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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Sultan Rahi: Legacy of Maula Jutt refuses to Die

Sultan Rahi, prolific and versatile actor, is remembered on his 24th death anniversary. His fans and colleagues recalled his famous performances in more than 700 movies for Pakistan's film industry. An insurmountable name of Pakistan's film industry, Sultan Rahi, is hailed by colleagues for tirelessly serving the film industry.

The legendary actor, Sultan Rahi, is remembered on his 24th death anniversary. Muhammad Sultan Khan was popularly known as Sultan Rahi in the Punjabi film industry and Lollywood.

Early life and death

Sultan Rahi was born in a Muslim family in Uttar Pradesh in India in 1938. His family migrated to Pakistan after partition and settled in Gujranwala after 1947.

On January 9th, 1996, Rahi was murdered while returning to Gujranwala late at night from Islamabad. When his car’s wheels deflated near Samnabad close to Gujranwala on Grand Trunk road, taking advantage of the dark, some unidentified people opened fire on Sultan Rahi, killing him on the spot.

Golden Era of Lollywood

His friends and family hailed his era as a ‘golden era’ of the Pakistani film industry.

“Without a doubt, the golden era of Pakistan’s film industry was when Sultan Rahi was here as Punjabi films dominated the business. I think such days will never come again and no one can ever replace him or his work,” director Altaf Hussain told the media.

“I think such actors are only born once. He was a trendsetter – his films were copied in other countries but no one was able to perform like him.” Adding that “he was and will always remain the most successful Punjabi hero of all time.”

Rahi was amongst the best Punjabi actors and ruled the film industry for over four decades. He appeared in nearly 700 Punjabi and Urdu films and most of them were blockbuster.

Read more: Nation observes 22nd death anniversary of Sultan Rahi

His famous films include Maula Jatt, Sher Khan, Chan Veryam, Babul Sadqay Tere, Sharif Badmash, Basheera, and Wehsi Gujjar. ‘Maula Jatt’ was the most successful film of his whole career.

Later on, the actor was more commonly identified with the fictional character of ‘Maula Jatt’. Currently ‘Waar’ director Bilal Lashari is collaborating with Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan for a ‘Maula Jatt’ remake.

Relations with colleagues

He was an extremely devoted and committed performer. He had a friendly and humble demeanor with low-paid production staff and workers.

Sultan Rahi funded various charity works. He built a mosque at the Bari studios and financed a film for junior artists. His co-actor Bahar Begum said, “Sultan used to joke about how the golden days of Lollywood will end with his departure and that is exactly what happened.”

“Sultan was a source of income for thousands of people. No wonder everyone loved him so much” she recalled. “Many other actors have come and gone but none of them could ever take Sultan’s place,” she further added.

Read more: Mahira Khan excited to reunite with Fawad Khan for ‘Maula Jatt’

Indeed, the nation could not produce another Rahi to follow his legacy. Rahi’s work provided a firm foundation to the Punjabi film center that later on became the epitome of entertainment in Pakistan.