Gajendra Singh Chauhan known professionally as Gajendra Chauhan, is a former television actor known for his work on Indian television, especially his portrayal of Yudhishthira in the historical television series Mahabharat (1988–90). He has also had significant roles in a few B movies, and a larger number of cameo appearances in other films. In 2015, he was appointed chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), which sparked controversy and opposition by FTII students, leading to his resignation in October 2017. He is appointed Vice-chancellor of Pandit Lakhmi Chand State University of Performing and Visual Arts in 2021.[4]

Gajendra Chauhan
Chauhan in 2010
Born (1956-10-10) 10 October 1956 (age 67)[1]
Delhi, India
Alma materAll India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)
OccupationActor
Years active1984–present
Political partyBharatiya Janta Party
SpouseHabiba Rehman[2][3]

Early life

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Gajendra was born on 10 October 1956, Delhi in a Rajput family. He did a diploma in radiography from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) before he moved to Mumbai to pursue a career in acting.[5] There he studied acting in the school run by Roshan Taneja, who had previously taught at FTII.[6]

Acting career

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Chauhan's acting career spans over 35 years, and by his own count, he has worked in 600 television series and almost 150 movies during that period.[7][8] His first break as an actor was in television series Paying Guest in 1983, and he went on to act in shows such as Rajni, Air Hostess and Adalat.[9] The first acting part in a film that he did was in Main Chup Nahi Rahoongi in 1986.[6] In reviews of his film career, Times of India and Firstpost wrote that he had played significant roles only in a few "C-grade" movies, with most of his other roles being cameo appearances, a few of which were in mainstream movie.[10][11]

Mahabharat

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Chauhan was initially offered to play the role of Lord Krishna in the television series, and shot for two episodes of the series in this role.[12] However filming for the first series was delayed, and Chauhan moved south to take on new work.[12] Upon his return, Chauhan had put on weight and was considered unsuitable for the role of Krishna. He was later offered the role of Yudhishthira, which went on to being the role he has become better known by.[12]

Administration and politics

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Chauhan has also been involved in the administration of Cinema and Television Artists Association for 20 years, and served as its president for a year.[7][13] In 2004 Chauhan entered politics,[8] and became a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), for which he has worked as the national convener for culture.[7][14]

Controversies

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On 9 June 2015, Chauhan was appointed as the Chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII).[15] His appointment proved to be controversial amid allegations by students that it was a blatant attempt to "saffronize the institute".[15] A section of left-wing students association, including All India Students Association (AISA) (the student wing of the Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) Liberation) continue to agitate.[16] Chauhan requested the students to give him a year to prove himself, and insisted that he would be better than the previous chairpersons.[17]

Among those who have supported Chauhan's appointment as FTII chairman are BJP supporters and politicians including Mukesh Khanna,[18] Paresh Rawal, Hema Malini, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, and Paintal.[13][19][20] Many more including FTII alumni and former teachers, actors, film technicians, filmmakers, journalists and political leaders have opposed his appointment, prominent among whom include Ranbir Kapoor, Kalki Koechlin, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Anupam Kher, Piyush Mishra, Anand Patwardhan, Kiran Rao, Jahnu Barua, Salman Khan, Rishi Kapoor,[21][22][23] Resul Pookutty,[24] Rajkummar Rao, Amol Palekar,[25] Soumitra Chatterjee,[26] Rahul Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal[27] and Rana Ayyub.[28]

Filmography

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Film

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Year Title Role
1985 Main Chup Nahi Rahungi
Lallu Ram Sub Inspector
1986 Jungle Love
1989 Khuli Khidki Avinash
Awara Zindagi
1991 Vasna
Dancer Joshi
Jungle Ki Rani
Naagmani
1992 Jungle Ka Beta
Jawani Janeman
Dilwale Kabhi Na Hare Shibu
1993 Aakanksha Vinod Pandey
Mulaquat Balraj
Khoon Ka Sindoor Minister Ashwini Kumar
1994 Watan
Jai Maa Vaishno Devi
Pathreela Raasta
Janam Se Pehle
Vaade Iraade
Mohini Gandharv
Sone Ki Sita
Aao Pyaar Karen Suraj
1995 Hum Sab Chor Hain Police Commissioner
Kaala Sach
Reshma
1996 Himmatvar Inspector Patil
1997 Uff! Yeh Mohabbat Umang Usgaonkar
Vishwavidhaata Mukesh Mathur
Dharma Karma Police Inspector
Police Station
Bhayaanak Panja
1999 International Khiladi Rahul's Father
Inteqam Aurat Ka
Hogi Pyaar Ki Jeet Arjun Singh
Dil Ka Sauda
2000 Billa No. 786 Virendra Singh (Pinky's dad)
Aaj Ka Ravan ACP Rathod
Tapish
Saamri
Mechanic Mamaiah (Telugu)
Yeh Hai Prem Janjaal
2001 Rupa Rani Ramkali
Gumnam Hai Koi Vinod Kumar Tripathi
Arjun Devaa Virendra Choudhry
2002 Tumko Na Bhool Paayenge Ex-Armyman
2003 Andaaz Mr. Sahay
Parwana Ganesh fest dancer/singer
Baghban Car salesman
2004 Pati Ho To Aisa
2005 Dhadkanein Ravi Malhotra
Barsaat Arav's Father
2006 Mere Jeevan Saathi
2010 Isi Life Mein Nareshchand
2011 Elaan
2012 Nakshatra Sharma
2013 Mahabharat Aur Barbareek Yudhisthra
2014 Kahin Hai Mera Pyar Priya's father
2016 1920: London Tantrik Baba
2018 Ik Onkar Chief Minister
2019 Maa Purnagiri
Gunwali Dulhaniya Mr. Rathore
2022 Sher Gujjar Narayan; Ravinder's father
Antaryatri Mahapurush- The Walking God Mallappa Ji
2024 695

Television

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Year Serial Role Channel Notes
1986 Bahadur Shah Zafar Tatya Tope (Episode 8 & Episode 9) DD National
1989–1990 Mahabharat Maharaj Yudhishthir
1993 Kanoon Chandra Saxena DD Metro 14 episodes
1994–2001 Zee Horror Show 1994 Saaya 11 Episodes/1995 Aatma 4 Episodes/1996 Jaal 6 Episodes/1998 Junoon 3 Episodes/ 1999 Vapsi 2 Episodes/Murti 3 Episodes/2000 Raat 2 Episodes. Zee TV
1997 Ghar Jamai Sidhu Singh Special Appearance only in Episode no 20
1997 Om Namah Shivay Maharaj Karthaveeryarjun
2000 Shree Ganesh Parvat Raj Himalay
2000 Noorjahan DD National
2001 Aane Wala Pal DD Metro
Dushman
Jaane Anjaane[29] Prannath Vashisht DD National
2002 Ramayan Dasharath Zee TV
2005–2006 Sarkarr:Rishton Ki Ankahi Kahani
2007 Meri Doli Tere Angana Mahendra
2007–2008 Raavan Maharaj Dasharath
2008–2009 Naaginn Naagdev
2012 Shobha Somnath Ki
Kya Hua Tera Vaada Mr. Chopra Sony Entertainment Television
2013 Adaalat Colonel Desai & Justice Sharma
2017 Sankatmochan Mahabali Hanuman Sumant
2018 Danga The Riot[30] Shyama Prasad Mukherjee

References

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  1. ^ https://www.aajtak.in/topic/gajendra-chauhan
  2. ^ "गजेंद्र चौहान से संजय दत्त तक: मुसलमान हैं इन एक्टर्स की पत्नी, जानिए किसके हैं कितने बच्चे". jansatta.com (in Hindi). 23 July 2021. Retrieved 17 December 2023.
  3. ^ D N Indujaa (10 October 2022). "Happy birthday to the veteran Actor Gajendra Chauhan's!!!". indiaherald.com. Retrieved 17 December 2023.
  4. ^ "Gajendra Chauhan appointed V-C of Rohtak's varsity of performing arts". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  5. ^ "Gajendra Chauhan has political clout, but no star power". business-standard.com. Business Standard. 20 June 2015. Archived from the original on 13 July 2015. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
  6. ^ a b Ghosh, Paramita (20 June 2015). "My favourite film is 3 Idiots: Gajendra Chauhan, FTII chairman". hindustantimes.com. Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 15 July 2015. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  7. ^ a b c "'I don't believe my credentials are bad…Let me perform,' says Gajendra Chauhan". The Indian Express. 18 June 2015. Archived from the original on 10 July 2015. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  8. ^ a b Sharma, Suruchi. "I'm 600 serials old now: Gajendra Chauhan". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 29 July 2015. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  9. ^ "No one wants an ordinary man to occupy a big position". The Telegraph. 21 June 2015. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
  10. ^ "Gajendra Chauhan: A 34-year veteran of C-grade exploits", Times of India, 11 July 2015, archived from the original on 13 July 2015, retrieved 13 July 2015
  11. ^ Ramakrishnan, Swetha (17 June 2015). "A career in forgettable cameos: Here is FTII chairman Gajendra Chauhan's filmography". Firstpost.
  12. ^ a b c Sharma, Suruchi (6 February 2012). "I'm 600 series old now: Gajendra Chauhan". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 29 July 2015. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  13. ^ a b "Yes, I have done adult films. But nobody is talking about my good films". rediff.com. Rediff Movies. 30 June 2015. Archived from the original on 10 July 2015. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  14. ^ "Protests at Film Institute in Pune After Actor-BJP Member Gajendra Chauhan is Appointed Chief". ndtv.com. NDTV. 13 June 2015. Archived from the original on 6 July 2015. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  15. ^ a b Joshi, Yogesh (13 June 2015). "Mahabharat actor as FTII prez sparks students' protest over BJP link". hindustantimes.com. Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 22 June 2015. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  16. ^ ANI (16 June 2015). "AISA protests against Gajendra Chauhan's appointment as FTII chief". Business Standard India. Business Standard. Archived from the original on 12 July 2015. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  17. ^ Kumar, Anij (18 June 2015). "I am a self-made man". thehindu.com. The Hindu. Archived from the original on 11 October 2020. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  18. ^ "Students willing for talks, ministry still backs choice". The Times of India. 10 July 2015. Archived from the original on 23 December 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  19. ^ "Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore defends Gajendra Chauhan's selection as FTII chief". mid-day.com. Mid-Day. 11 July 2015. Archived from the original on 12 July 2015. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  20. ^ PTI (10 July 2015). "Gajendra Chauhan chosen over icons as he could devote more time". indianexpress.com. Indian Express. Archived from the original on 11 July 2015. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  21. ^ "FTII row: Top Bollywood personalities join chorus against Gajendra Chauhan". indiatoday.com. India Today. 9 July 2015. Archived from the original on 11 July 2015. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  22. ^ Venugopal, Vasudha (11 July 2015). "Amitabh Bachchan could've been FTII chairman, but Modi govt ignored I&B list and selected Gajendra Chauhan". economictimes.com. The Economic Times. Archived from the original on 13 July 2015. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  23. ^ "It is nothing to be happy or dissatisfied about: Jahnu Barua on Gajendra Chauhan's appointment as FTII chairman". ibnlive.com. IBN Live. 14 June 2015. Archived from the original on 17 July 2015. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  24. ^ "Resul Pookutty on FTII Controversy: Gajendra Chauhan Cannot Inspire Students". NDTV. 2 July 2015. Archived from the original on 28 July 2015. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
  25. ^ "Rajkummar Rao, Amol Palekar demand Chauhan's removal". Business Standard. 11 July 2015. Archived from the original on 17 July 2015. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
  26. ^ "'Gajendra Chauhan Who?': Veteran Actor Soumitra Chatterjee Backs FTII Protests". NDTV. 3 August 2015. Archived from the original on 6 August 2015. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
  27. ^ "After Salman Khan and Rahul Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal speaks up against Gajendra Chauhan". DNA. 5 August 2015. Archived from the original on 8 August 2015. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
  28. ^ Ayyub, Rana. "Opinion: Open Letter to Gajendra Chauhan from a Former Film Student". NDTV.com. Archived from the original on 20 August 2019. Retrieved 27 October 2020.
  29. ^ "Watch out for more on the father-son rift". Retrieved 7 October 2001.
  30. ^ Bhowmik, Milan (27 April 2018), Danga the Riot (Drama, History), retrieved 28 February 2022
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