By Line: Shivendra Pandey
Kirron Kher is an amazing Indian theatre, film and television actress and a TV talk show host. She was born on 14th June 1955 in Mumbai to Jatt Sikh parents, and brought up in Chandigarh, Punjab, where she did her schooling and later college from Panjab University, Chandigarh.
She was named ‘Kiran’ by her parents and her full name was ‘Kiran Thakar Singh.’ During the period of her first marriage to Gautam Berry, she was known as ‘Kiran Berry.’ When she married Anupam Kher, she resumed her maiden name and also added her latest husband’s surname, being known as ‘Kiran Thakar Singh Kher.’ In later life, she developed a firm belief in numerology, and in 2003 (aged 48), she changed her name from “Kiran” to “Kirron” based on numerological calculations, dropped her maiden names, and came to be known as ‘Kirron Kher.’
Kiran Kher made her film debut in 1983 in the Punjabi feature film Aasra Pyar Da, After this, she took a hiatus from films until 1996. Between 1983 and 1996, she appeared in one film, Pestonjee (1987), in which she acted in a small role alongside her second husband Anupam Kher.
Her comeback film was by Sardari Begum directed by Shyam Benegal in 1996, which won her the Special Jury Award at the 1997 National Film Awards.
In 2002, Kirron appeared in Devdas, alongside Shahrukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit and Aishwarya Rai, and was nominated for the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award.
Despite playing mostly supporting roles, her successful movies include Main Hoon Na (2004), Hum Tum (2004), Veer-Zaara (2004), and Mangal Pandey: The Rising (2005), where her performance drew rave reviews. Her work in Rang De Basanti (2006) was a huge hit and her performance got her second nomination for the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award. Her role in Fanaa (2006) and Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006) also received appreciation. Adding to her list of comical roles in 2008 she appeared in Singh is Kinng, Saas Bahu Aur, and Dostana. In 2009, she appeared as a judge on India’s Got Talent, the Indian franchise of the Got Talent series.
Kirron Kher has been involved with non-profit movements such as Laadli (a campaign against female infanticide) and Roko Cancer (a campaign for awareness of cancer). She joined the Bhartiya Janata Party in 2009. She campaigned for the party in across the country during the elections, including in Chandigarh for the 2011 municipal corporation elections. She has been a vocal admirer of BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi since long before his candidature was announced. Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) declared her as the Lok Sabha candidate from Chandigarh for General Election, 2014. Subsequently, in May 2014, she won the seat with 1,91,362 votes, defeating sitting MP, Congress leader Pawan Bansal who received 1,21,720 votes.
Kirron Kher, the BJP candidate, won in 2019 Indian General elections against Congress party candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal in Chandigarh constituency by a margin of 46,970 votes.
As a Member of Parliament from Chandigarh and having a connection with the film industry, Kirron promised a film city for Chandigarh. After winning the seat, she said that she had difficulty in acquiring land in Chandigarh. However, her proposal was accepted by the Chandigarh Administration and the film city is proposed to be set up in Sarangpur, Chandigarh.