Subhash Ghai

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Subhash Ghai
Ghai in 2007
Born (1945-01-24) 24 January 1945 (age 78)
Alma materFilm and Television Institute of India
  • Director
  • producer
  • screenwriter
  • actor
  • lyricist
  • music director
Years active1967–present
Mukta Ghai
(m. 1970)

Subhash Ghai (born 24 January 1945) is an Indian film director, producer, actor, lyricist, music director and screenwriter, known for his works predominantly in Hindi cinema. He was one of the most prominent and successful filmmakers of Hindi cinema throughout 80s and 90s.[2] His most notable works include Kalicharan (1976), Vishwanath (1978), Karz (1980), Hero (1983), Vidhaata (1982), Meri Jung (1985), Karma (1986), Ram Lakhan (1989), Saudagar (1991), Khalnayak (1993), Pardes (1997) and Taal (1999).[3]

In 1982, he started Mukta Arts Private Limited which, in 2000, became a public company, with Subhash Ghai as its executive chairman. In 2006, he received the National Film Award for Best Film on Other Social Issues for producing the social problem film Iqbal. The same year he founded the Whistling Woods International film and media institution in Mumbai.[4] In 2015, he received the IIFA Award for Outstanding Contribution to Indian Cinema.[5] His films are known for their iconic characters, grand and epic sets and climaxes, and themes of divine justice or duty. The vast majority of his movies are considered iconic or classics by most Indians, leading to their immense popularity on Television and YouTube.

Early life[edit]

Born in Nagpur, India, Subhash Ghai's father was a dentist in Delhi. Ghai graduated in commerce from Rohtak, Haryana, and then went to pursue graduation in Cinema from the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune.[6]


In an interview with Rajya Sabha TV, Ghai recounted that after passing out from FTII, he came to Bombay, but was not allowed to enter any studio as he was unknown. He then read self help books like Dale Carnegie's How to Win friends and influence people, and used techniques given in it to help him try and enter the film industry. At the same time, he learnt of and entered a United Producers Filmfare talent contest. Of the 5,000 participants, three people were selected in it, he, Rajesh Khanna and Dheeraj Kumar. While Khanna received a role soon after, Ghai received a role a year later.[citation needed]

Ghai started his career in Hindi cinema as an actor with small roles in films including Taqdeer (1967) and Aradhana (1969). He was the male lead in the 1970s Umang and Gumraah.[1] His directorial debut was the action thriller Kalicharan (1976) which he obtained through a recommendation by Shatrughan Sinha.

In the 1980s and 1990s, he formed a successful collaboration with Dilip Kumar whom he directed in Vidhaata (1982), Karma (1986) and Saudagar (1991), the latter for which he won his first and only Filmfare Award for Best Director.[citation needed] He introduced Jackie Shroff as a leading actor in the action romance Hero (1983) and helped establish Anil Kapoor's rising career with the legal drama Meri Jung (1985). He went on to frequently work with Shroff and Kapoor, casting them together in the films Karma (1986), Ram Lakhan (1989) and Trimurti (1995), the latter which he had produced and it was directed by Mukul S. Anand. His action crime film Khalnayak starring Sanjay Dutt, Madhuri Dixit and Shroff featured the hit songs "Nayak Nahin Khalnayak Hu Main" and the controversial "Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai".

In 1997, he directed the musical romance Pardes which starred Shahrukh Khan and newcomers Mahima Chaudhry and Apoorva Agnihotri. In 1999, he directed the musical romantic drama Taal which starred Aishwarya Rai, Akshaye Khanna and Anil Kapoor. Both Pardes and Taal were released internationally. His following films were Yaadein (2001) and Kisna (2005). He then took a break from directing and turned producer with films including Aitraaz (2004), Iqbal (2005), 36 China Town (2006) and Apna Sapna Money Money (2006). In 2006, he set up his own film institute Whistling Woods International in Mumbai.[7] The institute trains students in filmmaking: production, direction, cinematography, acting, animation. Ghai has done brief cameos in his directorial ventures.

After a three-year hiatus from directing, he returned in 2008 with Black & White released on 7 March 2008 and, later Yuvvraaj released in November 2008 with collaboration Yash Singhaniya (award-winning journalist and writer). which did not perform well at the box office.[citation needed] A. R. Rahman stated in an interview that Ghai had asked him to use the words "Jai Ho" in a song.[8] Although intended for Yuvraaj, the song resulted in Jai Ho!, featured in Slumdog Millionaire (2008) and won the Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 81st Academy Awards.

At the Cannes International Film Festival in May 2018, Ghai announced that he is co-producing a biopic on Osho Rajneesh along with an Italian production house. The movie would be directed by Lakshen Sucameli.[9][10][11]

As of 2016, he has written and directed a total of 16 movies.


Currently, he is also on the Board of Advisors of India's International Movement to Unite Nations (I.I.M.U.N.).[12]


Year Award Category Film
1992 Filmfare Awards Best Director Saudagar
1998 Best Screenplay Pardes
2022 Lifetime Achievement Award
2006 National Awards Best Film on Other Social Issues Iqbal
2015 IIFA Awards Lifetime Achievement Award
Business World Pioneering contribution in the field of Cinema Exhibition
2017 Screen Awards Lifetime Achievement Award
Amar Ujala Lifetime Excellence
2018 Economic Times-Edge Iconic Brand of Indian Cinema
2019 1st Diorama International Film Festival & Market Lifetime Achievement Award
2022 The FilmFare Award Lifetime Achievement Award


Year Film Role
1969 Aradhana Flight Lieutenant Prakash
1970 Umang Supporting actor
1973 Sherni Actor (Punjabi film)
1975 Naatak Actor (Negative role)
1976 Kalicharan Writer, Director
1978 Vishwanath Writer, Director
1979 Gautam Govinda Writer, Director
1980 Karz Writer, Director & Producer
1981 Krodhi Writer, Director
1982 Vidhaata Writer, Director
1983 Hero Writer, Director & Producer
1985 Meri Jung Writer & Director
1986 Karma Writer, Director & Producer
1989 Ram Lakhan Writer, Director & Producer
1991 Saudagar Writer, Director & Producer
1993 Khalnayak Writer, Director & Producer
1995 Trimurti Producer
1997 Pardes Director & Producer
1999 Taal Writer, Director & Producer
2001 Yaadein Writer, Director & Producer
Rahul Producer
2003 Ek Aur Ek Gyarah Producer
Joggers' Park Producer
2004 Aitraaz Producer
2005 Kisna: The Warrior Poet Writer, Director & Producer
Iqbal Producer
2006 36 China Town Producer
Shaadi Se Pehle Executive Producer
Apna Sapna Money Money Producer
2007 Good Boy, Bad Boy Producer
2008 Black & White Writer, Director & Producer
Yuvvraaj Writer, Director & Producer
2009 Paying Guests Producer
2010 Right Yaa Wrong Producer
2011 Love Express Producer
Cycle Kick Producer
Naukadubi (Bengali) Producer
Kashmakash Producer
2013 Samhita (film) Producer
2014 Double Di Trouble Producer
Kaanchi: The Unbreakable Writer, Director & Producer
Nimbehuli Producer, Kannada Film[13]
2015 Hero Producer
2022 36 Farmhouse Producer, writer

Personal life[edit]

In 1970, Ghai married a woman from Pune named Rehana, later known as Mukta. Today, he lives in Mumbai with his wife, Mukta Ghai and daughters, Meghna Ghai Puri and Muskaan Ghai. Meghna Ghai Puri is the President of Whistling Woods International Institute.[14]


In 2018, Subhash Ghai was accused of sexual assault by an anonymous woman. The victim, who used to be an assistant of Subash Ghai alleged that he raped her at Fariyas hotel, Lonavala after spiking her drinks with drugs. No Criminal case or FIR was registered in this matter while Ghai denied it strongly, calling it false. [15] [16][17]


  1. ^ a b "Profile – Mukta Arts". Mukta Arts. 14 February 2008. Archived from the original on 14 February 2008..
  2. ^ "Subhash Ghai delivers 24th film as a silver jubilee hit; '36 Farmhouse' continues to break records on OTT". The Times of India. 17 July 2022.
  3. ^ "53rd National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  4. ^ "Directorate of Film Festival". Archived from the original on 15 August 2016.
  5. ^ "Showman Subhash Ghai to receive IIFA Lifetime Achievement award 2015". 28 May 2015.
  6. ^ "Mukta Arts >> Board of Directors". Mukta Arts. Archived from the original on 13 April 2015. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  7. ^ Subhash Ghai unveils dream project IndiaFM, Monday, 27 March 2006.
  8. ^ “Subhash Ghai is the one who asked me...”, The Times of India, 24 February 2009.
  9. ^ "After Wild Wild Country, Subhash Ghai announces a film on Osho". Hindustan Times. 16 May 2018. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  10. ^ "Subhash Ghai's biopic on Osho would be different from Wild Wild Country, asserts filmmaker | Bollywood News". 6 June 2018. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  11. ^ "Subhash Ghai to produce international biopic on Osho Rajneesh". The Times of India. 17 May 2018. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  12. ^ "I.I.M.U.N. || Board of Advisors". Retrieved 17 July 2021.
  13. ^ "Subhash Ghai's Kannada film". Rediff. 11 October 2011. Retrieved 16 June 2020.
  14. ^ "Board of Directors".
  15. ^ "Filmmaker Subhash Ghai accused of drugging, raping woman". Hindustan Times. 11 October 2018. Retrieved 2 December 2022.
  16. ^ "Subhash Ghai drugged and raped me: Woman recounts horrific experience". India Today. 11 October 2018. Retrieved 16 December 2022.
  17. ^ "Deeply pained by allegations says Subhash Ghai". NDTV.

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