Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Bollywood Khans - Are they related to Pashtuns?

Many people have asked me to throw some light on the 'Khan' actors of Bollywood, whether they are Pashtuns and are they from Pashtunkhwa and Afghanistan?. People with Khan surnames are not necessarily Pashtuns, in fact Pashtuns have borrowed this title from Central Asian Turks when the latter were ruling India. But from google search it appears the Khans of Bollywood are indeed claiming to be 'Pathans' (Hindi word for Pashtun) or seem to be related to Pashtuns judging from their native towns.  The native place of actor Aamir Khan is Qaimganj (Farrukhabad district) which Rashid Khan Ansari (grandson of Pir-Roshan) received it as a jagir in 1607 from  Mughal emperor Jehangir. Rashid Khan founded the town of Mau Rashidabad and colonized the area with Pashtuns who were his disciples. The famous Pashto poet Mirza Khan Ansari was cousin of Rashid Khan and he is also buried in Qaimganj.  Muhammad Khan a Bangash, who served as Mughal governor of Malwa and Allahabad and founded Farrukhabad state in early 18th century, was born in this Pashtun colony of Mau Rashidabad in 1665. Afridis were said to be the most numerous in this colony of Mau Shamsabad /Qaim Ganj of the past. .......ancestor of Aamir Khan and Dr-Zakir Hussain (ex-president of India), was an Afridi Pashtun, Hussain Khan, who migrated to Qaimganj in 1715. . On maternal side, Aamir Khan is related to Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad whose forefathers came from Herat to India.

Shahrukh Khan's ancestors were from Afghanistan who settled in Peshawar, as per his interviews. But his relatives in Peshawar are reported to have said that they are Hindkowans of Kashmiri descent. Yusuf Khan or Dilip Kumar is actually an Awan from Peshawar. Awan are Hindi or Hindki people. Salman Khan's family is from Indore (Madihya Pradesh). Salman Khan identify himself as a 'Pathan' and has played a role of Pathan in film "Sanam Bewafa".

Saif Ali Khan belongs to a Nawabi family of Pataudi, their history is recorded. They are descendants of Barech Pashtuns......Originally from Shorawak district of Kandahar , they migrated to Rohilkhand in 18th century and later established the small state of Pataudi in early 19th century which was permitted by British to exist as a princely state. In an interview , father of Saif Ali Khan is making false claim that their ancestors were in possession of these lands since 15th century and that their ancestors were nobles of Lodi Sultans.

Irfan Khan is from Tonk (Rajasthan). Tonk was ruled by a Yousafzai family which assumed the status of Princely state under British . Amir Khan, the founder of Tonk state was a Yousafzai Pashtun. . Interestingly Irfan Khan has played the role of Najib Khan (a chief of Rohilkhand who belonged to Yousafzai tribe from Buner, Pakhtunkhwa) in TV series "the Great Marathas" by Sanjay Khan. The Tonkia Pathans are mostly descendants of Yousafzai Pashtuns .




That being said, among them i have seen only seen Shahrukh Khan, eager and proud to claim Pathan title...its because, compared to others, his father was actually from Peshawar city and could speak Pashto beside Hindko...while the others are just distant descendants of Pashtuns who settled in India few centuries ago and dont relate to Pakhtuns or Pakhtunkhwa

That being said, among them i have seen only seen Shahrukh Khan, eager and proud to claim Pathan title...its because, compared to others, his father was actually from Peshawar city and could speak Pashto beside Hindko...while the others are just distant descendants of Pashtuns who settled in India few centuries ago and dont relate to Pakhtuns or Pakhtunkhwa