Karachi, July 7 (Dawn): Pakistan woke up to the devastating news that iconic star Dilip Kumar had passed away at the age of 98. Condolences started pouring in on social media as celebrities and politicians paid their respects to the late actor.
Dilip Kumar was one of the biggest stars of the golden age of Indian cinema, playing the lead in some of the most successful films made from the 1940s to the 1960s. Born Yusuf Khan on December 11, 1922 in Peshawar, Kumar entered India’s entertainment capital, Bombay, after his father moved his family there in the 1930s.
Celebrities and other public figures have been expressing their grief at his death on social media, mourning the loss of the veteran actor who was loved and celebrated across the subcontinent.
“Saddened to learn of Dilip Kumar’s passing. I can never forget his generosity in giving his time to help raise funds for SKMTH when project launched,” wrote Prime Minister Imran Khan on Twitter.
“Apart from this, for my generation Dilip Kumar was the greatest and most versatile actor,” he said.
Cricketer Shahid Afridi paid tribute to Kumar, calling his death a “huge loss for Yousuf Khan sahib’s fans from KPK to Mumbai and across the globe”.
Sindh Governor Imran Ismail said this was a sad day and called the actor a “man with a golden heart”.
Actor Kubra Khan paid her respects to Kumar as well. “They’ll be one more star in the sky tonight,” she wrote on Instagram.
Theatre director and actor Omair Rana remembered Kumar as a “legend”, paying tribute through a heartfelt message of remembrance.
Actor, director and producer Reema Khan expressed shock at the demise of the actor. She posted a picture of herself with Kumar and said, “I [had] the honour to be with him and his very faithful and beautiful wife (Saira Bano Jee) in 2004 in their residential abode. I spent a pretty good time with them,” she wrote.
“The previous and the present century will never witness a most popular personality like him.”
Filmmaker and actor Usman Mukhtar called Kumar’s passing the end of an era. “An institution is gone! what a phenomenal legacy you’ve left behind!” he wrote.
Actor Adnan Siddiqui called Kumar “an institution in himself”. “Legend would be an understatement,” he wrote. “Thespians don’t die. They live on in their work.”
People across the subcontinent are mourning the loss the prolific actor whose legacy will live on for years to come. Kumar is survived by his wife, Saira Banu.
News 18 adds:
Dilip Kumar‘s over a century-old ancestral house situated in the fabled Qissa Khwani Bazar in Peshawar was declared a national heritage in 2014 by the then Nawaz Sharif government. A spokesman for Kumar had once said that Peshawar was an integral part of him and he often used to reminisce his association and memories of his birthplace and the ancestral home in Mohallah Khudadad where he was born in 1922. The family later migrated to Mumbai in 1935. This house, as well as Raj Kapoor’s ancestral home, were on the brink of demolition before the provincial government in Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa stepped in and announced to buy them.
Many in India were very enthusiastic over the decision to buy and convert the two historic buildings into museums to honour the Bollywood legends and preserve their contribution to Indian cinema. But despite its good intentions, the government has found it difficult to proceed with the matter due to the high prices that current owners of the houses are demanding. According to reports, the owner of Dilip Kumar’s ancestral home demanded Rs 25 crore for the property.
The price of Kumar’s four marla (101 square metre) house was ultimately fixed for Rs 80.56 lakh, with the Department of Archaeology in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province allocating funds for purchasing the two buildings. The price that has been fixed, however, is a far cry from what the owners demanded in both cases.
The owner of Kumar’s house, Haji Lal Muhammad, said he had purchased the property in 2005 for Rs 51 lakh after completing all formalities required for transfer of the land and possesses all the documents of the house. The government’s pricing, he felt, severely undervalued the property.