Legendary Indian film industry superstar, Vinod Khanna, who died on Thursday at the age of 70 in Mumbai due to prolonged illness, had roots in Peshawar.
“Late Vinod Khanna was the son of Mehr Chand Khanna, a prominent businessman and former minister in Congress party. He was born in Peshawar on October 6, 1946 at Sardar area in Cantonment jurisdiction,” Muhammad Ibrahim Zia, a known film historian from Peshawar said.
Talking to APP, Zia said he met Vinod in 2014 as a member of a delegation visiting India to inquire about the health of the top Indian film industry legend, Dilip Kumar, who also belonged to Peshawar.
"During the visit, we had a meeting with Vinod in New Delhi,
who was very happy over the reunion with people of his birth place
(Peshawar)," Zia recalled.
Legendary Bollywood actor Vinod Khanna passes away
He said Mehr Chand Khanna, father of Vinod, belonged to a well-off family of Peshawar and had migrated to India in 1947. At the time
of migration, Vinod Khanna was an infant, but he had love for
his birth city.
Zia reminisced that in the late 1990s, during a function held in Dubai,
Vinod announced on the stage with pride that he was a ‘Peshawari.’
Zia said the ancestral home of the Amar Akbar Anthony star was intact and presently in the use of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chapter of APWA (All Pakistan Women’s Association).
During the meeting, Zia revealed that the delegation
presented him gifts including ‘Peshawar Chappal’ (sandals) and
traditional dresses, which he accepted very happily. Zia further added that he also presented a copy of his book, Peshawar Key Funkar (Artists of Peshawar), to the legendary star.
The book gives a detailed history of big screen actors who belonged to Peshawar and worked in different film industries during the last 100 years. Shakeel Waheedullah, General Secretary Cultural Heritage Council KP, was also part of the delegation which met the Indian actor in 2014. “During his autograph session, Vinod had extended his good wishes to people of Peshawar and expressed a desire to visit his ancestral city,” he added.
Vinod wanted to visit Peshawar to see his home and the area
where his parents and forefathers used to dwell, Shakeed told
APP. He also said he had also sent an official request for his
visit to Pakistan, especially Peshawar, but his visit was not
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Shakeel said the Cultural Heritage Council would soon hold a
reference in memory of late Bollywood star to pay homage and to
apprise the people of Peshawar that the Indian film legend
belonged to their city.
The Dabangg actor started his film carrier in 1968 and performed in more than 140 films. His best performances were in films like Mere Apne, Mera Gaon Mera Desh, Imtihaan, Inkaar, Amar Akbar Anthony, Qurbani, Dayavaan and Jurm.
He also showed his debut in politics and was elected as member
of parliament from Gurdaspur in 1997 on Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) ticket. In July 2002, he was made Union Minister for Culture and Tourism.
A recent picture of the legendary star, showing him seriously ill, left
his fans in shock. He was suffering from an advanced bladder
carcinoma and died on Thursday.
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