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Thursday January 20, 2022

Vinod Khanna was yet another Bollywood great born in Pakistan

April 28, 2017

LAHORE: Late Indian film star, Vinod Khanna (1946-2017), was among the many Bollywood celebrities who were either born in the pre-partition Pakistan or had family roots and heritage there. 

Vinod Khanna, the son of Kamla and Kishanchand Khanna, was born in Peshawar to a Punjabi-speaking family. His father had a textiles, dyes and chemicals business in Peshawar. Shortly after Vinod was born, the 1947 partition had taken place and his family had to leave for Mumbai. Defeated by an advanced cancer of the bladder Thursday, Vinod Khanna had acted in lead roles of many super hit films and had made a mark for himself in presence of the likes of Amitabh Bachchan, Rajesh Khanna, Dharmendra, Shashi Kapoor, Jeetendra, Sanjeev Kumar and Shatrughan Sinha etc. 

Here follows the list of some top Bollywood actors who were actually born in Pakistan: Prithviraj Kapoor (1906-1972), one of the pioneers of Indian theatre and Hindi film industry, was born in Samundri, a city in Faisalabad district of Punjab. He had completed his higher education from Edward’s College in Peshawar. 

His father, Basheshwarnath Kapoor, served as a police officer in the Indian Imperial Police in Peshawar city.  Raj Kapoor (1924-1988), the greatest “Showman” of Indian cinema, was born at Kapoor Haveli in Peshawar to Prithviraj Kapoor. Raj Kapoor was one of the most influential filmmakers and actors in the history of Indian cinema. 

The tragedy king of Bollywood, Dilip Kumar, was born as Yusuf Khan in Peshawar in 1922.  Dev Anand (1923-2011), the legendary Indian actor, was born in district Narowal’s Shakargarh tehsil (in Pakistan). 

Shakargarh used to be part of Gurdaspur district (now in India). Dev Anand was an alumnus of Government College, Lahore. 

Indian film hero-turned-parliamentarian, Sunil Dutt (1929-2005), was born in Khurd Village, Jhelum district of Punjab. His son Sanjay Dutt had followed in his footsteps. 

Kader Khan (born 1937), a seasoned Indian film actor, comedian, script and dialogue writer, was born in Pishin, Balochistan.  Amrish Puri, the veteran actor and villain, was born in Lahore in 1932. He belonged to a Punjabi-speaking family of Lala Nihal Singh Puri. Amrish Puri later moved to Shimla to continue his studies. 

Prem Chopra, another famous ‘villain’ of Bollywood cinema, was also born in Lahore to a Punjabi Hindu family in 1935. Not only that, Prem Chopra is an alumnus of the prestigious Punjab University. 

Famous poet and author, Sampooran Singh Kalra, more commonly known as Gulzar, was born in Dina City, Jhelum district, Punjab. 

The biggest film star of her time, Sadhana, was born in Karachi in 1941. Although, the family was famous in Karachi but had opted to fly from Karachi during the post-partition riots and settled in Mumbai. 

Actor Premnath Malhotra (1926 – 1992) was yet another Indian actor born in Karimpura locality near Peshawar’s Ghanta Ghar. 

His family had moved to Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh) after partition. Premnath had personally relocated to Mumbai, where he was discovered as an actor. 

Manoj Kumar (born Harikrishna Giri Goswami in 1937), was born in Abbottabad. 

When he was 10, his family had to migrate from Jandhyala Sher Khan (Punjab, Pakistan) to Delhi due to partition. 

Actor Raaj Kumar (1926 – 1996), was born in Loralai (Balochistan). 

Born Kulbhushan Pandit, Raaj Kumar had also worked as a sub-inspector in Mumbai police in the late 1940s before deciding to join Bollywood. 

Globally-acknowledged Indian film director and film producer, Yash Raj Chopra (1932-2012), was born in Lahore into a Punjabi-Hindu family. 

Eminent Indian film producer, Surinder Kapoor (1925 – 2011), was born in Peshawar too. His three sons, Anil Kapoor, Boney Kapoor and Sanjay Kapoor, are also involved with film industry. 

Here follows the list of some top Bollywood actors who have roots in Pakistan:

Mohammed Rafi (1924-1980), perhaps the greatest ever and most popular Indian playback singer of the Hindi film industry, was born in Kotla Sultan Singh, a village near Amritsar. 

His father had moved to Lahore in 1935, where he ran a men’s salon in Bhati Gate’s Noor mohalla. 

Rafi’s first public performance came at the age of 13, when he sang in Lahore, featuring classical maestro Kundan Lal Saigal (KL Saigal). 

In 1941, Rafi, under music director Shyam Sundar, made his debut in Lahore as a playback singer. 

He sang a duet “Soniye Nee, Heeriye Nee” with Zeenat Begum in Punjabi film “Gul Baloch,” which was released in 1944. During that same year, Rafi was invited by All India Radio’s Lahore station to sing for them. 

It is believed that he sang about 7,400 songs in many languages. 

Celebrated Indian film industry villain, Pran Krishan Sikand (1920 – 2013), was born in Old Delhi, but had acted in 22 films from 1942 to 1946 in Lahore, and had remained in constant touch with Saadat Hasan Manto, a fabulous Indo-Pakistani writer, playwright and author. 

Indian superstar Rajesh Khanna (1942-2012) was born in Amritsar, but his ancestors hailed from Burewala in Punjab. Teji Bachchan, mother of Indian film industry icon Amitabh Bachchan, was born in Lyallpur (now Faisalabad) in 1914. 

Shah Rukh Khan’s paternal family also belonged to Peshawar. Although Shahrukh Khan was born in New Delhi, his father Meer Taj Muhammad Khan belonged to Peshawar. 

The legendary Indian actress, Nargis Dutt (1929-1981), wife of Sunil Dutt and mother of Sanjay Dutt, also had memories and history attached with Pakistan. 

Although she was born in Calcutta, father Abdul Rashid alias Mohan Babu, was originally a wealthy trader having business in Rawalpindi. Mohan Babu had converted to Islam. 

Born as Fatima Rashid, Nargis was regarded as one of the greatest actresses in the history of Hindi cinema.   Similarly, another magnificent Indian actress Madhubala (1933 – 1969), was a native Pushto speaker. 

Born Mumtaz Jehan Dehlavi, Madubala’s father, Attaullah Khan, was a Yusufzai pathan belonging to Swabi district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (then called NWFP). Her mother’s name was Ayesha Begum.  

Arun Kumar Ahuja, father of actor Govinda, was born in Gujranwala, Punjab. After partition, Govinda’s family had moved to Mumbai where Govinda was born. 

Actor Hrithik Roshan’s great grandfather also hailed from Pakistan. His paternal grandfather, Roshan, who was a well-known music director, was born in Gujranwala, while his maternal grandfather, Om Prakash, was born in Sialkot. Actor Vivek Oberoi’s father, Suresh Oberoi, was born in Quetta. Vivek is originally from a Punjabi family. 

Within a year of Suresh Oberoi’s birth, his family had relocated to Hyderabad, India, due to partition.

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