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MUMBAI: Raj Kapoor’s ancestral haveli in Peshawar, where he was born and which is in the news as it has been partially demolished by its owner, is not the only piece of the Kapoor clan which was left in Pakistan after the Partition in 1947.
Apart from the Kapoor Haveli in the Kissa Khwani Bazaar of Peshawar, Raj Kapoor’s maternal uncle or mama known as Mr Mehra also stayed back in Pakistan. According to Pakistani political scientist Ishtiaq Ahmed, Raj Kapoor’s mama married a Muslim, converted to Islam and stayed in Lahore.
So, in that sense, Kareena Kapoor is not the first Kapoor clan member to marry a Muslim. Not much was known about Mr Mehra after he became a Muslim and decided to settle down in Lahore.
Speaking about the Kapoor Haveli in Peshawar, the government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province had declared it as heritage a couple of years ago and planned to buy from the current. But the deal got delayed because of the price.
The top storey of the four-storeyed haveli was demolished by the owner on Thursday, but officials of the archeology department intervened to stop further demolition.
Even as their haveli is making news in the media in India and Pakistan, no member of the Kapoor clan in Mumbai seems bothered about their ancestral place.
“We don’t have any emotional connect to that house since we haven’t seen it. Let the Pakistan government demolish it. I am not even sure if that was Raj Kapoor’s own house or rented because he didn’t have that much money then to own a house. So I don’t think that anyone from the Kapoor family has any problem with that,” Rishi Kapoor has been quoted as saying by reports.
Since Prithiraj Kapoor had shifted to Mumbai from Lahore much before the Partition, Rishi Kapoor says, “We came to India even before the partition happened and never did see the house. I don’t know why others are having an issue, when we ourselves don’t have any problem with the demolition. We three brothers never stayed there. Why would we have a problem?”