Dilip Kumar was a Bollywood great who epitomised India’s emotional struggles


The actor, who has died at 98, gave expression to the intense cultural complexities raised as independence met modernity – with respect, depth and subtlety
Rarely do Narendra Modi and Imran Khan agree, but the death of Indian film great Dilip Kumar united the prime ministers of India and Pakistan in grief as each expressed their admiration and affection for the actor who has died aged 98.
Born Muhammed Yusuf Khan in 1922, in Peshawar, close to the border with Afghanistan in what was then British India, he moved to Bombay to take his first role in Jwar Bhata (High and Low Tides) – a film now remembered only for featuring his debut – and would go on to become a star in the post-independence boom in Hindi cinema, as the industry became a unifying voice for a vast, disparate population, who saw its concerns and aspirations reflected back to it with compassion and intelligence for the first time. Continue reading…