Peshawar celebrates Dilip Kumar’s 90th birthday

Published: December 11, 2012
Birthday celebrations for the renowned Bollywood actor were held at Peshawar Press Club. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Birthday celebrations for the renowned Bollywood actor were held at Peshawar Press Club. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

PESHAWAR: Peshawar celebrated the 90th birthday of Indian film actor Yousaf Khan, commonly known as Dilip Kumar, for the first time in his ancestral city.

Organised by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Culture and Heritage Council, writers, actors, lawyers and locals gathered at the Peshawar Press Club and paid tribute to the famous ‘tragedy king’ of Bollywood who belonged to their city.

Participants asked the provincial government to consider the houses of both Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor as national heritages to preserve it for future generations.

Dilip Kumar and his wife Saira Bano called in on the event and thanked Peshawarites for their love and respect.

“Where Kumar is now is only because of the prayers and love of this city,” Bano said. Kumar also spoke briefly and asked the residents of the city to remember him in their prayers.

Apart from being dubbed ‘tragedy king’, Kumar is also referred to as the ‘ultimate method actor’. He was born in Peshawar’s Muhallah Khudad, near the famous Qissa Khwani Bazaar on December 11, 1922. He moved to Bombay, India, in late 1920’s where his father Ghulam Sarwar Khan had set up a fruit business.

Kumar started his six-decade-long acting career in his debut film Jwar Bhata in 1944. Since then, he has appeared in over 60 films. He was awarded the Filmfare Best Actor Award eight times and the Indian Government honoured him with the Padma Bhushan, the third highest Indian civilian award, in 1991 and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1994.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Saeed
    Dec 11, 2012 - 7:30PM

    What a lame headline. How come the whole KPK can celebrate his birthday. A mere cultural heritage council is celebrating. This is how badly we follow Indians. Pity!


  • just_someone
    Dec 11, 2012 - 8:20PM

    who cares! he made a bunch of movies, what has he done for the world. we give so much importance to tv/movie celebrities when they do nothing for the world that helps humanity.
    also, if this guy didnt even have enough strength to keep his name and not make a phony hindu sounding name, what is he worth? apparently to himself, he isnt worth anything since he is willing to change his whole identity to please others…


  • Baba Farid
    Dec 11, 2012 - 8:45PM

    It was said of Shakespeare that “He was not of an age, but for all time!” Which goes to show that the universal language of art can be celebrated by all those whose hearts it touches. If India and Pakistan don’t appreciate Yusuf Bhai (Dilip Kumar) who will? Have the Chinese or the Norwegians seen his movies or understood his words without subtitles? Whether it is Nasruddin Shah who feels at home in Lahore or Adnan Sami who is listed as a British born Pakistani Canadian singer working in India, their art transcends borders and boundaries. He won not only the Dadasaheb Phalke award in India but also the Nishan-e-Pakistan for his humanitarian activities to bridge the cultural gap between the two countries, which he honoured despite suffering for it and being accused of being unpatriotic for accepting it in the aftermath of the Kargil war! Surely one cannot grudge him the goodwill of the KP cultural foundation. I remember seeing a documentary where a starving mother comes up to a foreign aid worker in flood ravaged India and she has tearfully accepted a gift of food for her family. An assistant comes forward to translate her broken words, when the lady silences him saying, ‘Humans can understand the language of humanity.’ Art can heal wounds and be a mirror and a lamp of inspiration to society. I wish him, his family and all his well wishers in both nations, a long, happy and inspirationally fruitful life. As one wit has so aptly put it, HEART is nothing but HE + ART. I hope more such artistic, literary and cultural exchanges take place in the years to come!


  • Mirza
    Dec 11, 2012 - 9:10PM

    It is great news that finally the elected govt and secular forces are recognizing their heroes and high achievers. Dalip has been a Titan among men. He has provided lots of happiness and joy to hundreds of millions in the world. At this stage Dalip is above all divisions and petty prejudices.
    There was a time when most Pakistani actors were changing their names (Santosh Kumar, Darpan, Ratan Kumar to name a few) it is a shame that those same Pakistanis are maligning Dalip for having a film name! If we cannot reach his greatness we have no right to hate his fame and achievements.


  • Gaurav
    Dec 11, 2012 - 10:00PM

    Name does not make a man great, his deeds make


  • Dec 11, 2012 - 10:09PM

    Does the birthday of Muhammad Ali or Waheed Murad also makes headlines?


  • G. Din
    Dec 12, 2012 - 12:52AM

    What is a birthday celebration without the “Birthday Boy” being present? He is the local boy who made good in a far-away land. The least he can do is to go back to his roots. Everyone around him will appreciate that. Trust me, India will rejoice on the day he goes back to his roots although “parting will be such a sweet sorrow”!


  • Mirza
    Dec 12, 2012 - 2:05AM

    @G. Din:
    I appreciate and respect your wish that DK should be present at his birthday celebration in his home town celebration. However, as you can see here on the comments there are people in Pakistan and I am sure some rightwing in India who would not appreciate this and question his loyalties. DK was always an Indian (born prior to 1947) by birth and would remain an Indian all his long life. Not that it makes any difference for me at in either case. In fact he never has been a Pakistani and would not want to change that after 90 years of recognition in India. In an ideal situation I would agree with you 100% but KPK area is not safe for even Pakistanis let alone a ninety years old Indians. Ninety years old do not need this kind of emotional turmoil even in the best case.

  • sattar rind
    Dec 12, 2012 - 2:10AM

    great actor ever produce indian cinema


  • Riaz
    Dec 12, 2012 - 11:27PM

    some people will find negativity everywhere…..All best wishes to Dalip sahib…


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