Although gentle and unworldly in nature, she had been so fierce and brave in Nazi imprisonment, that she was declared a “highly dangerous” prisoner and kept shackled in solitary confinement for 10 months. Such was her valor that she never gave away any information even when tortured brutally until finally she was executed in the German concentration camp under complete secrecy.
Not many of us know about this fearless young woman, for she died in a very young age, courageously fighting the enemy. This was the fate of Noor Inayat Khan, an Indian princess, the great granddaughter of Tipu Sultan, the king of Mysore. In her own way, to help her country of origin, she wanted to bring Britain in good terms with India by proving her bravery and loyality. Inspired by her father’s pacifist views, she and her brother had decided to fight against the Nazis and hence gain Britain’s trust. The fact that she spoke fluently in French (having lived most of her life in France), and was competent in wireless communication, got her selected as an SOE (Special Operations Executive) and thus worked as a British spy in Nazi occupied France during the Second World War. She operated from Paris under the code name Madeleine.
In the course of time, the other spy operators working along with her were arrested and questioned by the enemy. But in-spite of the impending danger, Noor refused to return to London and served as the last link between London and Paris. But then, she was given away by one of her fellow operators, when interrogated, and was eventually captured and imprisoned in the October of 1943. In imprisonment, Noor acted fiercely and attempted an escape twice after which she was sent to the Nazi concentration Camp. She was executed by a shot to the head in September 1944 along with four other agents. She was only 30 then.
She was awarded the British George cross, Britain’s highest award for gallantry, posthumously. Also, her bronze bust was unveiled in Central London in November of 2012. Bollywood director Ketan Mehta is said to be making his next biopic depicting Katrina Kaif as Noor Inayat Khan in the Second World War epic. The movie will have an international appeal, with a special attachment to the Indian audience. Katrina Kaif having the British accent had an edge over other actresses for portraying this role. The two times National Award Winning Director wants to release the movie in 2014, exactly on the princess’s 100th birthday.
Now, how truly can Katrina portray the character of Noor and recreate her enigmatic personality, stands to be tested. We will certainly keep our fingers crossed.