Kundan Shah, the acclaimed director of films like Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron and Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa, has died of a heart attack. He was 69 years old.
According to reports, Shah breathed his last in Mumbai on Saturday. Director Subash Ghai tweeted about his death and remembered him for her stellar work. “Good bye Kundan Shah. We all @FTIIOfficial @Whistling_Woods shall remember u for your great films with us n in history Indian cinema,” he wrote in a tweet.
Shah also directed episodes of TV series like Ye Jo Hai Zindagi, Nukkad and Wagle Ki Duniya. His biggest success, however, is considered to be 1983’s Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron. A satire on the rampant corruption among police, civil authorities and journalists, the film is called one of most intelligent films of Bollywood.
The film did not become a box office success but Shah received his first and only National Award – Indira Gandhi Award for Best First Film of a Director – for the movie which went on to become one of the most celebrated dark satirical comedies in the history of Indian cinema.
He was also instrumental in Shah Rukh Khan’s early success whom his gave one of his first films, Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa. He then directed Preity Zinta in Kya Kehna and Dil Hai Tumhara. His last film as a director was P Se PM tak in 2014.
He was one of the 24 directors who returned their National Awards in 2015 in support of protesting FTII students and against the growing environment of intolerance in the country. Shah, an FTII alumnae, said giving up his only National Award which he received for cult film Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro was a very sad but necessary decision to protest against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as the chairman of FTII.