Actor-politician Urmila Matondkar has criticised BJP politician Arun Yadav after he claimed that screen icon Dilip Kumar, who passed away on Wednesday, used a Hindu name to earn money as an actor.
One of India's finest actors who ruled the hearts of generations, Dilip Kumar was born Mohammed Yousuf Khan on December 11, 1922 in Peshawar, Pakistan.
Devika Rani, who was the head of the Bombay Talkies where he joined as an actor, rechristened him as Dilip Kumar.
Dilip Kumar, who died at a Mumbai hospital on Wednesday morning after prolonged illness at the age of 98, was remembered by many on social media who called his demise an irreparable loss to Indian cinema.
Haryana BJP IT cell and social media head Arun Yadav courted controversy with his condolence message.
"The death of Mohammad Yusuf Khan (Dilip Kumar), who earned money by keeping a Hindu name in the film world, is an irreparable loss to the Indian film industry! Deepest condolences to the bereaved family. Hope God gives peace to the departed soul," Yadav wrote in Hindi.
Reacting strongly to his tweet, Matondkar expressed her anguish as she wrote "Shame on you", with a thumbs down emoji.
The 47-year-old actor-politician said it is saddening to see someone "trivialising" Dilip Kumar's critically-acclaimed body of work.
"It is sad to see that a legend of our country is being trivialised by saying that he kept a Hindu name to earn money. One needs to show dignity and class. He has done so many socially relevant films," Matondkar told PTI.
The Shiv Sena leader further said that Dilip Kumar was a "socially responsible person".
"He helped the widows of soldiers who lost their lives in Kargil war and did innumerable amount of social work," Matondkar said.
The actor slammed Yadav for his "double standards" as she said that he made the remark in the garb of offering his condolences.
"It is because of this particular thinking of these people that there are many people who think it is fine to create a constant communal division and whitewash it.
"Shame on a thinking like this. He (Yadav) needs to grow up. He needs to get the information correct," Matondkar added.
She said Kumar was someone who was "beyond any religion".
"There are so many Muslims who have taken Hindu names and vice versa but does it make us less? The fact should be how much of an Indian you are. He (Dilip Kumar) was indeed one," Matondkar added.
Yadav's tweet also drew criticism from other Twitter users who called out the politician for his remarks.
"Shame... How can you post something like this on someone's death. What is the problem if a Muslim has a Hindu name? And if a Hindu has a Muslim name, then also there is a problem. Please grow up and be a good human being, you will feel good," a social media user wrote.
Another user said Kumar's contribution to Indian films trumps all such comments made in poor taste.
"... Yusuf Khan aka Dilip Kumar made India known and famous through the whole world (sic)," a tweeple noted.
Dilip Kumar, known to generations of film-goers as 'tragedy king' for his portrayal of the brooding, intense romantic, starred in classics such as "Mughal-e-Azam" and "Devdas". Also called the Nehruvian hero, he made his acting debut with "Jwar Bhata" in 1944.
In his five-decade career he worked in 65 films which included titles like "Naya Daur", "Madhumati" and "Ram Aur Shyam" in which he starred as the leading man.
In his twilight years, he graduated to character roles in films like "Shakti" and "Karma". His last on-screen appearance was his last "Qila" in 1998.