Raj Babbar is an Indian actor-turned-politician belonging to the Indian National Congress party. He has been a three-time member of the Lok Sabha and a two-time member of the Rajya Sabha of the Indian Parliament. He is currently the state president of the Congress party in Uttar Pradesh.
Babbar was born to a Sikh family near Agra in Uttar Pradesh on 23 June, 1952. His parents are Kaushal Kumar and Shobha Rani. He did his schooling from Faiz-e-Aam Inter College in Agra and graduated from Agra College in Uttar Pradesh. Raj Babbar married Nadira Zaheer and the couple have two children, Arya and Juhi Babbar. Nadira Zaheer is the daughter of noted theatre personality Sajjad Zaheer and a well-known theatre artist herself. He after some time married actress Smita Patil who, however, passed away soon after giving birth to their son Prateik Babbar.
- He trained in method acting at the National School of Drama. After training in method acting at National School of Drama in New Delhi, Raj Babbar moved to Mumbai. There, he started his film career with ‘Sau Din Saas Ke’ starring opposite acclaimed actress of that time, Reena Roy.
- Raj Babbar shot to fame with ‘Insaaf Ka Taraazu’ for his sensitive portrayal of a rapist who gets shot for his deeds in the end. He worked in many films under the B.R. Chopra banner. He also got acclaim in Punjabi cinema for giving noteworthy performances in art house movies such as ‘Chann Pardesi’, ‘Marhi Da Deeva’ and ‘Long Da Lishkara’. He started his own home production, Babbar Films Pvt. Ltd., under which he produced two feature films and one tele-serial. He has also acted in television serials.
- Raj Babbar had earned recognition for his performances in a number of art and commercial movies before entering politics in 1989. He joined Janata Dal, which was led by V. P. Singh at that time, in 1989. He eventually joined Samajwadi Party and was thrice elected as the Member of Parliament.
- From 1994 to 1999, Raj Babbar served as member of Rajya Sabha. He got re-elected to the post in the 14th Lok Sabha elections in 200. After getting suspended from the Samajwadi Party in 2006, he joined the Indian National Congress in 2008. He famously defeated Dimple Yadav, wife of ruling Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, in the 2009 Lok Sabha bye-elections and got elected for a fourth term as Member of Parliament. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, he contested from Ghaziabad seat and lost to BJP candidate General V.K. Singh.
- Raj Babbar has been appointed as the president of Uttar Pradesh unit of the Congress party in the run-up to Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections 2017. The Congress party has been sitting in opposition in Uttar Pradesh for several decades now and the state was once a stronghold for the party.
Raj Babbar was nominated five times for the Filmfare Awards. He won critical acclaim and commercial success for his acting prowess. He had his share of ups and downs in his political career.