This Bollywood superstar was once a 'true blue' Naxal but left that life to act in films, leading the highest-grossing Indian film ever.
If today, a young film actor would admit to having Naxal ties, that may very well be the end of their career. But there is a huge Bollywood star, who was an active Naxalite before he ventured into films. This was over half a century ago though and the said star cut all ties with the Naxals, restarting their life. The name of that actor, you ask. It’s Mithun Chakraborty.
Mithun Chakraborty’s early life and Naxal links
Mithun was born Gouranga Chakraborty in Calcutta in 1950. He studied at Oriental Seminary and then went to college at Scottish Church College. It was in his early 20s that he developed Naxal leanings. As per reports, Mithun became a ‘true blue’ Naxalite. During his days as a Naxalite, Mithun became friends with popular Naxal leader Ravi Ranjan aka Bhaa. A Zee News report recalls the actor talking about his links with Baa in the early 1970s.
Why Mithun Chakraborty left Naxalites
Mithun was on course to living the Naxal life. But it was a personal tragedy that averted it. In the mid-1970s, Mithun lost his older brother in an accident. It was then that the young Gouranga decided to return to his family. In an old interaction, the actor had claimed that not many comrades were happy with his decision and they saw him as a ‘deserter’. However, despite the obvious risk to his life, he left that old life.
Mithun Chakraborty, the film star
A few years later, Mithun graduated from the Film and Television Institute of India, following which he made his film debut with Mrinal Sen’s Mrigayaa, for which he won the National Award for Best Actor. He continued playing supporting roles in big films before finding fame with the 1978 hit Mere Rakshak. However, it was the 1982 blockbuster Disco Dancer that firmly established him in Bollywood. The film grossed Rs 100 crore worldwide, breaking Sholay’s record to become the highest-grossing Indian film of all time. It would hold that record for a decade before Hum Aapke Hain Kaun surpassed it.