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Houses of Indian actors to be declared heritage

Updated December 12, 2014

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A girl writes her comment on a banner displayed on a wall at Peshawar Press Club on Thursday during signature campaign at the 92nd birthday function of Dilip Kumar. —  White Star
A girl writes her comment on a banner displayed on a wall at Peshawar Press Club on Thursday during signature campaign at the 92nd birthday function of Dilip Kumar. — White Star

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Thursday announced the houses of legendry Indian film actors, including Dilip Kumar, would be given the status of cultural heritage to change the places into living museums for the historical pictures of noted artists.

The announcement was made by adviser to the provincial chief minister on tourism and archeology Ajmad Afridi during a Peshawar Press Club function organised to mark the 92nd birthday anniversary of celebrated Indian film star Dilip Kumar.

The event was organised by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Culture Heritage Council (CHC) in collaboration with the Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP).

Dilip Kumar’s fans, including writers, actors, journalists, lawyers and people from different walks of life, attended it in large numbers.

Noted among speakers were CHC president Younis Kiyasi, general secretary Shakeel Wahidullah, archaeology and museums director Dr Abdul Samad, archeology, tourism and sports secretary Dr Aftab Akbar Durrani, TCKP chief Mushtaq Ahmad, Peshawar Press Club president Nasir Hussain and Khyber Union of Journalists president Nisar Mehmood.

The adviser to the chief minister informed participants that the provincial government had declared the house of legendary Indian actor, Dilip Kumar, as a protected monument under the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Antiquities Act 1997 and Land Acquisition Act 1895.

The house is located near historic Qissa Khawani Bazaar.

Amjad Afridi said the houses of legendary Indian actors, including Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor, would be declared a heritage to protect and preserve them.

He said the successive governments had never paid proper attention towards preservation and protection of key heritage sites to save them from decaying.

The adviser said the government was legislating to further protect historic archaeological sites and other historical places.

Other speakers highlighted different aspects of the life of Dilip Kumar, who was born in Peshawar city.

They said the legendary actor was born to an Awan Hindko speaking family in Peshawar’s Muhallah Khudad near the famous Qissa Khwani Bazaar on December 11, 1922 before he moved to Mumbai in late 1920s, where his father, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, had set up fruit business.

The speakers said Dilip Kumar’s film career spread over six decades with over 60 films and that he was awarded the Filmfare Best Actor Award eight times, while the Indian

government had honoured him with Padma Bhushan, the third highest Indian civilian award, in 1991 and Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1994.

Dilip Kumar’s wife, Saira Bano, addressed participants over the telephone and thanked Peshawarites for their love and respect for her husband.

“What Kumar is now is only because of the prayers and love of the people of this city,” she said.

Dilip Kumar also spoke briefly on the occasion and asked the residents of the city to keep him in prayers.

Indian film actor Manosh Kumar also addressed participants over the telephone and thanked Peshawarites for celebrating the birthday of a legendary actor in his ancestral city.

TCKP managing director Mushtaq Ahmad Khan told participants that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had produced many legends in almost every field but serious efforts had not been made to bring them to light.

“It is high time that we should remember and recognise those legends’ services with due respect. Dilip Kumar is a matchless film actor, who deserves great appreciation for being a great source of inspiration for scores of people,” he said.

Film actors Firdous Jamal and Resham and producers and directors shed light on the work of Dilip Kumar, popularly known as king of the tragedy, by video link.

Pakistan Idol contestant Shoaib sang a popular song picturised on Dilip Kumar and received appreciation from participants.

Earlier, a documentary was shown about the life and work of Dilip Kumar.

Published in Dawn, December 12th, 2014