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Raj Babbar

Raj Babbar emerged on Bollywood scene with a role of chillingly suave rapist in the blockbuster Insaf Ka Tarazoo.

india Updated: Apr 13, 2004 15:07 IST

Raj Babbar emerged on Bollywood scene with a role of chillingly suave rapist in the blockbuster Insaf Ka Tarazoo. With eyes glinting and steely determination writ large on his face, Hindi cinema saw its first and the arguably the most dynamic and dashing anti-hero.

From a red-eyed rapist of the 1980 super hit flick to a political savvy member of parliament, Raj Babar has come a long way. Babbar represents the constituency of Agra, Uttar Pradesh in the 13th Lok Sabha.

Born to Kaushal Kumar and Shobha Rani on 23 June 1952 in UP's Agra district, Raj Babbar graduated in theatre. He also studied at Delhi reputed National School of Drama. He married to Nadira on November 21, 1975. After working in more than 150 movies and 30 plays, the star decided to foray into the active politics.

A champion of secular ideology, Babbar joined Samajwadi Party in early 90s and was nominated to Rajya Sabha in 1994. There he worked in various committees including Home Affairs; Consultative Committee, Ministry of Civil Aviation.

In the party, he quickly rose through the ranks and hogged limelight for offering a political platform to the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi--"the most neglected political family of this country."

However, resentment grew within the Samajwadi Party against what its rank and file called the "gang of four". Mulayam Singh Yadav's proximity to the SP member of the Rajya Sabha and industrialist Sanjay Dalmia; Yadav's PR manager Amitabh Adhar, Amar Singh and Raj Babbar caused much heartburn among senior SP leaders.

However, SP leadership showed its faith in Babbar and fielded him in Lucknow constituency against BJP heavyweight AB Vajpayee in 1996 Lok Sabha election. Babbar, however, lost the electoral battle.

In 1999, he contested the Agra constituency and defeated his nearest rival BS Rawat of BJP by a margin of more than 1, 10,000 votes.

Meanwhile, Babbar expanded his area of interest and ventured into social service and associated himself with organisations for prevention of AIDS, drug addiction and those helping the handicapped and the mentally retarded. A staunch proponent of secular ideology, Babbar contributed Rs 2 million to the victims of communal carnage in Gujarat.

First Published: Mar 20, 2004 19:00 IST