Shah Rukh Khan, the Bollywood superstar, has taken back his stardom with two recent blockbuster- Pathan and Jawan. Though a lot of stories has been told about Khan, his movies and his family legacy, there is a little known about his Pakistan connection.
It is a well-known fact that Shah Rukh Khan’s father Taj Mohammed Khan was a freedom fighter. But few know that Taj Mohammed Khan was born in Peshawar. Today, a dilapidated four-story building stand in one of the narrow lanes of Shah Wali Qataal.
Family of Shah Rukh Khan
Taj Mohammed, was the youngest of the five sons and daughter of Jan Muhammad, Shah Rukh Khan’s grandfather. Taj’s elder brothers were Mian Muhammad, Ghulam Muhammad, Allah Baksh and Khan Muhammad while the sister’s name was Kher Jan.
While, there have been reports about Taj Mohammed being a freedom fighter, few know that Shah Rukh’s uncle Ghulam Muhammad Gama, (1910–1994) was also a famous freedom fighter.
Gama had a bamboo shop at Shah Wali Qataal street of Qissa Khawani in Peshawar. According to reports, he used to run a party of his own- Anjuman-e-Ghuraba.
Ghulam Muhammad Gama used to stage protest demonstrations with the help of his friends and had the passion for political agitation despite little support.
A time came when the British government sent him to jail for 3 years during the Quit India movement of 1942. However, his courage knew no bounds.
He was jailed again for 7 years in 1948, during the peak of anti-colonial struggle in the country. However, even after Independence, he continued holding demonstrations for the cause of the poor and destitute.
Once Late Syed Farigh Bukhari, a Pakistani poet, said that when he was sentenced to imprisonment and sent to jail, he found Gama (Sahib) in the jail. Ghulam Muhammad Gama was on a hunger strike for the last 18 days.
During his entire lifetime, Gama remained outspoken and lived to his cause. He wouldn’t back from protesting for the downtrodden and poor.
He along with several other red shirts, Congressmen and rebellious Muslim leaguers were sent behind the bars for one reason or the other. However, he would continue to defy the government even inside the jail.
After bearing hardships in Pakistan, he left Peshawar and travelled to erstwhile East Pakistan (presently Bangladesh) to start a business at Khulna. He married there and earned a good fortune. However, after seeing the instability in East Pakistan, he came back to Peshawar and resumed his bamboo ladders’ business.
According to Peshawar based author Dr Abdul Jalil Popalzai, Gama used to be very kind to him and narrated him the stories of his struggle for India’s independence. Popalzai used to sit with him at his shop at Shah Wali Qataal and even after he shifted his bamboo business to Charsadda Road near Shahi Bagh.
As per reports, Shah Rukh Khan visited the house in Shah Wali Qataal along with his father twice, when he was 13 and 15 years old in the late 1980s.