Life story of Saroj Khan, a Pakistani Hindu choreographer who had converted to Islam later

In heartbreaking news, Legendary Bollywood choreographer Saroj Khan passed away on Friday, leaving Bollywood in shock. The ace choreographer, who was 71 years old, was admitted to the Guru Nanak Hospital in Mumbai where she breathed her last.

According to reports, the veteran choreographer was long suffering from diabetes and other age-related health ailments. All of sudden, her health started deteriorating, therefore, she was taken to the hospital and she died of cardiac arrest at 1.52 am in Mumbai. Her last rites were performed at Malvani in Malad, Mumbai.

She made a distinct identity by choreographing many memorable songs in Hindi. She had choreographed more than 2,000 songs, including “Dola Re Dola” from Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s “Devdas”, “Ek Do Teen” from Madhuri Dixit-starrer “Tezaab” and “Ye Ishq Haaye” from “Jab We Met” in 2007 throughout her career. 

But do you know that Saroj Khan was actually a Hindu by birth. Yes, you read it right. Saroj Khan converted to Islam a long time ago. She revealed in an interview that her family lived in Pakistan, and migrated to India during partition.

Saroj was born as Nirmala Nagpal to her parents Kishanchand Sadhu Singh and Noni Singh, in Bombay. She developed a keen interest in Islam after getting married to businessman Sardar Roshan Khan.

She revealed that she used to love watching young children follow Islam and worship their deity. The iconic choreographer went on to say that children had an immense interest towards Islam, but she did not see the same happening in Hinduism and hence decided to convert.

Talking about the second reason behind her conversion, Khan said that her decision came about after a dream she saw.

“I lost a baby girl. I used to have recurrent dreams about her calling out to me from  inside a mosque. She used to call me inside again and again, which is something that ultimately led to my conversion,” she said.

Khan also said that she was not forced or under any pressure to convert to Islam but she herself took this decision because she simply loved the religion.

Writer, historian, and activist Dharam Sikarwar is a very active author The Youth. He writes on national and international issues, environment, politics. He is an avid book reader as well.