Popular comedian Raju Srivastava passed away on Wednesday after 41 days in hospital. The 58-year-old comedian suffered a heart attack on August 10 while working at a hotel in Delhi. He was taken to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi and underwent angioplasty. Since then, he has been on a ventilator and never regained consciousness.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and other senior leaders mourn the passing of the comedian king. Rajnath Singh said he was deeply saddened by the death of famous comedian and actor Raju Srivastava and offered his condolences to the bereaved family and fans. In a tweet in Hindi, Singh describes him as a virtuoso performer and a person with a lively and cheerful personality.
A familiar face in the entertainment industry since the 1980s, the comedian achieved unprecedented success after appearing on the first season of the reality show “The Great Indian Laughter Challenge” (2005). Raju Srivastava has also acted in Hindi films such as “Maine Pyar Kiya”, “Baazigar”, “Bombay to Goa Remake” and “Aamdani Atthani Kharcha Rupaiya”. He was currently holding the Chairmanship of the Film Development Board of Uttar Pradesh.
Have a look at his glorious career:
Born into a middle-class family in Kanpur in 1963 as Satya Prakash Srivastava, Raju began posing as movie stars at an early age. In an old interview, Srivastav recalled how he would wait for school authorities to do comedy sketches at school. His father, Ramesh Chandra Srivastava worked in the government sector and was also a poet. Srivastav married Shikha in Lucknow in 1993. The couple has two children – daughter Antara and son Ayushman.
Early in the 1990s was Raju Srivastav’s first real opportunity. He participated in the 1994 Doordarshan programme “Tea Time Manoranjan,” which was aired on public television in India. Srivastav took part in some live performances as well, playing music in between acts. He once received offers to imitate Amitabh Bachchan on screen after being seen while doing so. The comedian has repeatedly given Big B credit for helping him launch his career.
Both in India and overseas, Raju Srivastava has appeared in theatrical productions. Raju began his acting career in Bollywood movies with cameos. He appeared in the movie Maine Pyar Kiya, as well as other smaller parts in movies like Baazigar and Bombay to Goa. He has performed in Aamdani Atthanni Kharcha Rupaiya as a comedian and actor.
Raju Srivastava entered into stand-up comedy with the talent show The Great Indian Laughter Challenge. He finished in third place, then entered the spin-off, Great Indian Laughter Challenge – Champion. He won the title of King of Comedy there.
The comedian also starred in Bigg Boss season 3. After being in-house for more than two months, he was eliminated. He then joined the comedy show Comedy Ka Maha Muqabala.
Got fame as ‘Gajodhar Bhaiyaa’
Raju Srivastava started playing Gajodhar bhaiya, a character he said was inspired by a barber in his hometown. “He has a knack for storytelling and will share the weirdest stories come to life,” the comedian told Zoom TV in a 2012 interview. Gajodhar bhaiya with relaxed attitude shared the simplest casual stories in the most hilarious way. The character always has his hands behind his head when he speaks, a trait still copied by fans. His voice and the way he innocently insults listeners makes the character quite endearing, and Srivastava has found a new identity for himself, becoming as popular as he is.
- Reality shows:
In addition to acting, Srivastava also participated in Bigg Boss 3 and Nach Baliye 6. In the controversial reality show, then hosted by Amitabh Bachchan, the comedian was very popular with the audience and housemates. With only Kamaal Rashid Khan, alias KRK, the comedian was taken away once. His conversations with Big B also make for an entertaining watch. He was eliminated in the 9th week after not receiving enough votes.
When it comes to dance reality shows, Srivastava and his wife Shikha were eliminated in just a few weeks as they competed not only with great dancers but also with famous TV stars.
- Political career:
Raju Srivastava joined Samajwadi party for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. On 11 March 2014, he returned the ticket and said that he did not receive enough support from the local party units. The comedian then joined the Bhartiya Janta party on March 19, 2014. In fact, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also nominated him to be a part of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Since then, he has promoted cleanliness through his events in different cities.