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Nagma Biography

Nagma Biography
Nagma


Nandita Morarji or Namratha Sadanah better known as Nagma was born on 25 December 1974 and she is an Indian actress of Bollywood, Tollywood and Kollywood. At her peak in the 1990s, The Hindu states that she "dominated Tamil cinema". Born of a Muslim mother and a Hindu father on Christmas Day, she began her acting career in Bollywood and acted in a few movies but shifted south before returning to Mumbai. Although sometimes listed in film credits as Naghma, she should not to be confused with an earlier actress who went by the same stage name - that mistake is made in her listing on the Internet Movie Database website. Nagma has acted in a broad range of India's languages: Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Bengali, Bhojpuri, Punjabi, and now Marathi.

Nagma's biological father was Sri Arvind Pratapsinh Morarji, who was involved in the textile industry. Her mother is Seema Sadhana, who married Morarji in 1972, separating only "a few years later". According to Nagma's passport, the name given to her at birth was Nandita, and it is by that name that she was referred to in an obituary printed by the family when her father, Arvind Morarji, died. After divorcing Morarji "due to some family problems," Nagma's mother later married Chander Sadanah, a film producer, with whom she had two other daughters, Jyothika (who is a Kollywood actress) and Radhika, who also acted in a Tamil movie, as well as a son named Suraj. Through her biological father, who later re-married, Nagma has two more half-brothers, Dhanraj and Yuvraj.

Nagma remained close to her biological father up until his death on 1 January 2006. She explained to one Mumbai reporter that: "I am proud of the fact that I belong to the respectable Dharamsinh Morarji family. My mother was legally married to Arvind Morarji at a public function at Radio Club at Colaba." It was Nagma's mother who encouraged her to become an actress, and is said to have been her "constant companion on the film sets" for several years. Nagma has a clothing boutique on Mumbai's Hill Road called Nagma's, which was inaugurated in September 2003 by Akshay Kumar.

Nagma told Mid-Day in 2006 that "I am not hell-bent on getting married. ... Unless you are dead sure about your guy, you shouldn't get married. ... Marriage is an institution I would like to get into, but only if I find the perfect man.".

Acting career

Nagma's debut film Baaghi: A Rebel for Love was Bollywood's seventh highest grossing film in 1990; Along with Karisma Kapoor, she was also one of the female leads in 1994's Suhaag with Ajay devgan& Akshay kumar which did well at the box office. Following these films, she moved south to star in Telugu and Tamil movies at the behest of her friend Divya Bharti. Later explaining her shift south, she cited not only what she considers the higher quality of the work, but also stated that "I did what was best then! I was a girl with a Muslim name and the Shiv Sena was slowly raising its head." She became a major star in the south and remained so for much of the 1990s, at least until 1997.

Her Telugu films include 1993's Gharana Mogudu with Chiranjeevi, Allari alludu with Nagarjuna_Akkineni and Major Chandrakanth with NTR and Mohan Babu. Her Tamil films include Baasha with Rajnikanth and 1994's Kadhalan with Prabhu Deva.

After moving back to Mumbai, she told an interviewer in 2001 that "The pressure of being the number one actress in Tamil cinema was getting to me. I was unhappy with the kind of films I was doing. I couldn't do the kind of work I wanted to because I had to go by the dictates of what the audience expected of a much-in-demand actress. I was stagnating so I decided to take a break." Again based in Bollywood, she focused on supporting roles in films like 2000's Chal Mere Bhai, which reunited her with former costars Karisma Kapoor, Salman Khan and Sanjay Dutt. Within a year, Nagma enrolled in the spriritually-oriented Art of Living course, eventually teaching it herself in Mumbai and elsewhere. While based in Mumbai, she continued to work in some Telugu and Tamil movies, such as Allari Ramudu and Citizen, as well as taking leading roles in some Malayalam films.

Nagma was "a prominent campaigner for the Congress party... on the election trail for the party in Bihar and Jharkhand." She is quoted on the front page of the Telegraph as asking at the time "Why were the reports made public when I have just returned from successful political campaigning in Jharkhand?"

Nagma has acted in Bhojpuri movies, including films with the "Big Boss" reality show participant Ravi Kishan, with whom she was also linked romantically in real life. She won a Best Actress award at the 2005 Bhojpuri Film Awards for her performance in Dulha Milal Dildar. In 2006's Ganga, she starred as Ganga opposite Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malini. When asked why she shifted to Bhojpuri films, she stated that "I wanted to do films in different languages. I have already done movies in 10 languages. My first Bhojpuri film 'Panditji Bataayina Biyaah Kab Hoii' was a huge hit. After that the offers poured in and they were too good to be ignored." When interviewed by The Hindu in Delhi in April 2007, she also indicated that another important reason for her decision to focus on Bhojpuri films was to help with her political campaigning. In 2006, she made her Punjabi film debut, starring alongside Raj Babbar in Ek Jind Ek Jaan.

Discussing her career in a Mid-Day interview in September 2006, Nagma said "I have learnt nine languages, so I want to do films in all languages. ... On the Hindi film front, I am in the process of signing a very big period thriller. I am getting to do a variety of roles with content, so I am satisfied." While noting her commitment to complete several Bhojpuri films she is currently involved with, in March 2007, she expressed her intention to next focus on returning to Hindi films after wrapping up her current projects. In her 2007 Hindustan Times interview, in which she discusses her future plans for cinema and politics, Nagma responded to a question about her reputation for controversy by saying: "You need guts to deal with controversies. Of course, whether it’s for negative or positive reasons, I’ve always been in the news."

Politics

A vocal supporter of India's Congress Party, in 2007 Nagma was recommended for an Andhra Pradesh Rajya Sabha seat. She had been a key star campaigner for the Congress Party in Andhra Pradesh during the April 2004 elections. She had only formally become a member of the Congress Party in Hyderabad earlier that same month, reportedly citing its 'commitment towards secularism and welfare of the poor and weaker sections' as her reason for joining. She is said to have been earlier courted by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which an Indo-Asian News Service report said "had even indicated that she might be fielded [as a BJP candidate] from Hyderabad" in the same election. Nagma has elsewhere been cited as saying that she first supported the Congress Party because of her admiration for Rajiv Gandhi. In a 2006 interview, aptly titled "Nagma the Survivor," she made a direct link between her family history and her political activism: "My mom is Muslim and my dad is Hindu. We were brought up to respect all religions. Communal riots pained me. I wanted to do something. So I joined politics." In the same interview, she also notes that she turned down an offer to run for India's Lok Sabha because of her film career: "If I wanted to become a member of Parliament I would need to give 100 per cent to my constituency -- which I could not at that point of time." However, in an interview with the Hindustan Times in 2007, she said "politics will continue and so will my acting. Mind you, I’m an actress first. I want to act till my dying day." Govinda, who continues to film movies while a member of the Lok Sabha.

Perhaps mindful of her nascent political career, Nagma has said that she medidates daily and considers herself to be "a very God-loving person." In line with her own family's mixed religious background, she has stated that she has read the Qur'an, Bhagavad Gita, and Bible. "Since I was spiritually inclined I read a lot of books in that genre. I also started practicing meditation. I was teaching Art of Living for nearly 12 years. But Jesus continued to intrigue me. Since one of my aunties was a Christian, I kept urging her to tell me more about Christ. In the year 2000, in one such discussion, I said my salvation prayer.While reading the New Testament, I realized the importance of baptism and also of joining a church. Therefore, I immediately joined Pastor Shekhar Kalyanpur’s New Life Fellowship in Juhu, Mumbai. I took baptism on Jan 4. Since 2007 was a year of rest I decided to take a break from films and continued my Bible study fervently".


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