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Karma (Hindi:कर्मा) is a 1986 Indian action film directed by Subhash Ghai and featuring an ensemble cast including Dilip Kumar, Nutan, Naseeruddin Shah, Jackie Shroff, Anil Kapoor, Poonam Dhillon, Sridevi, Dara Singh and Anupam Kher. The film reunites Subhash Ghai and Dilip Kumar after the success of their last film together Vidhaata (1982). The film also marked the first time Dilip Kumar was paired with veteran actress Nutan. The film was a huge success at the box office.

Directed bySubhash Ghai
Produced bySubhash Ghai
Written bySachin Bhowmick
Subhash Ghai
Kader Khan
StarringDilip Kumar
Naseeruddin Shah
Jackie Shroff
Anil Kapoor
Anupam Kher
Poonam Dhillon
Dara Singh
Music byLaxmikant-Pyarelal
CinematographyKamalakar Rao
Edited byWaman Bhonsle
Gurudutt Shirali
Distributed byMukta Arts Ltd.
Lousanne Films
Release date
  • 8 August 1986 (1986-08-08)
Running time
194 minutes



Rana Vishwa Pratap Singh (Dilip Kumar) is an ex-high ranking police officer who is in charge of a jail that successfully reforms criminals.

One day he is informed that the head of a major terrorist organisation (ఆర్గనైజషన్..) "Dr Dang (Anupam Kher)" has been captured and will be secretly held in his prison due to its remote location.

On arrival at the prison Dang states he expects a cell akin to a hotel room. He also makes it clear that through bribes and favours he will be released very shortly. The following day Dang assaults a prison warden during an argument about the condition of his cell. On hearing this, Singh goes to Dang's cell and slaps him, which is highly insulting in Indian culture. Dang then vows to personally take revenge on Singh.

While Singh is away, Dang's army successfully locates the prison and frees him. They then set about destroying the prison and killing everyone including Singh's family who reside nearby. However, Singh's wife is spared.

After a period of mourning, Singh decides to embark on a mission to bring Dang and his terrorist organisation to justice. Singh's plan is to train an elite unit, the members of which will be selected from death row. He believes the offer of freedom will motivate the prisoners to swap a life of crime for one of honor. The mission is approved by the Indian government and Singh successfully recruits Baiju Thakur (Jackie Shroff), Johnny/Gyaneshwar (Anil Kapoor), and a former terrorist Khairuddin Chishti (Naseeruddin Shah).

Under the guise of being forest rangers, Singh and his recruits set up base near the Indian border, where they believe Dr. Dang's compound is located. They are joined by Singh's friend Dharma (Dara Singh). Singh and his soldiers form a strong family bond during their training. Baiju and Johnny fall in love with local girls Radha (Sridevi) and Tulsi (Poonam Dhillon) and make several attempts to elope. Each time they are recaptured by Singh who firmly reminds them that they can either continue with the mission or return to death row. Khairuddin pleads with Singh to let Baiju and Johnny leave as he believes they have been reformed. Singh is not pleased and reminds Khairuddin that he granted them life on the basis that they would fight to the end. As far as he is concerned they are here to complete the mission only.

The mission takes a setback when Singh is shot by the terrorists whilst protecting his three soldiers who are locked in a nearby building. Singh is taken to a hospital and placed on life support. The three soldiers are distraught and realise they need to complete the mission for Singh. They then receive intelligence on the exact location of Dr. Dang's compound, which they successfully infiltrate. With the help of hostages (who are Indian army soldiers) who have been held captive by the terrorists, they set about destroying the compound and killing the terrorists. It soon becomes apparent that the destruction of the heavily guarded ammunition centre is the only way the terrorists organisation can be defeated. Khairuddin hatches a plan that involves driving a truck filled with explosives into the heart of the building. Baiju and Johnny argue that the plan is too dangerous and they would all be killed in the process. However, Khairuddin wants to sacrifice himself so that his friends can enjoy their new-found freedom. Baiju and Johnny are forcibly removed off the truck by Khairuddin, who then goes on to destroy the ammunition centre at the cost of his life. Johnny and Baiju return to the main compound and kill the remaining terrorists, bringing the battle to its conclusion. Singh, having made a swift recovery, joins the battle and kills Dr. Dang thus completing the mission.

The two surviving soldiers are awarded bravery medals and a posthumous award is granted to Khairuddin. Singh and the two soldiers form a long-lasting friendship.


Actor Role Other
Dilip Kumar Rana Vishwa Pratap Singh/Dada Thakur
Nutan Rukmani V.P. Singh Dada Thakur's Wife
Naseeruddin Shah Khairuddin Chishti
Anil Kapoor Jonny/Gayaneshwar
Jackie Shroff Baiju Thakur
Dara Singh Dharma Dada Thakur's Friend
Poonam Dhillon Tulsi Jonny's Love Interest
Sridevi Radha Baiju's Love Interest
Kishori Shahane Khairuddin's Wife
Anupam Kher Dr. Michael Dang The Main Antagonist
Shakti Kapoor Jagga/Jolly Dharma's younger brother
Tom Alter Rexon Dr. Dang's Henchman
Manik Irani Goon Dr. Dang's Henchman
Satyanarayana Kaikala Kittam Kittu Radha's Uncle
Bindu Chachi Tulsi's Aunt
Sharat Saxena Local Goon Chachi's Man
Shammi Mausi Dharma's Aunt
C.S. Dubey Villager
Satish Kaul Sunil Pratap Singh Dada Thakur's Eldest Son
Beena Sunil's Wife
Shashi Puri Anil Pratap Singh Dada Thakur's 2nd Son
Jugal Hansraj Dada Thakur's youngest son (child artist)
Mukri Chotte Khan Policeman in Dada Thakur's Jail
Viju Khote Police Man
Vinod Nagpal Minister Tripathi
Dan Dhanoa Indian Army officer In BSO's prison
Subhash Ghai Pedestrian with bicycle on his shoulder Special Appearance


# Title Singer(s)
1 "Karma" (Introduction) Dilip Kumar
2 "Mera Karma Tu" Manhar Udhas, Mohammad Aziz, Suresh Wadkar
3 "Aye Watan Tere Liye" Mohammad Aziz, Kavita Krishnamurthy
4 "Aye Sanam Tere Liye" Dilip Kumar, Mohammad Aziz, Kavita Krishnamurthy
5 "Maine Rab Se Tujhe" Manhar Udhas, Anuradha Paudwal
6 "De Daru" Kishore Kumar, Mahendra Kapoor, Manhar Udhas
7 "Na Jaiyo Pardes" Kishore Kumar, Kavita Krishnamurthy
8 "Aye Mohabbat Teri Dastan" Anuradha Paudwal

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