After watching film Raazi the first question comes in the viewers’ mind is to know about the whole story behind the film Raazi and PNS Ghazi attack in 1971.
What was the story of PNS Ghazi?
PNS Ghazi was Pakistan’s submarine which sank just before the Indo-Pak War of 1971, also called as Bangladesh Liberation War. PNS Ghazi was Pakistan’s pride. It was a threat in itself because of its Mark-14 torpedoes (underwater missile designed to be fired from a ship). Pakistan sent the enormous and very efficient PNS Ghazi to attack our airplane carrier INS Vikrant. The purpose of it was to have a control over the Bay of Bengal by destroying INS Vikrant.
To have a control over the Bay of Bengal was important for Pakistan in order to have an access to the East Pakistan which was later liberated as Bangladesh. The information of this submarine attack played an important role in our victory in 1971 war.
Now, coming back to the story of “Calling Sehmat”, a book written by a former Lieutenant Commander of Indian Navy Harinder S Sikka on which film Razi is based. Calling Sehmat is a story of a girl, Sehmat Khan, who was trained to become a spy and then married off to a Pakistan Army Officer. This novel got published in 2008. This Kashmiri Muslim girl being a spy communicated to Indian Army about Pakistan’s submarine plans involving INS Vikrant.
The film says that it was Sehmat, who saved INS Vikrant and later proved to have played a significant role in India’s victory against Pakistan in 1971 War.
When Gurinder Sikka went to Kargil in 1999 to research and investigate the failures of intelligence team, he was full of anger and called everyone a traitor on the basis of his findings. Among the soldiers came a voice saying, “No! My mother was not a traitor”. These words remained with Mr. Sikka and motivated him to research about this man and his mother which was not so difficult for him being in army. But later it became difficult for him to be able to talk to Sehmat and to get to know her story as she didn’t wanted to talk about it. It took some time to convince her.
At the time Sikka met Sehmat, she was living in the house of Abdul. Abdul was a favorite servant of Sehmat’s husband in Pakistan. Abdul was of Indian origin. Sehmat had to kill Abdul, as he got to know what she was doing in the house. She crushed him with a truck. This pain of killing somebody always remained in her eyes. She remained in depression for many years after the event.
Sehmat wanted to go away unsung. When asked about the credit and acclamation she should get, she answered saying, “If the Lord grants you karma, you don’t need a better reward than that.”
Sikka could write this book after researching for eight long years. While researching for this book he realized that agents do a thankless job for their countries. They are dispensable commodities. Spy’s face worst situations. They are forgotten most of the times and disowned if caught.
Sehmat is a great example of patriotism and sacrifice. Her story tells us that humanity is above everything.
But it is very important for us to know that Sehmat is not the only case and there are many stories revolving around the unsung heroes of war. And all they need from us is the words of appreciation and recognition for their contribution to the country. We owe gratitude towards them for keeping us safe from the external threats. In our next article, we will remember many more such unsung heroes who put their lives in danger for our country.
To be continued……………………..
Author: Aparna Praveen Kumar
Aparna is a chief legal advisor at Lexcarts Technologies. She has experience of interviewing senior high court judges and legal personalities. Her articles got published in Hindustan Times and other leading national dailies. At Lexcarts, she furnishes advice on all legal issues and is fully devoted to legal ethics.