Born Nandita Arvind Morarji
25 December 1970 (1970-12-25) (age 40)
India Mumbai, India
Other names Nagma Sadanah
Years active 1990–present

Nandita Morarji better known as Nagma (born 25 Decemberl 1970"). At her peak in the 1990s, The Hindu stated that she "dominated Telugu and Tamil cinema" with her movies Killer, Gharana Mogudu, Kadhalan, Baashha and many others.[1] Born of a Muslim mother and a Hindu father, and on Christmas she began her acting career in Bollywood and acted in a few of the biggest Bollywood movies but shifted down south before returning to Mumbai and continuing films in other languages. She should not to be confused with an item girl who went by the same stage name, because of her craze for the real Nagma, The duplicates real name is Mumtaz Khan (that mistake is made in her listing on the Internet Movie Database website[2]). Nagma has acted in a broad range of India's languages: Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Bengali, Bhojpuri, Punjabi, and now Marathi.[3]


Life, Family and Other Pursuits (1970 to Present)

Nagma's biological father was Sri Arvind Pratapsinh Morarji who's forefathers hailed from a royal background from Jaisalmer later migrating to Gujrat,Porbandar then Mumbai, Her great grandfather Sri Gokuldas Morarji was a reputed business man in the shipping, textile, agricultural and pharmaceutical industries. They were renowned for their philanthropy, charity, generosity and made many prominent educational institutions and Dharamshalas (relegious resthouses) which still exist in places such as Pune and also hospitals. Her mother hailed from the Konkan region of Maharastra belonging to the Kazi freedom fighter family, Who's original name was Shama Kazi now better known as Seema, who married Morarji in 1969 in CCI Club in Mumbai, but separated in 1973. According to Nagma's passport, the name given to her at birth was Nandita Arvind Morarji, which has now been updated to Nagma Arvind Morarji. In her father's obituary printed by the family when her father died she is referred by her original name (Nandita).[4] After divorcing Morarji due to some family problems on August 1973, Nagma's mother married Chander Sadanah, a film producer in March 1975, with whom she had three children: 2 daughters Radhika (completed her further studies in Georgia University, Atlanta USA and did her masters from George Washington University in DC and is married and currently settled with 2 children San Francisco, California USA) and Jyothika (is a Tamil Cinema actress who married Surya a top Tamil actor and is currently settled with two kids in Chennai),and a son named Suraj (who works as a associate director with many big directors of Bollywood such as Priyadarshan, Madhur Bhandarkar, Sanjay Leela Bansali, Sajid Khan an is currently workng with Ayaan Mukherji for Dharma Productions and producer Karan Johar). Through her biological father, who had re-married earlier, Nagma has two half-brothers, Dhanraj and Yuvraj.[5]

Nagma remained close to her biological father until his death on 1 January 2006.[6] She explained to a Mumbai reporter that "I am proud of the fact that I belong to the respectable family. My mother was legally married to my father the late Shri Arvind Morarji at a public function at the CCI Club, Mumbai." 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.[7]

Inspired by her entrepreneurial background Nagma forayed into the clothing business by opening a boutique in Mumbai in Bandra West on Hill Road called Nagma's, which was inaugurated in September 2000 by Akshay Kumar.[8] Although the boutique was highly successful and an instant hit. She had to shut it down in 2003 as she had to leave everything behind to be by the side of her ailing father while simultaneously honoring her bhojpuri and other language film commitments apart from her spiritual quest, then teaching Art Of Living. Since she belongs from a her maternal side to a freedom fighters family who owed their loyalty towards their nation who were Congressmen. She idolizes Mrs. Indra Gandhi, was impressed by Rajiv Gandhi and highly inspired by Mrs. Sonia Gandhi. She officially joined the Congress Political Party from the year 2003-04 as an official Star Campaigner, promoting the party, and propagating its agenda nationwide, She later went on to become an AICC (All India Congress Committee) Member from Maharashtra and remains so till date.

Acting career

Nagma's debut film Baaghi: A Rebel for Love was Hindi cinema's seventh highest grossing film in 1990.[9] With Karisma Kapoor, she was also one of the female leads in 1994's Suhaag with Ajay Devgan and Akshay Kumar'. Following these films, she moved south to star in Telugu and Tamil movies at the behest of her friend Divya Bharti. Explaining her shift, she cited what she was more conscious of the quality of work, in terms of meaty roles and her flair to travel throughout India understanding different cultures and her drive and passion to get acclamation from all over India. She stated "Language was never a barrier I love adventure, culture and have great respect for the Indian tradition", A girl with a Muslim name and a Hindu father and born on Christmas a perfect example of national integration, did what was best for her then. She became a major star in the south and remained so. Although she started of with a bang in Bollywood (Hindi cinema) with topmost banners, actors and directors. The main reason for her shift could have been that her personal family life was getting affected by the yellow journalism and stories.

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.Her Tamil film fans build a temple in the name of her, as their goddess. Tamil film fans as they like build temples for film personalities, Vijayashanti, Kushbu, Nagma, Namitha...etc.

After moving back to Mumbai, she told an interviewer in 2001, "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."[10] Again based in Hindi cinema, she focused on supporting roles in films like 2000's Chal Mere Bhai, which reunited her with former co-stars Karisma Kapoor, Salman Khan and Sanjay Dutt. Within a year, Nagma enrolled in the spiritually oriented Art of Living course, eventually teaching it herself in Mumbai and elsewhere.[11] 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."[12][unreliable source?] She is quoted on the front page of The Telegraph as asking "Why were the reports made public when I have just returned from successful political campaigning in Jharkhand?"[13]

Nagma has acted in Bhojpuri movies, including films with the "Big Boss" participant Ravi Kishan, with whom she was linked romantically.[14] She won a Best Actress award at the 2005 Bhojpuri Film Awards for her performance in Dulha Milal Dildar.[15] In 2006's Ganga, she starred in the title role opposite Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malini. When asked why she shifted to Bhojpuri films, she said "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."[16] When interviewed by The Hindu in Delhi in April 2007, she indicated that another important reason for her decision to focus on Bhojpuri films was to help with her political campaigning.[17]

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."[18] While noting her commitment to complete several Bhojpuri films she was involved with, in March 2007, she expressed her intention to next focus on returning to Hindi films after wrapping up her projects.[19][unreliable source?] 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."[20]


A vocal supporter of India's Congress Party, She had only formally become a member of the Congress Party in Delhi, reportedly citing its "commitment towards secularism and welfare of the poor and weaker sections" as her reason for joining.[21] She was also fielded by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), as a candidate from Hyderabad for the General Lok Sabha Elections according to an Indo-Asian News Service report [22] Nagma has elsewhere been cited as saying that she first supported the Congress Party because of her admiration for Rajiv Gandhi.[23]

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.". She had to turn down an offer to run for India's Lok Sabha in 2003 due to her many film commitments. "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."[24] In an interview with the Hindustan Times in 2007, she said "politics will continue" [20] Interestingly, her last lead role in a major Bollywood film was opposite fellow Congress Party member and then M.P. Govinda. She was in serious contention for his seat in 2009 for the General Lok Sabha Elections which was also highlighted in Star News from Mumbai. She has been continuing her vigorous efforts in AICC and is campaigning in Uttar Pradesh and other parts of India.

Nagma has said that she meditates daily and considers herself to be "a very God-loving person." In line with her family's mixed religious background she has stated that she has read the Qur'an, Bhagavad Gita, and Bible.


Year Film Role Notes
2007 Back To Honeymoon Written, produced and directed by Manoj Bhatnagar[25]
Thamb Lakshmi Thamb Lakshmi Marathi film
Tu Hamaar Hou Bhojpuri remake of Darr
2006 Ek Jind Ek Jaan Nimmi First Punjabi film role.[26]
Gangaa Ganga Bhojpuri film with Amitabh Bachchan
Ab Ta Banja Sajnwa Hamaar Bhojpuri film
Mai Baap
Dil Diwana Tohar Ho Gayil First film directed by Bollywood choreographer Saroj Khan[27]Bhojpuri
Raja Thakur Bhojpuri
2005 Panditwa Mera Shaadi Kab Hoi Bhojpuri
Dulha Milal Dildar Best Actress award, Bhojpuri Film Awards[28]
Panditji Batai Na Byah Kab Hoi First Bhojpuri film role
Pariraam First Bengali film role
2004 Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo Aarti V. Singh
2003 Hrudayavantha Kannada film
2002 Chathurangam Nayana Pillai Malayalam film
Allari Ramudu Chamundeswari Telugu film, side role
2001 Sai Teri Maya Devotional film
Yeh Teraa Ghar Yeh Meraa Ghar Anupama Verma
Citizen CBI Sarojini Harichandran Tamil film
Ek Rishtaa: The Bond of Love Special Appearance
Dheena Tamil film (Special Appearance)
2000 Kunwara Sharmila Singh
Chal Mere Bhai Sonia
Papa The Great Mrs. Pooja Jai Prakash
1999 Lal Baadshah Special Appearance
1998 Sreekrishnapurathe Nakshathrathilakkam Yamuna Rani Malayalam film
1997 Kaun Rokega Mujhe
Khel Khiladi Ka
Janakiraman Tamil film
Pistha Tamil film
Love Birds Mridula Tamil film
Kurubana Raani Kannada film
Aravindhan Tamil film
1996 Sarada Bullodu Telugu film
Mettu Kudi Tamil film
Miya Biwi Aur Saali Shivani Hansraj
Sabse Bada Mawali Priya
1995 Suryaputrulu Telugu film
Baashha Priya Tamil film
Mounam Telugu film
Rikshavodu Rani Telugu film
Ragasiya Police Tamil film
1994 Kadhalan Shruthi Winner, Filmfare Best Actress Award (Tamil)
Tamil film
Suhaag Madhu
Super Police Telugu film
Gang Master Telugu film
Mugguru Monagallu Telugu film
1993 Dhartiputra
Hasti Neena Narang
King Uncle Kavita
Allari Alludu Telugu film
Rendilla Poojari Telugu film
Kondapalli Raja Telugu film
Varasudu Telugu film
1992 Yalgaar Anu Singhal
Ashwamedham Telugu film
Bewaffa Se Waffa Nagma
Dilwale Kabhi Na Hare Anjali Oberoi
Major Chandrakanth
Gharana Mogudu Uma Devi Telugu film
Police Aur Mujrim Meena Khanna
1991 Killer Telugu film
Peddinti Alludu Telugu film
1990 Baaghi: A Rebel for Love Kaajal, a.k.a. "Paro" Bollywood debut


  1. ^ The Hindu (18 July 2002)'
  2. ^ "Nagma" listing on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), at
  3. ^ "Nagma excels in nine languages!"at
  4. ^ Obituary available online at
  5. ^ The Telegraph
  6. ^
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ "Akshay inaugurates Nagma's boutique" at and "Nagma into fashion business" [2]
  9. ^ [3]
  10. ^ Filmfare interview, May 2001 "Clean Bowled - Match-fixing... and much more with Nagma" at [4]
  11. ^ "Nagma practices the art of living!" (19 April 2003) at Cinema/20030419-0.html[unreliable source?]; and "Venky and Nagma's Art of Living!" at [5]
  12. ^ "Mumbai cops have more names besides Nagma" IANS (Feb.2005), online at [6]
  13. ^ "Nagma linked to D-company," The Telegraph (14 Feb. 2005)
  14. ^ Sakshi Juneja, "Pati, Patni Aur Woh" (24 July 2006), at [7]
  15. ^ "Results", Bhojpuri Film Awards website, at
  16. ^ "Racism, controversies forced Nagma to quit Hindi Cinema" (15 March 2007) [8]; and (IANS), "Racism, controversies forced Nagma to quit Hindi Cinema" (16 March 2007) [9]
  17. ^ "Figure in focus..." Anuj Kumar, in The Hindu (5 April 2007), online at [10]
  18. ^ "Nagma's sister getting married" in Mid-Day (1 Sept. 2006), online at
  19. ^ SmasHits interview, "Nagma Takes a Bow" (7 March 2007) at
  20. ^ a b "You need guts to deal with controversies: Nagma," Hindustan Times (16 March 2007) [11]
  21. ^ "Film actress Nagma joins Congress" Indo-Asian News Service (16 April 2004), online at [12]
  22. ^ "Film actress Nagma joins Congress" (Indo-Asian News Service (16 April 2004), online at [13]. The same claim was made earlier by The Times of India; see, e.g., "Nagma in poll fray?" Times News Network (21 March 2004) online at,prtpage-1.cms [14]
  23. ^ See, e.g., "Government office for Nagma?" (10 Nov. 2006) at
  24. ^ A Ganesh Nadar interview with Nagma, "Nagma, the survivor - The actress who has truly done it all." (10 March 2006), at [15]
  25. ^ Taran Adarsh, "Trade Production News - Under Production Films" (11 May 2007), at [16]
  26. ^ The official movie website is
  27. ^ Subhash K. Jha, "Direction is an enjoyable job: Saroj Khan" IANS (Oct.2006), online at [17]
  28. ^ See, e.g., "First-ever Bhojpuri awards " in Mid-Day (1 Feb.2006), online at [18]

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