Dilip Kumar is a well known name in Hindi cinema. He is a Muslim who hails from Peshawar now in Pakistan. When India was a composite state his father migrated from his home town to Pune. Dilip (Yusuf Khan) got a break in acting and didn’t look back after that.
As an actor he has no peer, but his other inclinations are to say the least questionable. In the 1962 war when China attacked India, Dilip Kumar came out as a patriot and traversed the length and breadth of India raising funds for the Indian war effort and condemning China in no uncertain words. He raised money for the war effort by organizing many shows and recitals. He was a live wire at that time and supported the war effort.
However Dilip Kumar turned turtle and presented a different face altogether during the 1965 war with Pakistan. Dilip was found sulking in a corner and he failed to utter a single word against Pakistan. This intrigued many people and raised eyebrows at the conduct of Dilip Kumar. Despite requests to come out and support the Indian war effort, Dilip did not oblige and maintained a studious silence.
The Shiv Sena took matters to a head and accused Dilip Kumar of being a Pakistani agent. In fact Sanjay Nirupam the then Shiv Sena member of the Rajya Sabha articulated in parliament that Dilip Kumar was a Pakistani. He shouted the same in the hall of parliament. Dilip did not counter these remarks. Perhaps he felt they deserved no importance.
Later Dilip accepted a highest civilian award from Pakistan when tempers in India were running high during the Kargil conflict. This is not to say that Dilip was a Pakistan spy or something similar, but perhaps his roots with his old birthplace are so strong that he could not visualize enmity between India and Pakistan.
Dilip is now retired and settled in Mumbai. He didn’t go back to his birth place Peshawar and chose to sty in Mumbai. But his conduct during the 65 and 71 wars with Pakistan certainly raised eyebrows. He perhaps could have conducted himself better.
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