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December 12, 2019

Fans celebrate 97th birthday of film legend Dilip Kumar


December 12, 2019

PESHAWAR: The Cultural Heritage Council arranged a function at the Peshawar Press Club on Wednesday to celebrate the 97th birthday of the iconic film star from Peshawar, Muhammad Yusuf Khan whose screen name is Dilip Kumar.

People from various walks of life attended the ceremony which has been arranged regularly for years by his fans in the city of his birth.

The Cultural Heritage Council (CHC) Secretary Shakeel Waheedullah Khan, noted film historian and author, Muhammad Ibrahim Zia, Peshawar Press Club President Syed Bukhar Shah and others cut a cake on the occasion.

Shakeel Waheedullah said the basic purpose of organizing such events was to bring people of both the country closer and promote the message of love and peace.

The CHC secretary said Dilip Kumar ruled the subcontinent film industry for over 50 years and earned a unique place for him. He said a delegation from Peshawar would leave for India to inquire about the health of legendary film star.

Shakeel Waheedullah also asked the government to ensure protection to the historic buildings and frame policies to protect those buildings. Film historian Muhammad Ibrahim Zia told reporters Dilip Kumar is rightly considered the greatest star of the subcontinent cinema and the academy of acting. Ibrahim Zia, who has authored books to highlight the contribution of Peshawar to the cinema and theatre, said this soil was culturally rich as it had produced great cinema actors, adding Dilip Kumar name was on the top of the list. He said he intended to bring out more publications to spotlight the role of the artistes from Peshawar in the cinema and other cultural fields.

It is worth mentioning here that Dilip Kumar was born as Muhammad Yusuf Khan to Lala Ghulam Sarwar and Ayesha Begum into a Hindko-speaking Awan family of Peshawar on December 11, 1922, at Mohallah Khudadad, at the back of the historic Qissa Khwani Bazaar. The family later moved first to Pune in Maharashtra and later Mumbai. Dilip Kumar went into acting in 1944 and Jawar Bhatta was his first film. His acting career is spread over 54 years during which he acquired vast popularity as The Tragedy King. He appeared for the last time in Qila film which was released 21 years ago. Dilip Kumar has been honoured with awards in India and Pakistan for his services. He visited Peshawar two times after partition, first in 1988 and then in 1998. The home, where he was born and spent early days of his life in Peshawar, has been in a rundown state since long.

Dilip Kumar and his fans were happy when the government announced heritage status to the house. The house was supposed to be preserved. The pledge was never honoured.

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