What will happen to Bollywood legend Dilip Kumar’s ancestral home in Pakistan’s Peshawar?
Bollywood legend Dilip Kumar, who passed away on July 6 due to age-related ailments, had often spoken of his ancestral house located in present day Pakistan’s Peshawar. Dilip Kumar grew up there in the famous Qissa Khwani Bazar during his childhood before the partition, and later moved to Mumbai in 1935.
Now, what will happen to Dilip’s ancestral home? Well, the house, which is over 100 years old, is going to be converted into a museum!
Dilip Kumar’s house, coincidentally, was right next to another veteran Bollywood actor’s house: Raj Kapoor, who was also one of Dilip’s closest friends. Dilip and Raj’s houses were declared heritage monuments in 2014 by the Nawaz Sharif government.
Earlier, Dilip Kumar got a glimpse of his childhood residence with the help of a journalist from Pakistan named Shiraz Hassan. Shiraz had posted four photographs of the ancestral house on Twitter and tagged him on the post. The actor thanked him for sharing those pictures and requested others also to share pictures of his home if they came across any.
Talking about how her husband felt about the house, Saira Banu told media sources, “I have shared his pride and happiness during a visit to the property some years ago. He was so emotional when he saw the house where he spent his lovely childhood in the comfort and security of a large, refined family. I wish the provincial government succeeds in its efforts and sincerely hope that this time the dream comes true (sic).”
Last month, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Directorate of Archaeology and Museums took possession of the building to stop the government’s initial plans of demolition.
Reports said the 101-square-meter house was bought by the Directorate of Archaeology for a price of INR 80.56 lakh. However, the previous owner of Dilip’s house, Haji Lal Muhammad, told media sources that he had purchased the property in 2005 for INR 51 lakh, and felt the government had undervalued the historic building. He had sought INR 25 crore while selling it to the government, but later settled for INR 80.5 lakh.
The provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa also announced in September 2020 that the two houses would now be converted into museums. The decision was received with a lot of enthusiasm from the Indian audience, who felt this would be a tribute to the two Bollywood legends.
Director (Archaeology) Dr Abdul Samad also told media sources that the house would first be restored and renovated before the conversion process began.