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The soul is neither born nor dies!
~ Kancha Cheena.
Kancha Cheena is the main antagonist of the 2012 Indian film Agneepath. Formerly a street drug runner in Mumbai, Kancha emerges as an unscrupulous drug kingpin who is obsessed with the Bhagavad Gita and the Ramayana. He seeks total control of Mumbai’s underground and is fully responsible for the death of Master Dinanath Chauhan, the father of Vijay Dinanath Chauhan. Kancha is portrayed by Sanjay Dutt in the 2012 remake.
Not long after the village discovers a huge reserve of salt, Kancha Cheena arrives on the island in 1977. There, he reunites with his father and head of the village before he begins to manipulate him into giving up the island village to establish his drug mafia. As Kancha attempts to take over the island, he finds out that Master Dinanath Chauhan, a highly respected school teacher, is trying to dissuade the villagers from giving away their lands on lease. In turn, Kancha lures a schoolgirl to the Master’s school where he and his henchmen ambush and murder her. After this, he frames Master for the crime and orders his followers to torch Master’s house.
With Kancha earning total support of the village, he personally hangs Master to death on a banyan tree in front of the Master’s son Vijay Dinanath Chauhan. As his henchmen hold Vijay, Kancha mockingly states that Master Chauhan's soul is neither born nor dead. With Vijay and his pregnant mother now seen by the village as outcasts, Kancha establishes his control of Mandwa and begins to run the village as the headquarters of his illicit operations.
15 years after he murdered Vijay's father, Kancha has established Mandwa as a concentration camp. During this time, Mumbai's police commissioner Gaitonde compares Kancha's treatment of the villagers to Adolf Hitler given the brutal, exploitative nature of his rule of the island. Kancha seeks to further expand his influence in Mumbai’s underworld by sending his aide Shantaram to import cheap, pure cocaine through a corrupt home secretary. Vijay (now working for rival drug lord and child sex slave trafficker Rauf Lala) foils this plan and kills Shantaram and Rauf’s son Mazhar to gain enough power to begin his revenge against Kancha. Kancha shrugs off his aide's death and calls Vijay to make a drug deal. When Vijay arrives in the island, he sees the extent of Kancha's tyrannical reign of the island and seeks to trade control of Mandwa for that of Mumbai with Kancha. Kancha finds out about this plan and tortures Vijay into agreeing to a condition that Vijay has to kill Gaitonde to accept the deal. Kancha then wakes up Vijay, informing that their deal has meant that Vijay betrayed Rauf and laughs at the prospect of Rauf selling his sister in retaliation.
After Vijay kills his former employer, Kancha’s other aide Surya informs his boss that Vijay not only failed to kill the inspector but also reveals that Vijay is none other than Master Chauhan’s son. Kancha sends Surya to kill Gaitonde, only for Vijay to intervene and kill Kancha's other aide. In retaliation, Kancha orders his henchmen to attack Vijay’s wedding with childhood friend Kaali Gawde, leading to deaths of Vijay’s newlywed wife and scores of guests. Simultaneously, Kancha abducts Vijay’s mother and sister and locks them in his headquarters in Mandwa.
With Vijay grief-stricken from the death of his wife, he decides to make a final assault on Mandwa. There, Kancha has a climatic fight with Vijay, laughing about how the tree’s been withering since he hanged Vijay’s father. As Kancha continues to brutally beat Vijay, he callously kills his father by tossing him down the stairs when the latter interferes with the fight. Kancha stabs Vijay and reveals where he hid his mother and sister before stabbing the hero a second time in front of his remaining family. Despite Vijay’s mother’s desperate protests, Kancha drags Vijay to the public and stabs him a third and fourth time. Kancha drags a mortally wounded Vijay and prepares to hang him on the same banyan tree that was used for his father's execution. Just before Kancha could finish Vijay, however, the protagonist uses his last bits of strength to defeat, hang, and finally kill the drug lord, redeeming his family in front of the village in the process while also reciting the poem that is also the title of movie. Afterwards, the hero dies in his mother and sister's arms, with his mother forgiving him, and also seeing a flashback of his father and his younger self walking away after smiling at him, chanting "Agneepath." repeatedly.
You are nothing like me. How I wish you were! No fear, no desire, no attachments... JUST PURE BLISS!!! But you have attachments and desires... some affection in you, Vijay Dinanath Chauhan!
~ Kancha Cheena to Vijay Chauhan.
Kancha is a ruthless, homicidal and sadistic drug lord who firmly believes in having no desires nor attachments to life. Disturbed from being picked on for his hairless appearance, he embraces the atrocities he commits throughout the film and enjoys seeing people in pain. For example, when he was running a gambling game where people bet on how long a man can keep his head underwater, he tries to drown one of the men with a sadistic smile and pressures a villager to keep betting. He also frequently compares himself to the Devil or Ravanna ruling his Lanka, going as far as mockingly comparing Vijay to Lord Ram during the film's climax.
Kancha forcing the villagers to continue betting.
Kancha frames Master Chauhan for the murder of a schoolgirl.
“[Mandwa’s villagers] won’t say a word… because they have chosen the Devil. Now the Devil is their god and also their ruler! They have no one else but me. SO LET ME FULFILL MY KARMA!!!”
~ Kancha Cheena to Vijay Chauhan.
Life is submerged underwater, Master... it's begging and pleading. Because today life means money, money, and money. Sniff it, Master. You'll know what bliss means.
~ Kancha Cheena to Master Chauhan.
I'm such an idiot. For fifteen years, I've been wondering why the banyan tree withered away. It's because I hung your father on it!
~ Kancha Cheena to Vijay Chauhan.
In an interview with The Times of India, Sanjay Dutt stated that the role of Kancha was the darkest he has played in his career. While dubbing over lines during the film's editing process, he had to stop for half an hour because he couldn't bear to see himself as wicked and evil as his character.
Sanjay Dutt's portrayal of Kancha was the first time he's portrayed a bald character in his 30 year career.
Hrithik Roshan stated that he was injured during his character's final fight against Sanjay Dutt and that the agony felt by his character was Roshan reacting to the physical pain of his real-life injuries.