The trailer of Raazi, starring Alia Bhatt and Vicky Kaushal has already impressed audiences and we can’t wait for the movie to actually come out.
That Meghna Gulzar of Talvar fame is once again behind the director’s chair with this one only lends faith to us thirsty people longing for a good Bollywood movie.
But more than anything, the fact intriguing people is that the story behind Raazi is based on a true story turned into a book called ‘Calling Sehmat’ by Harinder Sikka.
The former Lieutenant Commander of Indian Navy had published the book in 2008 about an Indian woman who married a Pakistani officer in order to act as a secret agent delivering confidential information back to India during the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war.
Who Is Sehmat?
Apparently, in an interview to The Hindu, Sikka explained how he stumbled upon the story that prompted him to write his debut novel.
During the 1999 Kargil war, Sikka went to Kargil in order to do a media piece on the supposed intelligence failures of the Army that he had come across. Feeling angry and questioning the patriotism of people towards the country, he was told of one such story by another fellow Army officer where a seemingly normal Indian had risked their life in order to give Indian army the much needed top secret information.
Sikka said in his interview that,
“I was very angry then and even questioned the patriotism of certain people in the Intelligence Department. There, during one such discussion, an Army officer told me that not everyone is the same. I was not too convinced about it. So he gave the example of his mother, much to my surprise. She married a Pakistani Army officer to provide India with classified information during the 1971 war. She was a Kashmiri Muslim.”
Sikka after the Kargil war tracked down the woman to Kotla in Punjab and after some persistence finally got her true story.
The author was surprised at how exactly she got the information and found that it matched perfectly with the report found with the Indian Intelligence.
He was also perturbed at how exactly Sehmat‘s (name was changed to protect privacy) father, apparently a rich businessman in Kashmir, could put his daughter in such a life-endangering situation.
He stated that “It was the ultimate test of patriotism for the family. Despite being an ex-soldier myself, I feel proud to admit that I learnt the real meaning of patriotism from her story.”
Sehmat as per Sikka went above and beyond her mere responsibility of being a simple facilitator and in fact, one of the most key piece of information she provided was the Pakistani plan to sink INS Viraat.
What Saving INS Viraat Meant?
The INS Viraat was the pride and joy of the Indian sea whose creation was completed in November of 1959.
Previously being commissioned to the British Army, it was given to the Indian Army in May of 1987 and till date hold a Guinness Record for the oldest serving warship and has sailed as per reports almost 11 lakh kms a distance that can cover the entire planet Earth about 27 times.
Sinking it would have been a major blow to the Indian army as the features of INS Viraat like working as a helicopter carrier, anti-submarine and other electronic tools helped the Indian army.
Sehmat’s information probably saved Indians from a lot of embarrassment but also saved millions of lives.
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