Pakistani cultural activists have supported the announcement made recently by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government that the birthplace of the cinema legend Dilip Kumar would be conserved soon and turned into a museum.
Expressing satisfaction at the announcement,the writers and cultural activists,including Salahuddin,Mohammad Ibrahim Zia,Ali Awais and others said Peshawar had produced legends who excelled in respective fields.
They said Peshawarites were proud of Dilip Kumar as he is the greatest thespian Peshawar has ever produced,a media report said.
They hoped the provincial government,led by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf,would go beyond announcements and take practical steps to conserve the birthplace of the acting legend without wasting any time.
Arif Yusaf,a legislator of Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf and the provincial parliamentary secretary for culture,visited the Indian actor’s home at Mohallah Khudadad in the historic old quarters of Peshawar last week.
The visit was arranged by the Cultural Heritage Council (CHC),a heritage organisation that has been pushing for the preservation of the homes of Bollywood stars in Peshawar.
Yusaf sought technical proposals from CHC with ways and means to preserve the building. He also sought CHC’s help to identify ways to give the building the status of a “protected national monument” under relevant laws.
The lawmaker said he had made the visit to see for himself the state of the building. He said he felt reassured because the building was intact from a structural engineering point of view.
With minor conservation work,it could be restored and turned into a living museum dedicated to all cinema artistes who originally belonged to Peshawar,Yusaf said.
He acknowledged Dilip Kumar was a son of the soil and Peshawar was proud of the hero. The homes of Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar in the city deserve to be conserved,he added.
Yusaf said he will also personally take up the matter with the Chief Minister and the Culture Minister.
The previous Awami National Party government in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa had drawn up ambitious plans to preserve the homes of both Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor.
Ali Jan,a culture activist,said that the issue of conserving Dilip Kumarand Raj Kapoor houses had been raised many a times in the past.
“The politicians in previous governments made tall claims just to grab the media attention. But on the ground no tangible effort was made beyond giving a lip service to the issue,” he was quoted as saying by The News daily.
He hoped the present elected government would sincerely undertake preservation of all historical structures in the province and bring them under the ambit of the Antiquities Act 1997.