Events : Literature & Popular Culture

Programme on “Meet the Author – Shrabani Basu – The Author of the Book “The Spy Princess”

Held on 7th August, 2007

Spy Princess is the story of Noor Inayat Khan, a descendant of Tipu Sultan, who became a secret agent during the Second World War. The daughter of Sufi preacher Hazrat Inayat Khan, she became the first woman radio operator to be infiltrated into occupied France in 1943 and worked under the code name Madeleine. As her circuit collapsed around her, she remained the last link with London and refused to abandon her post despite the dangers. However, she was betrayed and arrested by the Germans and shot in Dachau Concentration Camp. Britain posthumously awarded her the George Cross for her extraordinary bravery and France honoured her with the Croix de Guerre. Based on recently released war office files, interviews with family and friends and other sources, Shrabani Basu traces the story of Noor Inayat Khan from her birth in Moscow to her death in a bleak concentration camp in Germany and looks at the spirit that moved her.

Shrabani Basu is the London correspondent of the Ananda Bazar Patrika and The Telegraph newspaper. She is the author of Curry in the Crown, The Story of The Nation’s Favourite Dish.