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Abid Hasan Safrani: Netaji’s Comrade-in-Arms

front cover of abid hasan safrani

TITLE: Abid Hasan Safrani: Netaji’s Comrade-in-Arms

AUTHOR(S): Ismat Mehdi and Shehbaz Safrani

PRICE: £35.99 (UK); $61.95 (US)

ISBN: 978-93-5442-605-6

PUBLISHING DATE:  UK – 15th February 2023; US – 15th April 2023


BINDING: Paperback

PUBLISHER: Orient Blackswan




In the words of historian Sugata Bose: ‘Netaji’s comrade-in-arms Abid Hasan Safrani was a quiet revolutionary who kept himself out of the limelight even while being present at every vital scene and moment of the final phase of our freedom struggle across Europe and Asia.’ A member of Netaji’s Azad Hind Fauj, Safrani is famous as the man who coined the slogan ‘Jai Hind’, which became the national salutation for Indian soldiers, statesmen and civilians alike.

Safrani grew up in old aristocratic Hyderabad of the 1920s in a richly syncretic, secular culture and a vibrant social and intellectual environment that influenced him deeply, leading him later to plunge into politics under Subhas Bose’s leadership. He went on to become one of Netaji’s closest associates, and was the only one to accompany him on his historic submarine voyage from Kiel in Germany to Japanese territory in Sumatra, Malaysia, during World War II. A polyglot and connoisseur of art and history, Safrani also served independent India as a diplomat of distinction in China, West Asia, Africa and Europe.

Compiled by his niece Ismat Mehdi, who accompanied him on his foreign postings to Bern and Baghdad, and his nephew Shehbaz Safrani, who was with him in Baghdad and Damascus, Abid Hasan’s accounts of his time and journeys with Netaji—collected from his notebooks—bring alive key historical events and fill in crucial gaps in the narration of India’s freedom struggle. Anecdotal memories of Safrani recounted by family and friends also reveal a self-effacing, fiercely loyal, brave and generous man with an endearing persona. The story of an unsung national hero, this book preserves and disseminates some of the finest and forgotten lessons of our freedom struggle, to better understand the evolution of independent India.

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