[ecis2016.org] In his career spanning over five decades, Dilip Kumar essayed on-screen characters that generations of actors continue to emulate. Aside from leaving a void in the world of cinema, the Kind of Tragedy leaves behind a fortune estimated worth Rs 680 crore.
One of the most famous actors of the golden era of Bollywood, Dilip Kumar, died at the age 98. Kumar passed away at the PD Hinduja Hospital in Mumbai, on July 7, 2021, following a prolonged illness caused by ‘age-related medical issues’. The demise of the legendary performer, who director Satyajeet Ray termed the ultimate method actor, marks the end of an era. He is survived by his wife, former actor Saira Banu. The couple, who got married in 1966, have no children.
Born on December 11, 1922, as Mohammad Yusuf Khan, the actor extraordinaire, with his career spanning over five decades starting the 1940s, was openly emulated by his peers during his time and even by contemporary actors, for essaying on-screen characters of wide range and intensity. His meditative and intense performance was a break from the highly expressive theatrical acting prevalent during the time.
Well-versed in Urdu, Hindko, Punjabi, Marathi, English, Bangla, Gujarati, Pashto, Persian and Hindi along with its various dialects, including Awadhi and Bhojpuri, Kumar made his debut in Indian cinema with Jwaar Bhata, which was released in 1944 by Bombay Talkies. He portrayed, with equal perfection, the suave urban gentleman in movies like Amar, Footpath, Paigham, Madhumati and Leader, and the rustic villager in films like Naya Daur, Ganga Jamuna and Mela.
Kumar also worked in popular movies such as Andaz (released in 1949), Aan (released in 1952) and Daag (released in 1952). The finest tragic actor of his time to play some of the most memorable melancholic characters ever played in Bollywood (thus earning him the title, ‘The Tragedy King’), Kumar portrayed Salim in Mughal-e-Azam and the eponymous role in Devdas. He received the Padma Bhushan in 1991, and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1994, for his contribution to Indian cinema. He also received the Nishan-e-Imtiaz, the highest civilian award by the Pakistan government for his contribution to the cine world.
From 2000 to 2006, Kumar was the Congress party’s representative from Maharashtra in the Rajya Sabha. His autobiography, The Substance and the Shadow, was published in 2014.
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Dilip Kumar net worth and property
One of 12 children of Lala Ghulam Sarwar, an orchard-owning fruit merchant, and his wife, Ayesha Begum, Dilip Kumar left for Pune from his hometown Peshawar after having a disagreement with his father. In Pune, he met with an elderly Anglo-Indian couple, who owned a Parsi cafe and helped Kumar meet a contractor, who helped him open a sandwich stall. After having accumulated some savings (when the contract ended, the actor has saved Rs 5,000), Kumar moved to Mumbai. Once he made his mark in Bollywood during the 40s, Dilip Kumar, who was introduced in the cine world by veteran actor Devika Rani (her husband Himanshu Rai was the founder of the Bombay Talkies that released Dilip Kumar’s first film Jwar Bhata in 1944), charged Rs 1 lakh as his fee to act in a movie, reportedly the first actor in the industry at that time to do so.
In 2021, his net-worth was estimated at Rs 680 crores.
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Dilip Kumar and Saira Banu’s Pali Hill bungalow
Dilip Kumar spent a large part of his life with his wife at their Pali Hill Bungalow Number 16. Now a dilapidated, old bungalow, the current market price of the bungalow is Rs 350 crores, keeping in view its redevelopment potential. Owing to the state of Bungalow Number 16, Dilip Kumar shifted to his wife Saira Banu’s nearby property, Bungalow No 34, in the same locality. The property is in the same neighbourhood as the homes of some other popular Bollywood actors, such as Rishi Kapoor, Aamir Khan and Sanjay Dutt.
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Bungalow no 16: The legal tussle with Samir Bhojwani
Dilip Kumar had bought the 2,016.71-sq metre property, located at the prime suburb of Bandra, on September 25, 1953, from Kamruddin Latif for Rs 1.4 lakhs. Latif had taken the plot on a leasehold basis from Mulraj Khatau’s family for 999 years in 1923. However, when Kumar and Banu started the demolition of the bungalow to redevelop it, builder Samir Narain Bhojwani on December 21, 2018, issued a public notice, claiming he was the ‘rightful owner’ of the bungalow, and had only leased out the property to the yesteryear film stars.
Following claims by builder Bhojwani that he had the ownership right over the property, which led to a prolonged legal battle between the couple and Bhojwani, the legal heir of the property’s original owners, Sunit Khatau, a beneficiary of the Seth Mulraj Khatau Settlement Trust, issued a public notice in 2019, stating that the trust was the owner of the property and that Dilip Kumar was a perpetual lessee of the property, for a period of 999 years. The public notice issued by Panna Khatau, the wife of Sunit Khatau, clarified that Kumar was not a tenant of the property, as alleged by Bhojwani.
The notice also added that Bhojwani, in collusion with Hiten Khatau, Mahendra Khatau and Dilip Khatau, were claiming to be the trustees of the Seth Mulraj Khatau Settlement Trust and created and manufactured several illegal, back-dated documents of several properties of the Trust.
Recall here that this was not Bhojwani’s only run in with the law. Bhojwani was among the builders whose high-end automobiles were seized by the BMC in 2020, to recover property tax dues. In 2018, the resident of a Bandra housing project Samir Bhojwani constructed entire projects allegedly flouting construction norms. In 2018, an Assam court had also directed the state police to present Bhojwani for illegally carrying a weapon.
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Dilip Kumar bungalow original owner: The Seth Mulraj Khatau Trust
The bungalow was originally the property of the Seth Mulraj Khatau Trust, established by industrialist Mulraj Khatau between 1917 and 1919. His five sons – Morarji, Dharamsey, Chandrakant, Laxmidas and Lalitkumar – were all members of the Trust.
Mulraj, who had entrusted various immovable properties to this Trust, wished for them to be divided in five equal parts among his five sons. However, the Trust was directed to hold these properties till the death of Mulraj’s last surviving son. While Mulraj passed away in 1930, Chandrakant was his last son to die in 1988.
“The Trust deed provided for the share of each of his (Mulraj’s) sons to go to his male issues (sons) and to be divided upon the death of the last surviving son, who, in this case, was Chandrakant. Thus, the properties ought to have been divided upon the death of Chandrakant,” the affidavit by Panna Khatau reads.
However, it is alleged that forged document were created, showing that Abhay Khatau (son of Laxmidas), Hiten Khatau (son of Abhay Khatau) and Mahendra Khatau (grandson of Dharmsey Khatau) were appointed as the members of the Mulraj Trust since 1985 and that Chandrakant had pledged his share in the property to Bhojwani, Panna’s affidavit clarified.
Following a complaint by Banu, the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai Police registered a case of cheating against the builder, for allegedly trying to grab the bungalow of the veteran actor. However, Bhojwani was released soon after his arrest in 2018.
Dilip Kumar’s property in Peshawar
Dilip Kumar was born in his ancestral property in Peshawar. The Pakistan government has already declared his native house as a national heritage and completed all formalities to convert it into a museum in his name. The price of the four-marla (101-sq metre) property, located at the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, has been fixed at Rs 80.56 lakhs, which the current owner, Haji Lal Muhammad, has termed as a great under-valuation on the side of the government. Muhammad had purchased the property in 2005 for Rs 51 lakhs and says it is now worth Rs 25 crores, at least.
At Mohallah Khudadad Qissa Khwani Bazar, where the property is located, the rate of one marla of land is above Rs five crores, he said. Marla, a local area measurement unit used in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, is equal to 272.25 sq ft or 25.2929 sq metres.
Adding another twist to the ownership story, Dilip Kumar’s nephew, industrialist Fuad Ishaque, in February 2021 claimed he had the legal power of attorney of Kumar’s Peshawar home.
In which neighbourhood is Dilip Kumar’s bungalow located?
The bungalow which belongs to Dilip Kumar is located in Bandra in the same neighbourhood as Rishi Kapoor and Aamir Khan’s homes.
Who is Dilip Kumar’s wife?
Dilip Kumar married actress Saira Banu in 1966.
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(With inputs from Housing News Desk)
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