Saif Ali Khan is of Pashtun ancestry through the Nawabs of Pataudi lineage from his father's side and of Hindu Bengali Tagore ancestry from his mother's side. His paternal grandfather, Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataudi, was the Nawab of Pataudi as well as an accomplished cricketer who played for England and then for India as the captain of the team. His paternal grandmother was Sajida Sultan, Begum of Bhopal and his great-uncle was Pakistani general Sher Ali Khan Pataudi. His father was Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, a former captain of the Indian cricket team and the ninth Nawab of Pataudi until the abolition of titles by India in 1971. Following the death of his father in 2011, Saif Ali Khan was proclaimed the Nawab of Pataudi by the villagers of Pataudi State in deference to tradition, although the title carries no official or legal significance.
"I spent my childhood in a Muslim atmosphere, reading the Quran, with my paternal grandmother being the center of my religious education. Religion played a major role in my upbringing. My family is "cool or rather massively open–minded about religious matters. For example, they acknowledges that there daughter is born into a Muslim family, however he states that he will not decide her religion for her. "—Khan talking about the importance of his religion Islam in his life.
Khan has two sisters, Saba Ali Khan and Soha Ali Khan. Khan's mother is Sharmila Tagore, a Bengali Indian film actress and a member of Bengal's Tagore family. She is also the head of the Indian film censorship board and the grand-niece of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. Sharmila Tagore converted to Islam from Hinduism after her marriage to Khan's father, and changed her name to Begum Ayesha Sultana. Khan spent his childhood in a Muslim atmosphere, reading the Quran, with his paternal grandmother Sajida Sultan being the centre of his religious education.
Khan initially studied at the Lawrence School, Sanawar and later attended Lockers Park School in Hertfordshire. He then followed in his father's footsteps by attending Winchester College, an independent school for boys in the UK. Khan can speak his native languages of Urdu/Hindi and Bengali fluently, as well as English.
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