Ancestral homes of Bollywood legends Dilip Kumar and late Raj Kapoor in Peshawar are in news. The old structures were on the brink of demolition before the provincial government in Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa stepped in and announced to buy the two heritage houses.
Soon after the news, people started posting pictures of the structures, much in dilapidated condition, on social media. It seems like actor Dilip Kumar is nostalgic after seeing the pictures of the structure that was once his family’s home. The veteran actor shared one such tweet on Twitter and thanked people for sharing the photographs. He also urged people of Pehsawar to share more such pictures and tag him.
“Thank you for sharing this. Requesting all in #Peshawar to share photos of my ancestral house (if you’ve clicked the pic) and tag #DilipKumar (sic)," he wrote.
Thank you for sharing this. Requesting all in #Peshawar to share photos of my ancestral house (if you’ve clicked the pic) and tag #DilipKumar https://t.co/bB4Xp4IrUB— Dilip Kumar (@TheDilipKumar) September 30, 2020
Raj Kapoor’s ancestral home, known as Kapoor Haveli, is situated in the fabled Qissa Khwani Bazar. It was built between 1918 and 1922 by the legendary actor’s grandfather Dewan Basheswarnath Kapoor. Raj Kapoor and his uncle Trilok Kapoor were born in the building. It has been declared national heritage by the provincial government.
Veteran actor Dilip Kumar’s over 100-year-old ancestral house is also located in the same locality. The house is in shambles and was declared as national heritage in 2014 by the then Nawaz Sharif government.
Dr Abdus Samad Khan, the head of department of archaeology, said the owners of the two buildings made many attempts in the past to demolish them for constructing commercial plazas in view of their prime location but all such moves were stopped as the archaeology department wanted to preserve them keeping in view their historic importance.
However, the owner of Kapoor Haveli, Ali Qadar, said that he did not want to demolish the building and made many contacts with the archaeology department officials to protect and preserve this historic structure which is a national pride. The owner has demanded Rs 200 crore from the KP government to sell it out to the government.
In 2018, the Pakistan government decided to convert the Kapoor Haveli into a museum, heeding to a request by Rishi Kapoor who died this year in Mumbai. However, the announcement to this effect could not be materialised despite a lapse of around two years.