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Govinda Wiki, Height, Age, Wife, Children, Family, Biography & More


Govinda

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.

Wiki/Biography

Govinda aka Govind Arun Ahuja 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.

Govinda's childhood picture

Govinda’s childhood picture

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.  While he was in college, he used to participate in various theatre plays.

Govinda performing in his college theatre play

Govinda performing in his college theatre play

Physical Appearance

Height: 5′ 8″

Weight (approx.): 80 kg

Hair Colour: Black

Eye Colour: Brown

Govinda

Family

His family hails from Gujranwala, Pakistan.  His paternal grandmother was Sindhi, and his grandfather was Punjabi.

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. 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.

Govinda's father

Govinda’s father

A childhood picture of Govinda (sitting in the right corner) with his mother and siblings

A childhood picture of Govinda (sitting in the right corner) with his mother and siblings

Govinda with his mother and brother

Govinda with his mother and brother

Govinda's sister Pushpa Ahuja and nephew Vinay Anand

Govinda’s sister Pushpa Ahuja and nephew Vinay Anand

Govinda with his sister Kamini Khanna

Govinda with his sister Kamini Khanna

In 1996, Govinda’s mother passed away. He was very close to his mother and used to worship her like God. In an interview, while talking about his mother’s demise, he said,

My mother died in 1996. She had once got hurt in 1993 and from then on only, I started doing Mahamrityunjaya Jaap for her and did them 60 lakh times. I was in Paris shooting ‘Hero No. 1’ and was at the peak of my career, but while shooting, I started crying on the streets. Some foreigners came and asked me why I was crying and I said, ‘My mom is not well.’ I knew she was going to die and the next day, I lost her. I cried so much that I tore 36 tissues of my chest and stomach and had to be hospitalised. I was not prepared and did not know how to live without her. I really struggled, but God helped me. Mummy had given me a Guru Mantra with the help of which I got okay and could come out of depression and I got to understand many things. Today, I feel she has come into me.”

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.

An old photo of Govinda with his wife and daughter

An old photo of Govinda with his wife and daughter

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.

Govinda with his daughter

Govinda with his daughter

Govinda with his son

Govinda with his son

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. Talking about the matter, 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.”

A photo of Govinda and Sunita when they got married for the second time in 2014

A photo of Govinda and Sunita when they got married for the second time in 2014

During an interview, when Govinda was asked about his relationship with his wife since their marriage, he said,

I used to hug my mother and would never sleep without pressing her feet. Sometimes I would be so tired that while pressing her feet only, I would go off to sleep there. My mom and Sunita also have so many times given me a sponge bath in my sleep when I was tired. Sunita ne itna jhela hai mujhe. She would always surprise me by praising me and respecting me too much. As her husband, I feel sad that being a star wife, I could not give her what she deserved in her youth as a star wife. I didn’t make her roam around and enjoy as much as I should have. And I always say sorry to her. But I am lucky that we are both still young. What she likes the most about me is my honesty and she knows that my love for her that I had from the beginning still remains and has its own place.”

Other Relative(s)

The renowned Indian musician Lachhu Maharaj was Govinda’s maternal uncle. The Indian assistant director Anand Singh was his maternal uncle.

Govinda's family

Govinda’s family

The Indian comedian Krushna Abhishek is the son of Govinda’s sister Padma Sharma. Krushna is married to the Indian model and actor Kashmeera Shah.

Govinda with his nephew Krushna Abhishek

Govinda with his nephew Krushna Abhishek

Govinda is the maternal uncle of the Indian TV actress Arti Singh, who is the daughter of Padma Sharma.

Govinda with his niece Arti Singh

Govinda with his niece Arti Singh

The Indian TV actress Ragini Khanna is the niece of Govinda and daughter of Govinda’s sister Kamini Khanna.

Govinda with his niece Ragini Khanna

Govinda with his niece Ragini Khanna

Govinda is the maternal uncle of the Indian actor Vinay Anand, who is the son of Govinda’s sister Pushpa Anand.

Govinda with his nephew Vinay Anand

Govinda with his nephew Vinay Anand

Relationships/Affairs

Neelam Kothari

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,

I remember the first time I met her. At Pranlal Mehta’s office. She was wearing white shorts. Her long hair falling straight, like an angel’s. ‘Hello’ she said politely, and I was scared to reply because my knowledge of English was embarrassing. It still is. And I wondered how I would communicate with her on the sets. I had never imagined I would work with her. She was a distant dream. I had seen her in ‘Jawani’, and seen the film again and again only to see her. I was very conscious of her. Of the difference in our backgrounds and upbringing. But gradually, we crossed these obstacles, and I started opening up. I would play pranks, crack jokes and she would laugh. We became friends. And we had so many films together. We met so often and the more I got to know her, the more I liked her. There was dignity in her. A kind of piousness in her eyes. And strength of character. There was no vulgarity about her, no loudness. She was the kind of woman any man would have lost his heart to. I lost mine.”

The duo was then cast together in 14 more 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, while talking about the same, Govinda said,

I would tell Sunita to change herself and become like Neelam. I would tell her to learn from her. I was merciless. Sunita would get irritated. She would tell me, You fell in love with me because of what I am, don’t ever try to change me. But I was so confused. I didn’t know what to own.”

Govinda with his ex-girlfriend Neelam

Govinda with his ex-girlfriend 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. During an interview, Govinda talked about it, he said,

After I started getting busier, my relationship with Sunita went through a change. She began feeling insecure and jealous. And I was of no help. She would nag me and I would lose my temper. We had constant fights. In one of those fights, Sunita said something about Neelam, and I lost my head and called it quits. I asked Sunita to leave me. I broke off my engagement with her. And had Sunita not called me after five days and coaxed me into it again, I would probably have married 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. In an interview, while talking about it, Govinda said,

Yes, I wanted to marry her. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I feel love and hatred are two emotions over which a man has no control. If you love somebody and they reciprocate, there’s nothing one can do about it. It is instinctive. My dad was very keen that I marry Neelam. He was very fond of her. She had even visited him with her family. Yes, she had come to Virar. Actually, I took her and her mother to see my father. And he was very happy. But my mother thought differently. She felt that since I had given my word to Sunita, I must honour it. And I knew that if I didn’t do it, it would hurt her. And for me, no relationship can be more important than my mother. Her happiness will always be my primary concern.”

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. During an interview, while talking about the same, Govinda said,

She wanted an intelligent, well-to-do, good-looking man as a husband. And I was anything but that. She belonged to the upper strata and I was a dehati, coming from a lower-middle-class family. We were poles apart in every way. We probably would never have been successful as a married couple. And maybe, Neelam realised that.”

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.  In an interview, while talking about Neelam, Govinda said,

Neither did Neelam know about it. She got to know only after a year. I probably did not tell her because I did not want to break this successful screen pair. And to be honest, to a certain extent, I did exploit my personal relationship with Neelam for professional ends. I played dirty with her. I should have told her that I was married.”

Rani Mukerji

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.

Govinda with the Indian actress Rani Mukerji

Govinda with the Indian actress Rani Mukerji

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 said,

The press has always assumed that any heroine who works with Govinda in three or four films is having an affair with him. I am not the first one to be linked with him. I know just one thing that it’s difficult to find a nice friend, a hamdard like Govinda.”

Later, Govinda cleared all the misunderstandings with his wife Sunita.

Address

105, Jal Darshan, A Wing, Ruia Park Road, Juhu, Mumbai– 400049

Govinda's bungalow

Govinda’s bungalow

Autograph

Govinda's autograph

Govinda’s autograph

Career

At the age of 13, Govinda started a small restaurant ‘Govinda in Virar’ to support his family financially. However, the restaurant failed and was shut down.

Model

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, CWE, and Rupa Frontline.

 

Film

Hindi

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. He said,

I decided that I would struggle for getting an acting project for only 6 months otherwise I would do a bank job. My brother taught acting in Roshan Taneja sahab’s institute. I was such a mama’s boy that no one imagined that I could come into the film line. She wanted me to do a bank job. It was my dad who encouraged me to come into films. He would say, ‘You can write so well, you look so nice, you can act, you should try in films. Why are you going around finding a job?’ So sometimes, without telling my mom, I would go to Rajshri Productions to see if I could get some work. Then one day, I requested mummy to allow me. She said, ‘No sharab, no cigarette. If you want to try for sometime, try, but I don’t want to see those things in life.’ I was very lucky. I went to acting institute and Roshan Tanejaji did not take the fees from me, Saroj Khanji taught me dance but did not charge me, Ram fight master taught me how to fight but did not charge me, as they all loved me seeing my work. I became a hero within a year at 21.”

Hindi film 'Love 86'

Hindi film ‘Love 86’

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).

'Jaisi Karni Waisi Bharnii' (1989)

‘Jaisi Karni Waisi Bharnii’ (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).

'Raja Babu' (1994)

‘Raja Babu’ (1994)

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).

'Aunty No. 1' (1998)

‘Aunty No. 1’ (1998)

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 collage of Govinda's characters from the film 'Hadh Kar Di Aapne'

A collage of Govinda’s characters from the film ‘Hadh Kar Di Aapne’

A scene from the film ‘Hadh Kar Di Aapne’ where he played different characters in a TV structure also became very popular.

A collage of Govinda's TV scene from the film 'Hadh Kar Di Aapne'

A collage of Govinda’s TV scene from the film ‘Hadh Kar Di Aapne’

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).

'Jis Desh Mein Ganga Rehta Hain' (2000)

‘Jis Desh Mein Ganga Rehta Hain’ (2000)

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.

Govinda and Shakti Kapoor in Raja Babu

Govinda and Shakti Kapoor in Raja Babu

Similarly, Govinda-Kader Khan jodi also became very popular in Bollywood, and they acted together in 41 films.

Govinda with Kader Khan in one of their films

Govinda with Kader Khan in one of their 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.

Govinda and David Dhawan

Govinda and David Dhawan

Other Languages

In 2003, Govinda made a guest appearance in the Tamil film ‘Three Roses.’

Tamil film ‘Three Roses'

Tamil film ‘Three Roses’

He made his Bengali debut with the 2013 film ‘Samadhi.’

‘Samadhi' (2013)

‘Samadhi’ (2013)

Television

Guest

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).

Govinda in 'Mad in India’ (2014)

Govinda in ‘Mad in India’ (2014)

Host/Judge

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.

‘Jeeto Chappar Phaad Ke’ TV show

‘Jeeto Chappar Phaad Ke’ TV show

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.’

Singer

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 “I Love You Bol Daal” song in the Hindi film ‘Haseena Maan Jaayegi’ (1999). Some of his other music albums are ‘Gori Tere Naina’ (2013) and ‘Hello’ (2022).

Gori Tere Naina (2013)

Gori Tere Naina (2013)

Music Video

In 2021, he launched his music label ‘Govinda Royalles.’

Govinda Royalles

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).

Politician

In 2004, Govinda joined the Indian National Congress and contested the elections in the same year. He won the elections by defeating the BJP candidate Ram Naik from the North Mumbai constituency by 50,000 votes. From 2004 to 2009, he was elected to the Lok Sabha. 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 as MP, 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. During an interview, while talking about the same, he said,

I believe that it has to do with the fact that my films were not promoted that well and I had wasted a lot of time in politics. I had put on a lot of weight during that time. When I decided to make a comeback in films, it became very difficult to lose that weight, but still I tried my best. I am working very hard, but all the years that I have wasted in politics are taking a toll on my career. Some of the films that I have done are lying in the cans and I hope that they are released soon.”

He even said that he would never return to politics as it ruined his acting career. In 2019, Govinda campaigned for the BJP candidate Chainsukh Madanlal Sancheti in Malkapur, Maharashtra.

Govinda campaigning for BJP

Govinda campaigning for BJP

Controversies

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. In court, Govinda said,

The case has been registered only to humiliate and malign my reputation by having him arrested. I acted in the film and I was not a lyricist or the writer of the song. The lyrics or content of the song were not at all defamatory or obscene and there was no intention of defaming any community, cast, region, sect or society.”

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 said,

Yes, I slapped him. The guy was trying to get too close to the girls. I felt that I had to take a stand.”

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 the apex court, Santosh said,

I come to Mumbai to become an actor, and felt very humiliated when I was slapped by Govinda.”

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.”

He was even asked to apologise to Santosh and settle the matter out of court with a compensation of Rs 5 lakh. In the court, Govinda said that he respected the court’s decision.

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,

I used to do 5-6 shifts and would work 18 hours a day, with just 3-4 hours of sleep. I had a nervous breakdown twice and had to be hospitalised. Producers would be standing outside the hospital waiting for me. People are not sensitive or interested in your problems, they just want to do business with you. I have had a lot of tragedies in my house, so while I may have looked fit, inside I was going through a lot. But I knew that even if I was late, I needed to be in the right frame of mind, mentally and physically. There were also times when a producer may have gone to meet his girlfriend, but put the reason for delay on me. Dilip Kumar sahab was the only person in the film industry who could understand my problem. He was sensitive and could see that I was not okay and advised me to do comedy and yoga. My comedy films started working and like he had said, to a large extent, comedy helped me get out of my emotional problems. When I became a big star, there were times when I was late, but there were also times when I came on time and no one reported. There were people working towards getting me out of films by using the media to build my reputation as a latecomer. I too tried to manipulate the media, but finally people who were against me succeeded and by 2004, I had acquired a bad reputation of being a latecomer and had joined politics.”

He even said that it was the conspiracy of some people from Bollywood who wanted to see his downfall.

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. In an interview, while talking about the same, Krushna said,

Somehow our dates didn’t seem to match. I messaged him again four days ago, but to my shock, I learnt that he and his wife were shooting with Kapil on Wednesday. I was aghast as I expected him to support his nephew.”

When Govinda was asked about the same, he said that he was upset with Krushna over one of his dialogues in the show. In an interview, while talking about it, Govinda said,

Krushna has been making money by insulting others on television. I was extremely upset with the ‘Mama rakha hai’ remark and summoned him home. I told him that he should refrain from making such statements in the garb of gags as they could be humiliating. But Sunita told me to let him work and I relented as that’s how he is making money. I am used to reading good, bad and ugly things about myself, but it’s annoying to have a family member making a personal interaction public. That’s unacceptable. I can’t trust him anymore.”

During an interview, when Krushna was asked about the dialogue, he said,

I cracked a joke saying ‘Maine Govinda ko apna mama rakha hai’ (I have kept Govinda as my uncle) on my show, which did not go down well with him. I tried to reason with him saying that it wasn’t in bad taste. In fact, it only raises my status by calling him my mama. It wasn’t derogatory at all. I have no qualms on being addressed as Govinda’s nephew; it is like my second identity. A star is free to go on other shows, but being family, I expected him to come to my show first. He is behaving like a superstar now and not my Chi Chi mama.”

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. In an interview, Sunita said,

All was well until Kashmera had the audacity to slyly write rubbish about us on social media, soon after that appearance. She referred to us as ‘People who dance for money’ in that post. Even if we were paid for that appearance, it was none of her business. Almost every Bollywood celebrity charges for appearances on TV shows. Plus, she is not the one who paid us. I don’t know if she has deleted that post now, but most of our relatives and family friends read it back then.”

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. In an interview, when Krushna was asked about the same, he said,

I learnt about Chi Chi mama coming on the show around 10 days ago. Since Sunita mami wasn’t accompanying him, the team thought that I would have no qualms performing. However, the incident has left a bad taste in my mouth. Last year, she didn’t want me to perform in front of them, but this time, I had reservations.”

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. During an interview, Krushna said,

They didn’t even come to see my twins in the hospital, not even when one of them was fighting for his life. I did call him, but there was no response. How long can I keep trying to resolve our issues, which is based on a silly misunderstanding! Of course, it hurts, but if he doesn’t want to see me, I, too, don’t want to meet him. Ab toh sirf Kapil hi issues resolve kar sakta hai hamaare beech ke. Jab mama agli baar aaye toh mujhe bula le stage par aur sab ke saamne sulah karne bole. However, we don’t repeat celebrities so easily. So, I guess this might happen only in 2021.”

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. A few lines from his statement reads,

It was erroneously alleged by Krushna that I did not go to see his twins. I along with my family went to see his twins in the hospital and met the doctor (Doctor Awasthi) and the nurse taking care of them. However, the nurse told me that the mother of the kids – Kashmira Shah never wanted any of the family members to come and see the surrogate babies. Upon further insistence, we were made to see the babies from a long distance. We returned with a heavy heart, however, I strongly feel that Krushna does not know of this incident. One can feel free to connect with the doctor and the nurse on the same and get to know the truth. Krushna also came to our home with the kids and Aarti Singh, which he has forgotten to mention in the statement (sic).”

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. A few days later, when Govinda was invited to the same show, he said,

I want him to talk to me directly instead of saying it on camera. Gustakhi apse ya kisi or k dwara krai jaae, chahe wo dialogue wirter ne like ho ya aap k dil se ho. Kabhi isey publicity k lie use na krey. Meri behn k aage usk bchey khi bhi na aa sktey. Mai nhi chahta ki meri wjh se ap dukhi ho. Ap dono bht achey bchey ho. Meri trf se apko hmesha mafi hai. Work Hard and God Bless You!”

Awards, Honours, Achievements

Awards

Filmfare Awards

  • 1997: Special Award for Saajan Chale Sasural
  • 2000: Best Comedian for Haseena Maan Jaayegi
  • 2020: Special Award for Excellence in Indian Cinema Award
    Govinda on receiving an award

    Govinda on receiving an 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

IIFA Awards

  • 2002: Best Comedian for Jodi No.1
  • 2008: Best Comedian for Partner

Other Awards

  • 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)

Honours

  • 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

Car Collection

Assets & Properties

Movable Assets

  • 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

Immovable Assets

  • 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

Note: The given estimates of movable and immovable assets are according to the year 2004.

Salary/Income

In 2021, his annual income was calculated as around Rs 10-12 crores, and in the same year, he charged Rs 5-6 crores per film and 2 crores per advertisement.

Net Worth

In 2021, his net worth was estimated worth Rs 170 crore.

Favourites

  • Food: Fried Chicken, Moong Dal, Khichdi, Bhindi
  • Restaurant: Just Around The Corner in Mumbai and Ming Yang in Mumbai

Superstitions

  • 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.
  • 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. 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 hin Maharaj only. He is also said to carry milk of his own while going on outdoor shoots. Adding to the above, he always consulted his guru before taking any decision.
  • He has also changed his name to Govinda on the consultation of his astrologer. Before finalising his name, he changed his name six times. He said,

    I changed my name to Govinda because I believed in numerology and wanted the number 27, which adds up to nine.”

Facts/Trivia

  • Govinda also goes by the name Chi Chi. He is also known as ‘Virar ka Chokkra.’
  • 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.
    An old bungalow of Govinda at Karthar Road, Mumbai

    An old bungalow of Govinda at Karthar Road, Mumbai

    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,

    My dad Arun was launched as a hero in 1940 by Mehboob Khan sahab in Aurat. We are originally from Gujranwala in Pakistan. My father was very successful and we had a bungalow on Carter Road, till one day when he produced a film and went into a heavy loss. We had to sell off our bungalow and moved to Virar. My dad’s nervous system had got shaken up and for about 15 years, he remained unwell. I have four sisters and an older brother, Kirti. When my mother was expecting me, she turned into a sadhu. She lived with my father in the same house, but the life of a sadhu. So for a year after I was born, my daddy did not take me in his lap, as he connected my birth with him losing his wife to becoming a sadhu. But over time, people would tell him how I was a khoobsurat kid and that I was a good boy and then, he started loving me. Also, our financial condition was not good at that time. The baniya used to make me stand for hours because he knew I wouldn’t pay for the goods. Once I refused to go to the shop anymore. My mother started crying and I cried with her.”

    An old home of Govinda in Virar

    An old home of Govinda in Virar

    A vegetable shop in Virar from where Govinda used to buy vegetables

    A vegetable shop in Virar from where Govinda used to buy vegetables

    He further shared that only a few people from Bollywood had helped him when his career was in a low phase. He said,

    There are no friends in the industry. But what is important is who has given you saath. And he is bigger than a friend. I feel that film line jaisi bhi ho, yeh saath deti hai. Mehboob Khan sahab, Dilip Kumarji and Salman Khan ne mera saath diya. I like Salman and I like him because woh badi hi imaandari se saath deta hai.”

  • 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.
  • 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 Rajashri 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 the 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.
  • In the initial days of his career, he once worked for 12 days continuously to complete the shooting of his film.
  • In an interview, he shared that he used to copy the acting style of his elder brother in Hindi films.
  • He is trained in an Indian classical dance form.
  • 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.
  • He has rejected many popular Hindi films like ‘Gadar: Ek Prem Katha’ (2001), ‘Taal’ (1999), and ‘Devdas’ (2002).
  • In his leisure time, he loves to write poetries, watch films, and do meditation.
  • Govinda follows a non-vegetarian diet.
  • 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, as a tribute to Govinda, 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.
    Govinda featured on Filmfare magazine cover

    Govinda featured on Filmfare magazine cover

  • In an interview, he talked about his smoking and drinking habit. 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.”

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