is an actor, film producer, director, and singer. Govinda has four sisters, and three of them are Padma Ahuja, Pushpa Ahuja, and Kamini Khanna. Kamini is a famous Indian astrologer and music director.
In 1996, Govinda’s mother passed away. He was very close to his mother and used to worship her like God.
Wife & Children
In 1986, Govinda met a girl named Sunita Munjal, who is the sister-in-law of Govinda’s maternal uncle Anand Singh. At the first meeting, they liked each other and started meeting more often. Initially, Sunita and Govinda used to get indulged in various quarrels because of the differences in their personalities and opinions. After one year of knowing each other, they both started dating each other. Soon, Govinda’s mother came to know about their relationship and advised them to marry. Sunita and Govinda used to communicate with each other through letters, which they would exchange with the help of her brother. One day, Sunita’s mother caught hold of one of the letters and came to know about their affair. She strongly opposed their relationship primarily due to the fact that Govinda was an actor. Her mother finally agreed to their marriage with the support of Govinda’s uncle. They both got married on 11 March 1987, but their marriage was kept secret for one year for fear that it might threaten his female fan following. Sunita and Govinda revealed their marriage one year after their daughter Tina Ahuja was born on 16 July 1989.
On 1 March 1997, the couple was blessed with a baby boy named Yashvardhan Ahuja. Tina is an actress, and Yashwardhan is working as an assistant director in Hindi films. Govinda had one more daughter named Lakshmi, however, she died within four months of her birth as she was a premature baby and was very weak. The Times of India
In 2014, Sunita and Govinda got remarried. Govinda later disclosed that it was his mother’s wish that they go through a ‘Sampoorna Vivaah’ (complete wedding) after 25 years of their togetherness. In an interview, while talking about it, Govinda said,
Not that Sunita and I were not married all these years. We had just gone through a formal Gandharva Vivah back in 1987. But now we went through all the rituals.”
The renowned Indian musician Lachhu Maharaj was Govinda’s maternal uncle. The Indian assistant director Anand Singh was his maternal uncle.
Govinda is the maternal uncle of the Indian TV actress Arti Singh, who is the daughter of Padma Sharma.
The Indian TV actress Ragini Khanna is the niece of Govinda and daughter of Govinda’s sister Kamini Khanna.
Govinda is the maternal uncle of the Indian actor Vinay Anand, who is the son of Govinda’s sister Pushpa Anand.
In 1986, while Govinda was shooting for the Hindi film ‘Ilzaam,’ he met the Indian actress Neelam Kothari. In an interview, Govinda talked about meeting Neelam for the first time, he said that he met her for the first time at a producer’s office. He said that as his English was not so good so he used afraid to talk to her. Later, they were cast together in more than 14 Hindi films. This created a strong bond between the two, and soon, they started dating each other. It is said that Govinda was so mesmerised by Neelam’s beauty that he used to ask his then-girlfriend Sunita (now wife) to become like Neelam.
In an interview, Govinda said that he was attracted to Neelam because she was very down-to-earth. He once broke his engagement with Sunita as she said something wrong about Neelam. In one of his interviews, he confessed that he wanted to marry Neelam. Even his father wanted Neelam to become his daughter-in-law, but his mother made him understand that he had already committed to Sunita. Govinda then shared that it was only his desire to get married, whereas, Neelam was focused on her career. When Govinda asked her for marriage, she laughed it off. Later, when Neelam started working with other actors, Govinda used to get upset over it. He then secretly got married to Sunita and hide his marriage from Neelam. Neelam then started making distance from him and stopped signing films with him. Koimoi
In 2000, while shooting for the Hindi film ‘Hadh Kar Di Aapne,’ reportedly, Govinda started dating his co-star Rani Mukerji. According to sources, once a reporter caught Govinda wearing a night dress in Rani Mukerji’s room.
When Govinda’s wife got to know about the incident, she got very angry and warned Govinda that she would move out of Govinda’s house. During an interview, when Rani was asked about Govinda, she laughed it off and said that those were only rumours. Later, Govinda cleared all the misunderstandings with his wife Sunita. Bollywood Shaadis
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Govinda started his career as a model. His first TV commercial was for a fertiliser company followed by a TV commercial for Allwyn company. In an interview, while talking about his first income from TV commercials, he said,
When I got my first income, I bought a saree for my mother. When I was travelling back to my home in train, I checked the saree bag 3-4 times and was in tears of happiness that I have bought something for my mother.”
Govinda has been featured in various TV commercials such as Mirinda, Nippo Battery, CWE, and Rupa Frontline.
In 1986, Govinda made his debut as an actor with the Hindi film ‘Love 86’ in which he played the role of Vikram Doshi/Vicky. In an interview, while talking about making his career in acting, he said that after watching the Hindi film ‘Disco Dancer’ he used to practice dancing and acting for hours and distributed the VHS cassettes of the same for promotion. Govinda said that he decided that he would try to get an acting project for only 6 months otherwise he would do a bank job. He then started auditioning at various film production houses.
In the 1980s, he acted in many Hindi films such as ‘Pyaar Karke Dekho’ (1987), ‘Shiv Shakti’ (1988), ‘Ghar Ghar Ki Kahani’ (1988), ‘Jaisi Karni Waisi Bharnii’ (1989), and ‘Aakhri Baazi’ (1989).
In the 1990s, he started getting popularity among the audiences. He used to do more than 7 films a year in that era. Some of his popular Hindi films from the 90s are ‘Swarg’ (1990), ‘Raja Babu’ (1994), ‘Saajan Chale Sasural’ (1996), ‘Dulhe Raja’ (1998), and ‘Haseena Maan Jaayegi’ (1999).
Govinda is known for acting in the ‘No. 1 series’ film. Some of such films are ‘Coolie No. 1’ (1995), ‘Hero No. 1’ (1997), ‘Aunty No. 1’ (1998), ‘Anari No.1’ (1999), ‘Beti No. 1’ (2000), and ‘Jodi No.1’ (2001).
He played six characters in the 2000 Hindi film ‘Hadh Kar Di Aapne.’ He played the roles of Raju and Raju’s family members like his mother, father, sister, grandfather, and grandmother.
A scene from the film ‘Hadh Kar Di Aapne’ where he played different characters in a TV structure also became very popular.
In the 2000s, some of his films did well at the box office whereas some were flops. In the 2000s, he acted in many Hindi films such as ‘Jis Desh Mein Ganga Rehta Hain’ (2000), ‘Bhagam Bhag’ (2006), ‘Partner’ (2007), and ‘Rangeela Raja’ (2019).
From 2003 to 2005, he took a break from his acting career and his delayed movies were released during this time period. In his acting career, he made a few iconic jodis with his co-actors in various Hindi films. Govinda and Shakti Kapoor’s jodi ‘Raja Babu-Nandu’ became very popular with the Hindi film ‘Raja Babu’ (1994). The actors were roped in together in more than 40 Hindi films.
Similarly, Govinda-Kader Khan jodi also became very popular in Bollywood, and they acted together in 41 films.
Apart from this, Govinda-Johnny Lever jodi has worked in more than 20 films, and Govinda-Paresh Rawal jodi has worked in more than 12 films. One of the popular actor-director jodis in Bollywood is Govinda and David Dhawan. The duo has worked in many superhit Hindi comedy films together.
In 2003, Govinda made a guest appearance in the Tamil film ‘Three Roses.’
He made his Bengali debut with the 2013 film ‘Samadhi.’
In 1999, Govinda, along with his wife Sunita, appeared as a guest in the Hindi TV talk show ‘Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai’ hosted by the veteran Indian actor Suresh Oberoi. Govinda has appeared in many TV talk shows like ‘Movers & Shakers’ (2002), ‘Rendezvous with Simi Garewal’ (2003), ‘Comedy Nights with Kapil’ (2013), and ‘Mad in India’ (2014).
In 2001, he hosted the TV game show ‘Jeeto Chappar Phaad Ke’ aired on Sony TV. The show ended only after 13 episodes as the TRPs of the TV show were very low.
In 2015, he replaced the veteran Indian actor Mithun Chakraborty in the dance reality TV show ‘Dance India Dance Super Mom Season 2.’ In 2021, he hosted the Bengali dance reality TV show ‘Zee Bangla Dance Bangla Dance Season 11.’
Apart from acting, he has lent his voice to many Hindi songs. Some of his popular songs are “Gori Gori O Baanki Chhori” from ‘Shola Aur Shabnam’ (1992), and “Meri Pant Bhi Sexy” from ‘Dulaara’ (1994). In 1998, he released his first music album ‘Govinda.’ He penned down the lyrics of the song “I Love You Bol Daal” from the Hindi film ‘Haseena Maan Jaayegi’ (1999). Some of his other music albums are ‘Gori Tere Naina’ (2013) and ‘Hello’ (2022).
In 2021, he launched his music label ‘Govinda Royalles.’
Under his label, he has released music videos like ‘Tip Tip Paani Barsa’ (2021), ‘Mere Naal’ (2022), ‘Chal Na Friendship Karte Hai’ (2022), and ‘Prem Karun Chuu’ (2022).
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In 2004, Govinda joined the Indian National Congress and contested the elections in the same year. He won the Lok Sabha elections by defeating the BJP candidate Ram Naik from the North Mumbai constituency by 50,000 votes. While campaigning for the elections, he said that after winning the elections, his agenda would be better transportation, health facilities, and education. During his tenure i.e., from 2004 to 2009, he used to remain absent from the Lok Sabha for which he was criticised by the opposition party. On 20 January 2008, Govinda left politics and focused on his acting career.
He even said that he would never return to politics as it ruined his acting career. DNA India In 2019, Govinda campaigned for the BJP candidate Chainsukh Madanlal Sancheti in Malkapur, Maharashtra.
Accused of Doing Obscene Acts and Songs in the Hindi Films
In 1996, the Hindi song ‘Ek Chumma Tu Mujhko’ from the film ‘Chhote Sarkar’ was picturised on Govinda and Shilpa Shetty. The song became very popular, however, some people got offended by the lyrics of the song. In 1997, a case was for the song registered against Govinda under IPC sections 294 (obscene acts and songs), 500 (punishment for defamation), and 502 (sale of printed or engraved substance containing defamatory matter) in the Pakur district of Jharkhand (that time in Bihar). Govinda then approached the Bombay High Court over the legal issues related to the song. India Today In 2017, the Bombay High Court granted him anticipatory bail. The court said,
In the event of his arrest, he will be let out on bail immediately with a personal bond of Rs 25,000 and one surety.”
Slapped a Struggling Actor
In January 2008, while Govinda was shooting for the Hindi film ‘Money Hai Toh Honey Hai’ in Mumbai, he slapped a struggling actor named Santosh Rai on the sets of the film.
In an interview, when Govinda was asked about the same, he agreed that he slapped him as the man was coming too close to the girls there. On 5 February 2009, Santosh filed a complaint of assault against Govinda in the Borivali Magistrate Court. However, the case was ruled out in court, Rai then moved to the Supreme Court in 2014. In 2015, the Supreme Court gave the verdict in the case. The apex court said,
We enjoy your films, but cannot tolerate you slapping somebody.”
Alleged of Being Unprofessional
By 2004, Govinda made an image of being a latecomer and unprofessional. He used to remain absent from the Lok Sabha during his tenure as an MLA. He used to reach late on the sets. He received huge criticism for his unprofessional behaviour. Some Indian film producers even stopped working with him. In an interview, when he was asked about the same, he said in the initial years of his career, he used to do 5-6 shifts and would work 18 hours a day, with just 3-4 hours of sleep. He used to have a nervous breakdown and was hospitalised. So, sometimes he used to reach late on the sets of the films. He even said that it was the conspiracy of some people from Bollywood who wanted to see his downfall. The Indian Express
Rift with his Nephew Krushna Abhishek
In 2016, Govinda made headlines for his fallout with his nephew Krushna Abhishek, who is a popular Indian comedian. Thereafter, a few more public spats between the two heated the matter. To promote the 2016 Hindi film ‘Jagga Jasoos,’ Govinda, along with his wife and daughter, appeared on the comedy TV show ‘The Kapil Sharma Show’ aired on Sony. The show was the competitor show of Krushna Abhishek’s comedy TV show ‘Comedy Nights Live’ aired on Colors channel. Krushna got upset over this. When Govinda was asked about the same, he said that he was upset with Krushna over one of his dialogues in the show. During an interview, when Krushna was asked about the dialogue, he said that his joke ‘Maine Govinda ko apna mama rakha hai’ (I have kept Govinda as my uncle) was just fun and nothing serious. In 2018, the spat took a new turn when the wives of Govinda and Krushna had a fight over a tweet. Krushna’s wife Kashmera Shah had tweeted something on ‘people who dance for money.’ Govinda’s wife Sunita took it as an insult and said that she had commented it on Govinda. However, Krushna then cleared that the tweet was for Krushna’s sister Arti Singh and not Govinda. In an interview, Krushna said that he tried to clear the matter with Sunita and Govinda, but the matter remained unsolved. Later, in one of the episodes of The Kapil Sharma Show where Govinda was invited as a guest, Krushna being the main cast of the show decided to remain absent on that particular day. Later, Krushna said that he tried to get in contact with Govinda before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Krushna was upset that Govinda didn’t even visit him at the birth of Krushna’s twins. Govinda then released a statement in which he said that he visited the hospital where Krushna’s twins were admitted and talked to the nurses and doctors of the hospital. Govinda further said that Krushna and Kashmera had passed defaming remarks on him in various interviews. He even said that he would maintain a distance from Krushna and his family. During an interview, when Govinda’s wife was asked about the spat, she said,
Three years ago, I had said that things could not be resolved till I am alive. You can’t misbehave, insult or take liberties in the name of family… The issues will never get resolved and I don’t want to see his face ever again in my life.”
In 2022, in the YouTube podcast show of the Indian actor and comedian Maniesh Paul, Krushna said that he missed Govinda and with teary eyes, he apologised to him. The Indian Express A few days later, when Govinda was invited to the same show, he said that there was no need of apologising on camera.
Awards & Honours
- 1997: Special Award for Saajan Chale Sasural
- 2000: Best Comedian for Haseena Maan Jaayegi
- 2020: Special Award for Excellence in Indian Cinema Award
Zee Cine Awards
- 1998: Best Actor in a Comic Role for Dulhe Raja
- 1999: Best Actor in a Comic Role for Bade Miyan Chote Miyan
- 2000: Best Actor in a Comic Role for Haseena Maan Jaayegi
- 2008: Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Male) for Partner
- 2002: Best Comedian for Jodi No.1
- 2008: Best Comedian for Partner
- 1995: Star Screen Special Jury Award for Coolie No. 1
- 1998: Videocon Screen Best Actor (Jury) Award for Bade Miyan Chote Miyan
- 2007: Star Gold Excellent Comic Actor Award for Partner
- 2007: Most Stylish Comeback Award by MTV Lycra Style Awards for Partner
- 2008: Hiru Golden Film Award for Contribution to Asian Cinema
- 2008: Best Jodi of the Year by Apsara Film & Television Producers Guild Awards for Partner (with Salman Khan)
- 1999: World’s tenth-greatest star of stage or screen in a BBC News Online poll
- 2016: Actor of the Decade at the India Leadership Conclave in Mumbai
- Hyundai Creta
- Toyota Fortuner
- Ford Endeavor
- Mercedes C220D
Assets & Properties
- Cash: Rs 20,12,988
- Bank Deposits: Rs 3,51,97,944
- Motor Vehicles: Rs 1,40,074
- Jewellery: Rs 1,85,51,718
- Bonds, Debentures and Shares: Rs 2,94,00,100
- LIC: Rs 71,00,000
- Agricultural Land: Rs 2,10,000
- Buildings: Rs 2,43,00,000
- Residential Buildings: Rs 70,00,000
- Other Immovable Assets: Rs 20,00,000
- Food: Fried Chicken, Moong Dal, Khichdi, Bhindi
- Restaurant: Just Around The Corner in Mumbai and Ming Yang in Mumbai
- Govinda is said to have many superstitions. He was once shooting for a song for Tigmanshu Dhulia’s directorial film ‘Showman.’ While listening to the song, Govinda got the news of Salman Khan’s dog’s death. Govinda immediately asked the director to change the two lines of the song as he thought those two lines were jinxed. Later, the film’s name was also changed to ‘King Con To Showman,’ however, the film then got shelved. Hindustan Times
- Reportedly, Govinda never made payments on Thursday as he had a superstition that paying in the middle of the week would create a blockade on his income and savings. The Free Press Journal Later, when Govinda was asked about the same, he said,
Mujhe toh sab din same hi lagte hai. Maine toh kabhi aisa soacha bhi nahi.”
- It is also said that while shooting for the films, he used to get angry if anyone dressed in red colour. On the sets, he used to get his meals cooked by his Maharaj only. He is also said to carry milk of his own cattles while going on outdoor shoots. Adding to the above, he always consulted his guru before taking any decision. The Quint
- He has also changed his name to Govinda on the consultation of his astrologer. Before finalising his name, he changed his name six times. India TV News
- Govinda also goes by the name Chi Chi. APN News He is also known as ‘Virar ka Chokkra.’ NDTV
- In 1940, his father made his debut as an actor. His father then appeared in many Hindi films. They used to live in a bungalow on Carter Road, Mumbai. Govinda’s father then worked as a producer in a film which landed him into a major loss.
His father then sold the bungalow to pay the expenses and moved to Virar in Maharashtra. In an interview, while talking about it, Govinda said that his father was launched as a hero in 1940 by Mehboob Khan in the film Aurat. His father was very successful and they had a bungalow on Carter Road, till one day when his father produced a film and went into a heavy loss. His father had to sell off their bungalow and moved to Virar. He further shared that only a few people from Bollywood had helped him when his career was in a low phase. Some of such people were Mehboob Khan, Dilip Kumar, and Salman Khan.
- Before making his career as an actor, he once applied for a steward’s job at the Taj Mahal Hotel, but he was rejected due to his poor English-speaking skills. DNA India
- His mother wanted him to become a banker, but he was inclined towards acting since his teens. Earlier, he used to travel several km by train for auditions and that too without informing his mother. Later, he auditioned at the Rajshri Studios several times but got rejected.
- In the late 90s, he got an offer to portray the role of Abhimanyu in the popular mythological TV series ‘Mahabharat’ (1988). He even auditioned for a TV show, but at that time, he got an offer to appear in the Hindi film ‘Tan-Badan’ (1986), so he rejected the role of Abhimanyu. Navbharat Times
- In the initial days of his career, he once worked for 12 days continuously to complete the shooting of his film. YouTube- Lehren Retro
- In an interview, he shared that he used to copy the acting style of his elder brother in Hindi films.
- In 1994, his car met with an accident in which he got major injuries. Even then he did not cancel the shoots of his Hindi film ‘Khudaar’ and after treatment in a hospital, he returned and resumed shooting for the film. Presswire 18
- He has rejected many popular Hindi films like ‘Gadar: Ek Prem Katha’ (2001), ‘Taal’ (1999), and ‘Devdas’ (2002). MensXP
- In his leisure time, he loves to write poetries, watch films, and do meditation.
- In 2018, the video of the dancing uncle Sanjeev Shrivastava went viral on social media. He became popular for copying the dancing style of Govinda on the song “Mai Se Meena Se Na Saqi Se.” Later, Sanjeev got an opportunity to perform with Govinda on the same song in one of the TV reality shows. In an interview, while talking about Sanjeev, Govinda said,
The way he [Shrivastava] has copied my steps, he has done it so well. He is so much into it. More than half a dozen heroes have copied my steps, and nobody has done it so well! It felt like he was dancing with all his heart and having fun.”
- The Indian actor, Ranveer Singh is a die heart fan of Govinda. Ranveer has even kept Govinda’s photo as his WhatsApp DP. In an award show, celebrating Govinda’s Bollywood career, Ranveer performed on Govinda’s songs, and after his performance, he touched the feet of Govinda.
- Govinda has been featured on various magazine covers such as Filmfare, Stardust, Cine Blitz, Mayapuri, and Show Time.
- In an interview, he talked about his smoking and drinking habit. Hindustan Times He said,
Earlier I did not even touch alcohol. But now, I have become more corrupt and bitter. These days, I party, smoke, and also drink. The old Govinda was very pious. Earlier, my emotional nature came in the way of my work but today, I don’t get emotional. I deal with situations more practically and business-like.”
- On 13 September 2023, it was reported that the Odisha Economic Offences Wing (EOW) was considering questioning Govinda in connection with a Rs. 1,000 crore nationwide online Ponzi scheme associated with a company named Solar Techno Alliance (STA); STA had operated a pyramid scheme disguised as cryptocurrency investments in multiple countries. In an interview, EOW officials clarified that Govinda was not implicated in the scam; however, they expressed their intention to investigate him as he attended an STA event in Goa in July 2023 and endorsed the company in some promotional videos sometimes. The officials also stated their intention to contact anyone with even a minor connection to the company. India Today