Raja Hindustani

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Raja Hindustani (English: Raja, the Indian) is a 1996 Indian Hindi-language romantic drama film directed by Dharmesh Darshan. It tells the story of a cab driver from a small town who falls in love with a rich young woman.[1] Aamir Khan and Karisma Kapoor play the lead roles. Released on 15 November 1996, it is a remake of the 1965 film Jab Jab Phool Khile, starring Shashi Kapoor and Nanda.[2] The film's music was composed by Nadeem-Shravan, with lyrics by Sameer.[3] It went on to win five Filmfare Awards, including the awards for Best film and Best Actors,[4] and seven Screen Awards.[5]

Raja Hindustani was the third most commercially successful Hindi film of the 1990s.[6] Made on a budget of 57.5 million, the film went on to gross 763.4 million worldwide,[7] becoming the highest-grossing film of the year,[8] and the third highest-grossing film of the 1990s at the Indian box office.[6] The film's music became popular and was successful, especially in the central and eastern states of India.[9] Karisma Kapoor was complimented for her looks and performance as Aarti: a rich, beautiful, sensitive, young woman full of dreams and desires.[10] She won the Filmfare Best Actress Award for her role.[10] The film was remade in Kannada as Naanu Naane in 2002, starring Upendra and Sakshi Shivanand in lead roles.


Raja Hindustani (Aamir Khan) is a young man who works as a taxi-driver/tourist guide. He lives by his own simple code and is prone to violence when that code is violated. Aarti Sehgal (Karisma Kapoor) is a wealthy debutante who is seeking to connect with her past. Standing in the way of their love are a disapproving father and a stepmother bent on obtaining total control of the family assets.

Mr. Sehgal (Suresh Oberoi) lives with his daughter, Aarti, and her stepmother Shalini (Archana Puran Singh) in a grand palatial home. Aarti decides to go for a vacation to a small hill station town named Palankhet to discover the memories of her deceased mother. Upon arrival, she finds out she has no transportation from the airport to Palankhet, and so she hires the services of the only available driver, Raja Hindustani.

During her stay in Palankhet, Aarti and Raja bond and ultimately fall in love. One day, to Aarti's surprise, her father arrives in Palankhet and intends to take her home with him. Aarthi tells her father about Raja, but Mr. Sehgal says that he will only accept the marriage on the condition that Raja goes to Mumbai and learns to become a respectable member of society. Raja refuses and forces Aarti to make a decision. Aarti chooses Raja, but begs for her father's blessings. Her father refuses to offer his blessings and leaves for Mumbai.

After some time, Mr. Sehgal forgives his daughter and visits her in Palankhet. While there, he gives his daughter and son-in-law a new house. Raja refuses to live in the house because he does not see it as a gift, but rather as charity, since he is poor and Mr. Sehgal is rich. Shalini, her brother, Swaraj (Pramod Moutho), and her nephew Jai (Mohnish Behl) seek to exploit this conflict to gain total control of Mr. Sehgal's assets. Under the pretext of a birthday party, they bring Raja and Aarti to Mumbai and set in motion events that cause Aarti and Raja to separate.

Aarti realises that she is pregnant, but, due to health problems, the doctor advises her not to travel. Instead, her stepmother is asked to go to Palankhet to inform Raja about his baby and to request him to come to Mumbai. However, Aarti's stepmother tells Raja that Aarti wants to divorce him. Raja refuses. After some time, Raja learns that Aarti has had a baby and is under the impression that she intends to keep him from the child. Fearing that he will never be allowed to see his baby, he decides to kidnap the child. Distraught, Aarti goes to see Raja and begs him to let her have their child back. Ultimately, the lies and deception of Aarti's stepmother are revealed, and Aarti and Raja reunite.



Juhi Chawla was first offered the lead actress role, but she refused.[11] Pooja Bhatt and Aishwarya Rai were also among those actresses who were considered for the role.[12] Palankhet was a fictional location created for the film, and is a portmanteau of two real hill stations' names: Palampur and Ranikhet.[12]


Critical Response[edit]

Film critic Anupama Chopra, while reviewing Raja Hindustani for India Today wrote, "the film is disappointingly dated but Darshan scores with his music-catchy Pardesi, pardesi — and with his leading lady, Karisma."[13] She went on to praise Kapoor's performance saying, "Karisma looks stunning and acts surprisingly well. She is the lifeblood of this otherwise banal film."[13]

Box office[edit]

Raja Hindustani earned 871.5 million worldwide,[14] including a domestic gross of 738.4 million. Its domestic nett was 431.5 million, which adjusted inflation is equivalent to 3.94 billion.[7]

Box Office India declared it an "All time blockbuster".[15][16][17] It was the third highest-grossing film of the 1990s at the Indian box office, after Hum Aapke Hain Koun (1994) and Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995).[6] Adjusted for inflation, Raja Hindustani is the fourth highest-grossing film in India since the 1990s.[18]


Raja Hindustani
Studio album by Nadeem Shravan
GenreFeature film soundtrack
ProducerNadeem Shravan
Nadeem Shravan chronology
Raja Hindustani

The soundtrack was composed by Nadeem-Shravan. Planet Bollywood ranks the film's soundtrack at 56 in its all-time top 100 greatest Bollywood soundtracks.[19]

It consisted of tracks like "Kitna Pyara Tujhe Rab Ne" (which is translated from the Punjabi song "Kinna Sohna Tenu Rab Ne Banaya" by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan), "Aaye Ho Meri Zindagi Mein", which had become an immensely popular wedding song, and Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik's "Pardesi Pardesi", which was a major chartbuster at the time and which also led to the film's success. Udit Narayan won his 3rd Film Fare Best Playback Singer for this song. The album became the best selling Bollywood soundtrack of the year by a wide margin.[20]

Aniket Joshi of Planet Bollywood gave the album a rating of 9.5 out of 10 stating, "Raja Hindustani is a must for lovers of good ever lasting melody."[21] The soundtrack album sold 11 million copies and is one of the best-selling Bollywood soundtrack albums of all time.[20] It was the third best selling album of the 1990s after Aashiqui and Dil To Pagal Hai.[20]

Alka Yagnik considers "Poochho Zara Poocho" as one of the best songs she ever rendered. The song has been copied by many a composer since. Anand-Milind lifted the tune in the "tumse dil lagane ki sazaa hai" part of the song and used it in the song "Mausam Ki Tarah Tum Bhi Badal To Na Jaaoge" from Jaanwar (1999). Both songs were picturised on Karisma Kapoor and had in common, singer and lyricist: Alka Yagnik and Sameer. The director of the later movie is Suneel Darshan, who is elder sibling to Dharmesh Darshan.

Again, the same portion of the song was copied by Himesh Reshammiya in the "Tujhe apna dil dene ka hai mazaa" part of the song "Pyaar Kar" from the movie Humraaz (2002).

Track list[edit]

Track # Title Singer(s) Length
1 "Poocho Zara Poocho" Alka Yagnik, Kumar Sanu 06:12
2 "Aaye Ho Meri Zindagi Mein" (Male) Udit Narayan 06:02
3 "Aaye Ho Meri Zindagi Mein" (Female) Alka Yagnik 06:02
4 "Kitna Pyaara Tujhe Rab Ne" Alka Yagnik, Udit Narayan 06:20
5 "Pardesi Pardesi" (I) Alka Yagnik, Udit Narayan, Sapna Awasthi 07:31
6 "Pardesi Pardesi" (II) Alka Yagnik, Kumar Sanu 08:19
7 "Tere Ishq Mein Nachenge" Kumar Sanu, Alisha Chinai, Sapna Mukherjee 08:14
8 "Pardesi Pardesi" (Sad) Suresh Wadkar, Bela Sulakhe, Udit Narayan 02:40


Award Category Nominee Result
Filmfare Awards Best Film Cineyug Won
Best Actor Aamir Khan Won
Best Actress Karisma Kapoor Won
Best Music Director Nadeem-Shravan Won
Best Male Playback Singer Udit Narayan for "Pardesi Pardesi" Won
Best Director Dharmesh Darshan Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Archana Puran Singh Nominated
Best Performance in a Comic Role Johnny Lever Nominated
Navneet Nishan Nominated
Best Lyricist Sameer for "Pardesi Pardesi" Nominated
Best Female Playback Singer Alka Yagnik for "Pardesi Pardesi" Nominated
Screen Awards Best Film Cineyug Won
Best Director Dharmesh Darshan Won
Best Actor Aamir Khan Won
Best Comedian Johnny Lever Won
Best Music Director Nadeem-Shravan Won
Best Male Playback Singer Udit Narayan for "Aaye Ho Meri Zindagi Mein" Won
Best Screenplay Robin Bhatt Won

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ghura, Pritika (13 February 2014). "5 Lessons of Love from Bollywood". The Times of India. p. 5. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  2. ^ Chowdhury, Nandita (31 December 1996). "Charisma takes over". India Today. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  3. ^ PTI (5 February 2012). "I miss music director duo Nadeem-Shravan: Sameer". The Times of India. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  4. ^ "Best Film award winners down the years". Filmfare. 31 December 2015. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  5. ^ "Screen Awards Winners 1996". Screen India. Archived from the original on 17 January 2002. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  6. ^ a b c "Top Hits 1990-1999 - - Box Office India". Boxofficeindia.com. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Raja Hindustani — Movie — Box Office India". boxofficeindia.com. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  8. ^ "Top Hits 1996 - Box Office India". Boxofficeindia.com. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  9. ^ "19 Years of Raja Hindustani: 5 unforgettable songs from Aamir-Karisma's blockbuster". India TV News. 15 November 2015. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  10. ^ a b N, Patcy (1 December 2011). "Best of the Kapoors III: Karisma, Kareena, Ranbir". Rediff. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  11. ^ "Juhi Chawla: Thought industry will shut down without me". The Indian Express. Mumbai. 3 March 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  12. ^ a b Daniels, Christina (2012). I'll Do It My Way: The Incredible Journey Of Aamir Khan. Om Books International. p. 91. ISBN 978-93-80069-22-7.
  13. ^ a b Chopra, Anupama (15 December 1996). "Movie review: Raja Hindustani,". India Today. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  14. ^ "Top Lifetime Grossers 1990–1999 (Figures in Ind Rs)". Boxofficeindia.com. Archived from the original on 31 December 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
  15. ^ "Top Lifetime Inflation Adjusted Grossers Worldwide (IND Rs)". Box Office India. Archived from the original on 6 October 2013. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  16. ^ Nikhat Kazmi. "Box Office: With Rs 200cr in kitty, 'Ghajini' rewrites records". The Times of India. Retrieved 12 January 2009.
  17. ^ "Top Lifetime Grossers 1990-1999 (Figures in Ind Rs)". Box Office India. Archived from the original on 14 October 2013. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  18. ^ "Top Hits All Time". Box Office India. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  19. ^ Lall, Randy. "100 Greatest Bollywood Soundtracks Ever Features". Planet Bollywood. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  20. ^ a b c "Music Hits 1990-1999 (Figures in Units)". Box Office India. 22 January 2009. Archived from the original on 15 February 2008. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  21. ^ Joshi, Aniket. "Raja Hindustani Music Review". Planet Bollywood. Retrieved 17 October 2011.

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