Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provincial government on Wednesday condoled the demise of legendary Indian actor Dilip Kumar, saying he will always be remembered for the love and affection he had for the people of his ancestral home town there. Kumar, India’s enduring film legend through the decades, died at a Mumbai hospital in the morning after a prolonged illness. He was 98.
In a statement, Kamran Bangash, the Special Assistant on Information to Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), expressed profound grief and sorrow over the demise of the film legend. The KP government spokesman said he was saddened to know about the death of Kumar, a resident of Peshawar who earned fame in acting.
“Late Dilip had great regard and respect for the people of his birth place Peshawar. He will always be remembered for his services, love and affection he had for the people of Peshawar," the statement said.
Kumar was born on December 11, 1922 at his family home in the Qissa Khawani Bazaar area of Peshawar. The Pakistan government has already declared his native house as a national heritage and completed all formalities to convert it into a museum in his name.
Last month, the provincial government had approved the purchase of the ancestral homes of Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor for converting them into museums. Both their houses are in the same locality. Dilip Kumar’s over a 100-year-old ancestral house is in shambles and was declared as a national heritage in 2014 by the then Nawaz Sharif government.
Kumar visited Peshawar in the early ’90s. He was given an unprecedented reception and welcome by the people of Peshawar.
Kumar, known to generations of film-goers as “tragedy king" for his portrayal of the brooding, intense romantic in classics such as Mughal-e-Azam and Devdas, had been admitted to the Hinduja Hospital, a non-COVID-19 facility in Khar, since last Tuesday.
Kumar, born Yousuf Khan and often known as the Nehruvian hero, did his first film Jwar Bhata in 1944 and his last Qila in 1998, 54 years later. The five-decade career also included Naya Daur and Ram Aur Shyam, and later, as he graduated to character roles, Shakti and Karma.