Mumbai: Last week, social media erupted with speculations over an ailing Vinod Khanna, whose photograph in a patient’s uniform did the rounds of WhatsApp. Rahul Khanna, his elder son, informed the press that the actor-turned-politician was suffering from severe dehydration. Today the veteran thespian’s younger son Akshaye Khanna informed journalists that his father was “doing better now”.
Khanna was admitted to Sir HN Reliance Foundation hospital on 31 March. The hospital was the first to issue a statement that he was responding well to the treatment and that his condition was stable.
Many WhatsApp users, later joined in by their Facebook counterparts, had falsely reported that Khanna was suffering from bladder cancer. The rumour gained so much of currency that the Meghalaya unit of the BJP observed a 2-minute silence last Saturday to pay tributes to him. The party later apologised for the mistake. BJP general secretary David Kharsati said “We wrongly observed 2-minute silence and we are extremely sorry about it. We wish Khanna a long life.”
Khanna represents the BJP from the Lok Sabha constituency of Gurdaspur.
The 70-year-old actor, who was once touted as the only genuine challenge to Amitabh Bachchan’s towering stardom, had retired to an ashram of Bhagwan Rajneesh (later called Osho), dashing the hopes of his fans. Remembered for his sober role in Mere Apne, an adaptation of Bengali film Apanjan, Khanna Sr was seen in the last decade playing the role of Salman Khan’s on-screen father in Wanted and Dabangg. He debuted in films essaying negative roles, but in his prime, Vinod Khanna featured in several action-oriented films such as Mera Gaon Mera Desh, Reshma aur Shera, Kuchhe Dhaage, Patthar aur Payal, Zameer, etc, often as the protagonist.