Throwback: How Sunil Dutt’s family was saved by Muslim man during partition

Mumbai: The debonair of the ’50s, a besotted husband, a doting father, and a humble philanthropist, that is how one remembers Bollywood‘s legendary actor Sunil Dutt. Dutt Sahab, as lovingly called by his peers, was one of the highly respected actors with evergreen hits like Mother India, Gumraah, Waqt, Padosan, and Mera Saaya in his portfolio.

Besides being known for his charismatic on-screen presence, Sunil Dutt was also known for being very vocal about his personal life and struggles. He would often talk about his family, his life before Bollywood, and his birth and childhood in Pakistan. Sunil Dutt grew up in a village named Khurd near Jhelum city in Pakistan.

On the occasion of his birth anniversary, let us go back to one of the anecdotes Sunil Dutt narrated about partition and how his entire family was saved by a Muslim man.

In an old interview that he gave a few weeks before his death in 2005, the actor spoke about his visit to his childhood village in Pakistan and how it was an emotional moment for him. Speaking to Reddif, he recalled, “I remember when I visited my village (in Pakistan) again after 50 years. I was invited by then prime minister Nawaz Sharif. He was very kind when I told him about my desire to visit my village. He made all the arrangements for my visit.”

He also spoke about the warm welcome he received from the villagers and he was also shown fields and told that they belonged to him.

“My father died when I was just five. We lived in the village without any problem. There were more Muslims than Hindus there. During Partition, my entire family was saved by a Muslim. His name was Yakub — a friend of my father’s who lived a mile-and-a-half away from our village. He helped us escape to the main city, Jhelum. I left Pakistan after my matriculation. I never had the chance to visit Lahore. I visited Karachi when I was invited to attend Benazir Bhutto’s marriage. I was very keen that my wife (Nargis, who passed away in May 1981) should also see my village, how we went to school,” he further added.

For the unversed, Sunil Dutt married his Mother India co-star Nargis in 1958. They both went on to become parents of Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, politician Priya Dutt, and Namrata Dutt.

Today, Sanjay Dutt took to Instagram to give Sunil Dutt a tribute and shared a still from their last movie together Munna Bhai MBBS. He captioned it, “Your belief and love helped make me who I am today. You were, are, and will always be my hero. Happy birthday, Dad.”

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