Spy Princess: The Life of Noor Inayat Khan

Spy Princess is an engaging life tale of Noor Inayat Khan, who was a secret agent during the Second World War.

Spy Princess: The Life of Noor Inayat KhanSpy Princess: The Life of Noor Inayat Khan

Spy Princess by Shrabani Basu is a riveting
story of World War II heroine, Noor Inayat Khan the descendant of Tipu Sultan, the Tiger of Mysore, who became a British secret agent for Special Operations Executive (SOE) the organization set up by Churchill to “set Europe ablaze” during World War II.  Born into an illustrious Indian family in 1914 and brought up in the non-violent Sufi religion, Noor seemed an unlikely secret agent. Yet she became the first female radio operator to be landed in enemy-occupied France, and refused to abandon her post in Paris in 1943, continuing her work under extremely dangerous circumstances.

Shrabani tells the moving story of Noor's life from her birth in Moscow - where her father was a Sufi preacher - to her capture by the Germans. Noor was one of only three women SOE awarded the George Cross (Britain’s highest civilian honour) and, under torture, revealed nothing but her name - but not her real name, nor her code name, just the name she used to register at SOE: Nora Baker.  Kept in solitary confinement, chained between hand and feet and unable to walk upright, Noor existed on bowls of soup made from potato peelings.

“Ten months after she was captured, she was taken to Dachau and, on 13 September 1944, she was shot. Her last word was 'Liberte'. Noor’s story is testament to the fact that regardless of race and religion, people will stand together against evil and fight for freedom and democracy. Her story is an inspiration and she is one of hundreds of thousands of armed forces personnel from all nationalities who have given their lives so that we can have a future.” says Shrabani.

She adds, “Noor was the first woman radio operator to be infiltrated into France.  In those days, radio operators had one of the most dangerous duties in the field and their life expectancy was usually six weeks. Noor worked almost single-handedly in Paris for three months before she was arrested. She chose to volunteer for the front-line as she was principally opposed to Fascism and was only 30 years old when she was shot in Dachau Concentration camp."

Shrabani was recently in Bangalore to espouse the Noor Inayat Memorial Trust. She along with other eminent journalists have launched a fund-raising drive for a memorial bust of Noor Inayat Khan to be installed at Gordon Square in London. The bust will be the first Memorial of an Asian woman in Britain. Also the book is soon to be made into a film by a British production house.
To know more about the memorial log on to and the book is priced at Rs.295

Tags: spy princess: the life of noor inayat khan, shrabani basu, memorial

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