When Sunil Dutt recalled how his family was saved by Muslim man during Partition: ‘He helped us escape to Jhelum’

Actor Sunil Dutt had once spoken about how during the Partition, his family was saved by his father’s Muslim friend, Yakub. In an old interview, Sunil had recalled how the man who stayed a few kilometres away from their village in Khurd in Pakistan’s Punjab, helped them escape to India. Sunil was born in Pakistan and came to India when he was 18. (Also Read | Sanjay Dutt remembers father Sunil Dutt on his death anniversary: ‘The best a son could ask for’. See pics)

In the interview, Sunil recalled how he later travelled to his village many decades later and was given a warm welcome by the people. He also spoke about how people came to meet him and huge banners were hung with his name. Sunil recalled he was shown the fields and told that it belonged to him.

In an interview with Rediff in 2005, Sunil recalled, “There were television channels (present). The villagers were asked why they were giving me so much affection. They replied, ‘It is not because of him. It is because of his forefathers who lived here and gave us so much respect. They were fine people and respected our religion. They were landlords. There is a dargah at the outskirts of our village. When they (Sunil Dutt’s forefathers) neared the dargah, they would alight from their horses, walk on foot till they went past the dargah, and then get back on their horses. They gave us so much respect. Why wouldn’t we respect them?'”

“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 also added.

Sunil married Nargis in 1958. They became parents to three children–actor Sanjay Dutt and politician Priya Dutt and Namrata Dutt. He featured in many films such as Mother India (1957), Sadhna (1958), Sujata (1960), Padosan (1968), Reshma Aur Shera (1971), Umar Qaid (1975), Jaani Dushman (1979), Rocky (1981), Dharamyudh (1988), Parampara (1993), and Munna Bhai MBBS (2003) among many others.

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(With Inputs from hindustantimes)