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Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan

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In mid-2020, Saif Ali Khan of Bollywood had announced that he would publish his autobiography by 2021. But it has not come out yet, even after two and a half years. In this context, a brief touch on his family information is made here, which many Indians may not know. All the information is available in public domain.

Saif Ali Khan is son of famous Indian cricketer Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi and Begum Ayesha Sultan (Bollywood actress Sharmila Tagore). Saif is a descendant of Nawab of Pataudi, a small princely state of British India (located in present day Haryana), with only 52 square miles area and 40 villages.

The princely state of Pataudi was established in 1804 by the British East India Company. Faiz Talab Khan, an Afghan mercenary from ethnic Pashtun of Sarbani tribe of Kandahar, was the first Nawab of Pataudi. He aided British East India Company in its battle to win against the Marathas in the Second Anglo-Maratha War and got the princely state of Pataudi as the reward. Nawab of Pataudi also actively helped British in our First War of Independence (1857).

However, Saif’s innate glamour and wealth are rooted in his paternal grand mother’s side in Bhopal. She was the younger daughter of Nawab of Bhopal. Bhopal was one of the big Muslim princely states of British India. Nawab of Bhopal was a staunch supporter of Indian Muslim League and wanted to make Bhopal a part of Pakistan. Nawab even sent his elder daughter to Karachi during partition and got her family settled there.

Nawab of Bhopal, after becoming unsuccessful to be a part of Pakistan, declared Bhopal as an independent state. Civil unrest grew-up for merger of Bhopal with India and many Hindu agitators were killed by Nawab’s police. Finally on 30th April 1949, Sardar Patel forced the Nawab to sign the accession treaty and Bhopal became a part of India. So Indian-ness of Saif Ali Khan has come from the failure of Bhopal to become a part of Pakistan or an independent state.

Pakistani ex-diplomat and ex-Foreign Secretary Shaharyar Khan and Pakistani ex-Major General Isfandiyar Ali Khan are first cousins of Saif’s father from his mother’s and father’s side respectively. While Shaharyar Khan is the son of elder sister of Mansur Ali Khan’s mother, Isfandiyar Ali Khan is the son of Mansur Ali Khan’s won paternal uncle Sher Ali Khan.

Sher Ali Khan was the younger brother of Mansur Ali Khan’s father. He was an officer in British Indian Army. Sher Ali Khan opted for Pakistan in 1947 and became a Major General in Pakistan Army. After retirement, Sher Ali Khan served as Pakistani diplomat and was also a federal minister in the cabinet of General Yahya Khan. So, Saif has a very deep connection with Pakistan.

It is said that Saif’s grandfather Iftikar Ali Khan Pataudi, after August 1947, did not migrate to Pakistan to pursue a cricket carrier in India. He was Captain of Indian Cricket Team that toured England in 1946 and even played Test Cricket for England in early 1930s. But, huge wealth of father-in-law in Bhopal, who did not have any son, also played an important role in his staying back in India.

Saif kept the name of his son from second wife Kareena Kapoor Khan ‘Timur’ to poke Indians. Timur the lame was a Turk Muslim, who invaded and devasted North India in AD 1398. Once in an interview when Saif Ali Khan was asked about ‘music’, he replied that the best music he heard was the verses of Quran recited by his paternal grandmother in Bhopal.

Though Saif Ali Khan’s mother is Bengali, his maternal grandmother was Assamese. I wonder if Saif had ever heard Assamese musical Bar-geet of 15-16 century Assamese polymath Shankar Dev from his maternal grandmother. Mamabari (in Bengali) or Nanihal (in Hindi/Urdu) holds a very dear place in the mind of every Indian. Let us see what Saif writes about his Nanihal in Kolkata in his autobiography.

The mother’s side of Saif Ali Khan links up with the Hindu reformist Brahmo Samaj of famous Tagore family of Bengal. But his father’s side joins him to the puritan and narrow Muslim Ahle Hadith Sect. Saif’s forefather came from Afghanistan and in his complex lineage, Saif has preferred to identify himself with Afghan Muslim identity (with a Pakistan connection) in his psychological framework. Saif is closer to his father’s Nanihal and not his own Nanihal.

Saif has nothing to be proud of India and so he stupidly said that there was no ‘India’ before British came. His semi-literacy and anti-India DNA failed to know that even the Greeks, as back as in 5th century BC, referred to India as Indoi. But the fundamentalist Muslim in Saif Ali Khan with Pakistan connection does not care about facts.

And the Islamist-Leftist Bollywood-Urduwood nautanki goes on.

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