Well-known broadcaster, actor and theatre director Upinder Khashu passed away on Tuesday at a Gurugram hospital after a brief illness.
Khashu, 70, is survived by his wife, Girija Khashu Watal, also a noted broadcaster of All India Radio (AIR), and two daughters.
Srinagar-born Khashu read news in Urdu and Kashmiri on the erstwhile Radio Kashmir until 1990 when threats from militants forced him to migrate to Delhi. He was provided police protection for a considerable time.
Khashu became a household name in Kashmir after playing a key role in tele-serial ‘Chauraha’ (crossroad) in the mid-1980s.
He gained national prominence with a powerful performance in hit serial ‘Gul Gulshan Gulfaam’, telecast in 1987 by Doordarshan. It was one of the first serials based in Kashmir and portrayed camaraderie between Kashmiri Pandits and Muslims.
In his later years, Khashu wrote and directed Kashmiri plays that were staged in Mumbai, Delhi and Jammu.
A celebrated stage, radio, TV and film actor, he originally hailed from Zaindar Mohalla Srinagar and started his career as a stage artist from Vasant theatre as a colleague of Ashok Jailkhani.
He worked in hundreds of plays and serials and in some feature films as well.
His last directorial venture, ‘Wasa’, was staged in Jammu two years ago.