Dilip Kumar, also known as the Tragedy King of the silver screen, had several monikers. For some, he was Mughal-e-Salim. Azam’s Others knew him as Deva since he was the second actor to play Devdas in an adaptation of Saratchandra Chattopadhyay’s tale of the same name.
There were also Ram, Shyam, Rana Vishwa Pratap Singh, and Veer Singh, to name a few. But what exactly was his given name? Producer Devika Rani gave the late actor the screen name Dilip Kumar. Muhammad Yusuf Khan was born in Pakistan’s Peshawar to an Awan family.
WHY DID MUHAMMAD YUSUF KHAN’S NAME CHANGE TO DILIP KUMAR?
Dilip Kumar, born Muhammad Yusuf Khan on December 11, 1922, to Lala Ghulam Sarwar Khan and his wife Ayesha Begum of Peshawar (now in Pakistan), chose a screen name at the urging of producer Devika Rani. Later, the producer cast him in the lead part in the 1944 film Jwar Bhata.
The famous actor disclosed why he changed his identity from Muhammad Yusuf Khan to Dilip Kumar in his book, Dilip Kumar: The Substance and the Shadow.
THRASHING FATHER FEAR
Dilip Kumar wasn’t only influenced by Devika Rani to change his name. Dilip Kumar had remarked in an interview in 1970 with Mahendra Kaul that it was actually because he changed his name from his father’s ‘pitayi ka darr.’
The late star stated his father would never want to play and he dubbed it “nautanki.” Interestingly, his father never likes film-making by the grandson of his Dewan Basheshwarnath Kapoor, Raj Kapoor. The neighbors in Peshawar were Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor
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