On our Independence Day-2013-Part 2

Prashant Bhatt's notes

On August 22,1975, Rustom Sohrab Nagarwalla, ex Army officer twice phoned the State Bank of India, imitating voice of PM Indira Gandhi and her official aide P N Haksar, asking for 6 million rupees for Bangladesh. He was arrested a few hours after collecting the money, tried and convicted, died of a heart attack while awaiting re-trial. The police officer investigating the case died in a car accident. The bank manager was dismissed and became a Congress worker (Far Eastern Economic Review -researched by Michael Henderson in his book- Experiments with Untruth-India Under Emergency.Columbia,Missouri,South Asia Books 1977). This case was used as a plot in Rohinton Mistry’s novel-“Such a Long Journey.” Jimmy Bilimoria the fictional RAW officer was based on the bizarre but true story of Nagarwalla.


“Research and Analysis wing.I did not know our Jimmy was also a scientist”
The character Dilnavaz naively…

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On our Independence day-2013-Part 1

Prashant Bhatt's notes

On the occasion of the independence of India-Pakistan, our reading
group went through some works of Indian novelists who conveyed
some of the historical realities which could not be conveyed in
official histories.


One session started with Edward Said’s “Orientalism” in
which the concept of the West speaking for the silenced subalterns
of the Orient is exposed. The relevance in today’s world and psyche
of Indian subcontinent can be gauged by the inner life of the legendary runner Milkha Singh which is portrayed in the movie -“Bhaag Milkha Bhaag”

Partition which came with independence is still a very emotive topic
in the subcontinent. The summer of 1947 was unlike any other in
Indian history, seeing the migration of around 15 million people and
murdering of around 1 million. Nehru’s “Tryst with Destiny” speech
does not address these aspects which were dealt with by writers
such as Khushwant Singh in…

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A Reading Journal