Peshawar: Legendary Indian thespian Dilip Kumar was not just an actor but an institution and people like him are born once in a century, Pakistan’s Senator and the 98-year-old Bollywood icon’s nephew Mohsin Aziz said on Monday.
At a condolence meet in the memory of Kumar, the Pakistani lawmaker threw light on his life, career, character and his attachment with Peshawar where he was born.
Kumar, who was born on December 11, 1922 at his ancestral home in Qissa Khawani Bazaar area of Peshawar in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, died at a hospital in Mumbai last week after prolonged illness. His original name was Yousuf Khan.
“Actors like Kumar are born once in a century. He was not just an actor, but an institution, Senator Aziz said.
He was a thorough gentleman and down to earth person who won hearts of thousands and millions of people through his hard work, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader said at the meet organised at his house here.
He was a great social worker and contributed generously for humanity, Aziz said.
In 1998, the Pakistan government honoured Kumar with the ‘Nishan-e-Imtiaz’ – the country’s highest civilian award.
Pakistan’s top leadership and people showed their adulation for the legendary actor last week, with President Arif Alvi describing Kumar as “an outstanding actor, a humble man, and a dignified personality”.
“Sorry to see Dilip Kumar (Yusuf Khan) depart from his worldly abode. An outstanding actor, a humble man, and a dignified personality. Condolences to the immediate family and his huge family of admirers. May his soul rest in peace,” he tweeted.
Condoling Kumar’s death, Prime Minister Imran Khan said he can never forget his generosity in helping to raise funds for a trust to set up cancer hospitals in his mother’s memory.
“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 (the) project launched. This is the most difficult time – to raise (the) first 10% of the funds & his appearance in Pak & London helped raise huge amounts,” Khan tweeted.
“Apart from this, for my generation Dilip Kumar was the greatest and most versatile actor,” he said.
Often known as the Nehruvian hero, he did his first film ‘Jwar Bhata’ in 1944 and his last ‘Qila’ in 1998, 54 years later. The five-decade career included ‘Mughal-e-Azam’, ‘Devdas’, ‘Naya Daur’, and ‘Ram Aur Shyam’, and later, as he graduated to character roles, ‘Shakti’ and ‘Karma’.
The actor is survived by his wife Saira Banu.