Earlier today, Bollywood’s renowned actor, Dilip Kumar, passed away at the age of 98. Dilip Kumar was suffering due to a prolonged illness and passed away at 7.30 am, as per official reports.
Commonly known as Bollywood’s “Tragedy King,” Dilip Kumar’s death sent both Indian and Pakistani social media in frenzy, as posts commemorating him and his contributions to the film industry flooded social media platforms.
Important governmental officials in both India and Pakistan paid tributes to Dilip Kumar.
Pakistan’s President Dr. Arif Alvi took to Twitter to express his grief over the actor’s passing. “Sorry to see Dilip Kumar (Yusuf Khan) depart from his worldly abode. An outstanding actor, a humble man, a dignified personality. Condolences to the immediate family and his huge family of admires. May his soul rest in peace,” the President wrote.
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. اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَاِنَّآ اِلَیْہِ رَاجِعُوْنَ
— Dr. Arif Alvi (@ArifAlvi) July 7, 2021
Minister Fawad Chaudhry also expressed his deep sorrow for the death of Dilip Kumar, “An iconic hero! Dilip Kumar is no more, loved by millions of people in this subcontinent and around the world. The tragedy king will be missed always,” Fawad tweeted.
An Iconic hero! Dilip Kumar is no more,loved by Millions of people in the sub continent and around the world tragedy king will be missed always… RIP Yousaf Khan aka Dilip Kumar https://t.co/xoQYV014xA
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) July 7, 2021
Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, too joined his country in mourning the loss of the beloved actor.
“Dilip Kumar Ji will be remembered as a cinematic legend. He was blessed with unparalleled brilliance, due to which audiences across generations were enthralled. His passing away is a loss to our cultural world. Condolences to his family, friends, and innumerable admirers. RIP,” PM Modi tweeted.
Dilip Kumar Ji will be remembered as a cinematic legend. He was blessed with unparalleled brilliance, due to which audiences across generations were enthralled. His passing away is a loss to our cultural world. Condolences to his family, friends and innumerable admirers. RIP.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 7, 2021
A strong supporter of peace
Born as Yusuf Khan in Peshawar, Dilip Kumar went from a fruit seller to a household name in both India and Pakistan due to his remarkable acting in popular movies like Devdas, and Mughal-e-Azam.
However, he not only graced the silver screens of the sub-continent but also played an important role in promoting peace between India and Pakistan.
The legendary actor secretly visited Pakistan twice to play his role in normalizing relations between the two countries.
As per Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, a former Pakistani politician who served as the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Pakistan from 2002 till 2007, Dilip Kumar was an “apostle for peace.” Kasuri also writes in his book that Dilip Kumar spoke to former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif after the Kargil war.
While talking to Nawaz Sharif, Dilip Kumar expressed how Pak-Indian relations should be controlled because increased tensions directly impact Indian Muslims like him.
During his time in India as a Muslim, Dilip Kumar was a frequent target of Shiv Sena, a right-wing Marathi ultranationalist political party in India.
Dilip Kumar: A cultural icon uniting Pakistan and India
Even in death, Dilip Kumar is successful in uniting India and Pakistan as both the countries are currently mourning the loss of the beloved actor together.
Both Indian and Pakistani Twitters are alive with posts commemorating Dilip Kumar. In addition to social media, news channels in both India and Pakistan have consistently covered his death. Since morning, all 33 news channels in Pakistan paid tributes to Dilip Kumar and the same situation persists in India.
— Dunya News (@DunyaNews) July 7, 2021
— Indian Express Entertainment 😷 (@ieEntertainment) July 7, 2021
Every detail about the actor, his life story, and important contributions to both society and the film industry is being made widely known, as Indians and Pakistanis join together to honor him.
Indian media even shared PM Khan’s tweet condoling the death of the actor. PM Khan also expressed his gratitude to Dilip Kumar as the actor helped Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust to raise funds.
Pakistan PM #ImranKhan condoled the death of #DilipKumar, saying he can never forget his generosity in helping to raise funds for a trust to set up cancer hospitals in his mother's memoryhttps://t.co/zflfIU5ZDn
— The Hindu Cinema (@TheHinduCinema) July 7, 2021
Since the 1947 independence, India and Pakistan have had tense relations. With the rise of RSS and BJP, tensions have mounted in recent years with India frequently targetting Pakistan.
However, with Dilip Kumar’s death, it seems as if India and Pakistan have momentarily forgotten their rivalry.
This proves that despite severe political tensions between India and Pakistan, such cultural icons like Dilip Kumar still exist between both countries and can act as a common ground for promoting peace.