M. K. Raina

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M. K. Raina
M.K. Raina, theatre actor and director.jpg
M. K. Raina, at IGNCA, Delhi
Maharaj Krishna Raina

1948 (age 70–71)
Other namesMK
Years active1969–present
AwardsSangeet Natak Akademi Award - Direction 1995

Maharaj Krishna Raina, popularly known as M. K. Raina, is one of India's best-known theatre actors and directors. M. K. Raina graduated from National School of Drama in 1970 with Best actor award. Since 1972, he has been freelance theater worker and film person, working all over India in many languages and with many traditional forms.

Early life[edit]

Maharaj Krishna Raina was born in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India.[1] Maharaj completed his college in Srinagar and then moved to NSD in Delhi on a state scholarship.[2] Raina, born into a Kashmiri Pandit family, comes from a family background of doctors and engineers. His father was a political activist this influenced Raina into social activism.[3]

Career and work[edit]

Theatre and drama[edit]

After graduating from the National School of Drama in 1970, Raina commenced on his work in Indian parallel cinema 27 Down, in which he also plays the lead role of "Sanjay". He has produced over 130 plays in 13 languages.[2] His association with the rural and urban theater across the country has developed into a unique style, where both forms blend together and yet are rich with contemporary meaning and significance.

As an actor, he has worked in more than a hundred plays. He has directed several memorable productions like Kabira Khada Bazar Mein, Karmawali, Lower Depths, Pari Kukh, Kabhi Na Chooden Khet and The Mother; Andha Yug, which he directed, was performed in Berlin and the Festival of India in the USSR. He also produced Jasma Odan at Hawaii University in 1986. Shri Raina has conducted many theatre workshops and acted and directed in a number of feature films, including 27 Down, Satah Se Uthta Aadmi, Ek Ruka Hua Faisla, Tamas, Titli, Genesis, Tarang, Ankur Maina aur Kabootar, etc.

He has been making documentary films for many years. His latest documentary, Sacred Dances at Hemis Festival has been made for Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts.

Cultural activist[edit]

Besides being a practicing actor/director in theater and media, he is known also as a cultural activist. Raina believes that culture is a counterpoint to the violence and terrorism around us.[2]


He has received the Sanskriti Samman in 1980, the Sahitya Kala Parishad Award in 1981, Best Director of the year by West Bengal Government 1982 and the Best Director's award of Punjabi Akademi, Delhi in 1987.

M. K. Raina received the Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 1995 [4] and the Swarna Padak from the Govt. of Jammu and Kashmir in 1996 for his contribution to Indian Theater.

He was also awarded one of India's highest theatre awards, the B. V. Karanth award for lifetime achievement in 2007.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Raina is married to a doctor and has two children, a son and a daughter.



  1. ^ Encyclopedia of Asian Theatre. Greenwood. Retrieved 2007-03-25. RAINA, MAHARAJ KRISHNA (1 948-). Indian Hindi-language actor and director of stage and screen, born in Srinagar, Kashmir. He studied at New Delhi's National School of Drama, earning the school's best actor award at his 1970 graduation.
  2. ^ a b c Delhi, Metro Plus (15 April 2002). "'Slow trotter' going places ..." www.hindu.com. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
  3. ^ "Slow trotter, going places ..." www.hindu.com. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
  4. ^ "SNA: List of Akademi Awardees". Sangeet Natak Akademi Official website. Archived from the original on 17 February 2012.
  5. ^ "Visiting artists, M.K. Raina". Stanford.com. October 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2012.

External links[edit]